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Termite queen - Anoplotermes fumosus - female

Termite queen - Anoplotermes fumosus - Female
McAllen Nature Center, Hidalgo County, Texas, USA
February 25, 2018
Found two while digging (attended by subterranean termites, Rhinotermitidae).


Moved from Higher Termites.

Note about image:
This is a reproductive of a termite but not a primary reproductive, the ones that posses wings.

This is actually a neotenic, aka a secondary reproductive. There are three types of neotenics (under a general rule).

+apterous neotenics/ergatoids - descended from the worker or pseudergate caste
+brachypterous neotenic - descended from the nymphal line (would be queens and kings)
+adultoid/nymphoid neotenic - equal in development to the alates (swarmers), sometimes identical sometimes lacking any pigment.

Lower termites typically produce the first two, higher termites typically produce none or one of the latter two.
This would appear to be a Termitid adultoid reproductive, evidence by the developed wing pads, and alate appearing morphology. Also from morphology this would seem to be Anoplotermes fumosus, (the only species around here).

Not sure if the occurrence of adultoids has been documented in A. fumosus in particular (apparently they have been documented in a few Anoplotermes-group genera, and a few Amitermes-group Termitinae) but certainly one of the few pictures online of an adultoid. Really nice find.

Thanks for the detailed summary, and for lending your expertise to Bugguide!

An observation was made featuring multiple neotenics and workers elsewhere, thereby confirming this as A. fumosus.
Observation here

On second thought also this might be a brachypterous neotenic instead. Either way just semantics.

Same species?
By any chance did you find these two specimens together?

If not what did the individuals attending her look like?

Not together
Could be that species; the ones attending looked (incorrectly)! to my eye like subterranean termites, but that's all say.




nice find!

It was pretty cool
First one I've seen!