I’ve always enjoyed gently turning over rocks and pieces of wood and bark to discover what is living underneath. Today I was out poking around for snails, inspired by my finds on International Rock Flipping Day back in September. While I did find one new snail (I’ll post on that later this week) I was thrilled to discover a small nest of termites.
Termites belong to the order Isoptera. According to eFauna BC there are three families of termites in BC, each containing one genus. Within these, there are four species (including one introduced species) with different life histories. These termites appear to be from the Family Termopsidae and are either Zootermopsis angusticollis or Z. nevadensis. Without taking a specimen and looking at it under a microscope they’re pretty hard to separate with the naked eye.
I’ve also posted two close-up images below of a worker termite and a soldier and worker termite that I found on the property back in 2005. Note the large head and mandibles on the soldier termite (bottom right). Thank goodness these termites are pretty small!