Identification, Images, & Information
For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada


Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
No Taxon (Glossary)
No Taxon (C)
No Taxon caste
caste noun, plural castes - specialized morphological or behavioral form of a eusocial insect. Different castes perform different work within a colony. Examples include reproductives (females called a queen, males called drones in some groups), worker (sterile individual, usually most abundant in a colony), and solider (often called major worker, specialized for colony defense). Caste status is determined throughout an insect's life, and does not change with age. Eggs, larvae, and pupae are life stages, not castes (1). Reproductive individuals are usually winged, at least at the start of their lives, and are called alates.

Images showing examples of different castes in eusocial insects:
See Also
Print References
Gordh, A Dictionary of Entomology, p. 168 (1)
Internet References
North Dakota State University: Social Insects
Works Cited
1.A Dictionary of Entomology
George Gordh, David H. Headrick. 2003. CABI Publishing.