King and Queen
At least one king and queen are at the center of every colony. The queen's sole purpose is to reproduce. Some live for as long as 30 years. The queen will add 5,000 to 10,000 eggs annually.
Queens can lay thousands of eggs every year. Eggs hatch into nymphs.
While in the nymph state, termites diverge into different castes: workers, soldiers, reproductives, and supplementary reproductives.
Workers are blind, wingless termites that maintain the colony, build and repair the nest and tubes, forage for food, and care for the other termites. They are the most numerous caste and the most likely to be found in infested wood. A mature colony can contain from 20,000 to 5 million workers, averaging 300,000.
Soldiers are sterile, wingless, and blind. Their sole function is to defend the colony.
These termites will eventually leave the colony as adult Swarmers. After swarming, they shed their wings and pair up. Each mail-female pair attempts to start a new colony.
These termites help increase the population of established colonies and can serve as replacements for the king or queen if they should die.