Iso = equal, ptera = wing
chewing - modified in soldiers for nest defense
2 pr. but present only in reproductives for a short nest - exiting flight (=swarming); short stubs are evident after wings lost.
primarily tropical; nest in ground or often in extensive constructed nest connected to soil with protective tunnels
termites have microorganisms that break down cellulose so they are extensively important in recycling; a few species (eastern subterranean and drywood termites) invade wood and plant derived structures of humans causing millions of dollars of damage annually.
1000 species (only 18 in N. America)
Peters pg. 408; nests & sociality 176-183; as pests 242-246.
Links to other Isoptera Sites