Behavior

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Behaviour

Termites do stuff, they 'behave'.  This topic covers a huge range of things such as reproduction and flight, colony foundation, nest site selection, food searching, tunnel creation, mound building, defence (OK, defense if you like), communication, colony organisation, the roles of the various castes . . . the list seems endless.

One thing that makes termites different from most other animals is their reliance on plant fibre (cellulose[Wikipedia cellulose molecule]) as food.  Despite being essentially made of chains of sugar, cellulose is quite hard to digest.  This diet largely defines termites.  They are well adapted to living on a very small profit margin (return for effort). to eat only the good bits and to locate and exploit patchy resources.

There's a an awful lot of cellulose out there.  Forests are full of it.  Termites can't make use of it all.  Often it is physically unavailable (eg defended or just too dry).

Being slow, soft-bodied and usually blind, termites would seem to be sitting ducks for predators and yet they thrive in most warm parts of the world and have done for hundreds of millions of years.

Termite behaviour is a very diverse and challenging field.