In the termites or 'white ants' we reach a very specialized form of the social or community life of insects. They reach their highest development in tropical regions; the females or queens grow to be of enormous size, the abdomen swollen with eggs sometimes becoming as big as a potato, or twenty thousand or thirty thousand t hues the bulk of a worker. The eggs may be laid at the rate of GO n minute or 80,000 a day. The species are all social, and communities consist of both wingless and winged individuals. The winged individuals are with most species excessively Jill therou,, and as a rule they are divided into two castes, namely the ordinary workers and tho soldier,. The so-called soldiers also exist with the true ants, but they have not in these crea tures become such a structurally well-differen tiated caste as with the termites. In the latter the jaws have become enormously developed, and in sonic cases the soldier is live times the size of the worker. In some species some of the workers have branched otT into another caste, the liasuti,' in which the head has become elongated into a long nose-like process, at the tip of which is a hole through which is exuded a fluid which is used in ranking and mending the walls of the habitation. Although the social life of a termite colon• is superficially much like that of an not colony, the development of the social habit and the dif ferentiation of forms have taken place along en tirely different lines: the termites have an in complete metamorphosis; the ants have a complete metamorphosis; the young of the ter mite is more or less capable of self-support soon after birth, whereas the of the bees and ants are entirely helpless during development, and are fed by the adults. The fundamental dif ference between the two groups is that with rho termites the workers or neuters, including the soldiers, are not undeveloped females, as with the workers and soldiers of the ants, and the workers of the bees, but they consist of both sexes and ;ire in reality the arrested or madified in which the sexual organs are imperfectly developed or are completely atrophied.
MO the hive-bee, multiplication of colonies takes place by division, but the colonizing swarm carries with it a queen, and tints the foundation of a new colony is easy. With the higher ter mites multiplication of colonies also takes place by division, but this is carried out by the workers and soldiers which travel away and capture one of the royal pairs that wander about after they have swarmed and thrown off their wings. 'Many colonies of termites will lie found in whieh there is no queen. Among the different species of ter mites there is a marked gradation from a simple to a more complex economy. The continuance of a termite community is entirely dependent upon the king and queen. which are the adult indi viduals of both sexes which have swarmed and lost their wings. There is usually but a single pair in a nest, and they are frequently inclosed in a cell which they cannot leave. In consequence of the disorganization of the community if any thing happens to the king or queen. termites keep certain individuals in reserve in such a state of advancement that they can rapidly be developed into kings and queens should occasion require it.
When such individuals, however, are developed to meet the emergency. they are generally immature in the anterior parts of the body. The termite queen differs in one respect from any other known insect—that is, in actual growth after reaching the adult stage, this growth being confined to the abdominal region of the body, and being due to the necessity for an extraordinary number of eggs.
The complicated character of a termite colony is seen from the following table (from Sharp), which indicates the numerous forms which exist in certain communities: sists of not more than 21 segments, which are usually of unequal size and shape, arranged in three usually well-defined regions—head, thorax, and abdomen. The head is small and flattened or rounded, and is composed of not less than six segments, bearing eyes and at least four pairs of appendages, namely one pair of antennae and three pairs of mouth-parts. The mandibles are one-jointed, without appendages. There are two pairs of maxilla, the first pair separate, usually three-lobed and with a palpus which is never more than six-jointed. The second pair unite to form the under lip and bear a pair of A very remarkable feature of the life of social insects is the frequent occurrence, in the colonies of almost all species, of 'guests,' or inquilines. Insects of several orders live in ant colonies and symbiosis (q.v.) presents itself here under vari ous aspects, among which, according to Wasmann, real hospitality (myrmetoxenie and termitoxenie) and relations of friendship (symphylie) take first rank, and as far as we can tell, are un equaled elsewhere in the animal kingdom. Was mann has studied more than a hundred different species of insects living in the nests of ants, and more than a hundred different species in the nests of termites, but states that these form but a fraction of those hidden in the nests of tropical ants, and jealously guarded by their 'jailers.' New and interesting discoveries are constantly coming to light in the tropics. Certain of the beetles found in these nests possess certain pe culiar tufts of hair and are licked by the hosts on account of the pleasant secretion which comes from them. The peculiarly shaped antennae of the guests indicate that they summon the ant at feeding time by tapping it with these organs. Certain rove-beetles occurring in termites' nests are fed directly by their hosts. Many of the guests are curiously modified so as to present a striking resemblance to their hosts. With those living with blind ants the form is not modified, but the structure and the hair growths have be come similar to those of ants. Among these guest insects (which when occurring in ants' nests are known as `myrmecophilous' and in termites' nests as 'termitophilons'), there are representatives of no less than 31 different fami lies of Coleoptera, seven families of Hymenoptera, several families of Lepidoptera, Diptera, Orthop tera, Neuroptera, Pseudoneuroptera, Ffemiptera, Thysanurri, and there are also living as guests in these nests certain curiously modified myria pods. scorpions, spiders. mites, and isopod crus taceans. See INQUILINE ; TERMITE.