Termite emergence

On opening the door of the house this evening, we were immediately inundated with thousands of flying termites, which had been attracted to our porch light. Mass emergences like this can often occur after rain, when the reproductive females and males from different termite nests emerge in huge numbers in search of the opposite sex. In the process of mating they drop their large and delicate wings, losing the ability to take to the air. Within minutes after we had stepped outside, the termites at our light were also shedding their wings. Our veranda had become a sort of miniature termite Ibiza. Some formed pairs which engaged in a curious behaviour that looked a bit like ‘follow-my-leader’, with one termite crawling close behind the other. This abundance of insects was manner from heaven for some of the other animals:  huge warty toads hopped close to the house, gulping down dozens. By the next morning, no living termites were to be found, although the floor was carpeted with discarded wings. This mass emergence must have happened from the nests which are all over the plantation. When we entered our plots the next morning, we could still see traces of the termites in the dozens that floated dead on the surface of puddles or spun, helplessly tangled, in the nests of the giant Nephila spiders.

Termites in flight around our back door!

Termites in flight around our back door!

Drowned termites in the BEFTA plots

Drowned termites in the BEFTA plots

 

 

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