Yellow Necked Drywood Termite, Kalotermes flavicollis
The yellow-necked drywood termite (Kalotermes flavicollis) is a species of termite that can be found in Italy, Spain, Greece, France, Slovenia, North Africa, and the Near East. It prefers to reside in Mediterranean habitats, especially in warm coastal areas. This species is xylophagous, consuming mainly wood, so it creates nests in trees, roots, and human structures.
The yellow-necked drywood termite can reach an average length of up to .39 inches and the majority of the body is light brown or yellow in color. The neck area is yellowish orange in color, the trait from which the species received its common name, and the legs and antennae are light yellow in color. Queens and kings differ in appearance from other members of the colony, holding long wings that are used in courtship, and females are often a bit larger than males. Colonies contain three other types of termite including larvae, nymphs, and soldiers, which are white in color with brown heads.
The yellow-necked drywood termite swarms between the months of July and October, during which time courtship takes place. After breeding, the wings of both the king and queen will fall off and the pair will begin a new colony that can hold up to two thousand individuals. Young individuals do all of the work in the colonies, so there are never adult workers.
Image Caption: Kalotermes flavicollis – winged adult. Credit: Hectonichus/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)