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Ants vs. Termites
 
From Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
 
Soon ant and termite swarmers will be seen flying in Central Texas.  Swarmer is another term used to describe the reproductive stage of ants and termites.  These insects have wings when they initially leave the colony, but the wings are either shed (by termites) or chewed off (by ants) before they form a new colony.  Some people may have trouble distinguishing the two types of insects, but with a few key characteristics, it can be very simple.
 
Ant swarmers have elbowed antennae and a narrow, or constricted, waist.  The front and back wings of ants are not similar in size or shape and have few veins.  If the wings are missing from the ant swarmer, there will not be a wing stub left on the thorax from where the wing was attached.
 
Termite swarmers have antennae that are not elbowed and the waist is not narrowed.  The wings on termites are of similar size and shape and have many veins.  Termite swarmers have a wing stub left on the thorax once the wing detaches from the body.
 
For more information or help with identification, contact Wizzie Brown, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service Program Specialist at 512.854.9600.  Also check out www.urban-ipm.blogspot.com
 
 

 

 
 
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