From Termites101.org –
During the course of each year, numerous small, immature termites from established colonies transform into larger nymphs with wing buds. Some time later, these individuals further transform into sexually mature males and females called swarmers or alates. Swarmers have two pairs of long narrow wings of equal size. Unlike other termites in the colony, swarmers are dark-colored, and almost black in some species.
The combination of warm temperatures and rain in the spring leads swarmers to leave the nest in large numbers by flying through mud tubes, which are specially constructed tunnels for the termites to use to exit the colony. Termites continue to swarm throughout the warm season, although these swarms are less frequent than those during the spring. Colonies normally swarm only once per season, but may swarm multiple times. Later swarms generally do not match the intensity of the first swarm.
Subterranean termites typically swarm during the day, although Formosan termites (a species of subterranean termite) swarm at night. Swarm flights are brief, and because swarmers are not good flyers, they are often transported by prevailing winds. Typically, winged termites do not fly very far; but if the wind is strong, swarmers can be carried great distances before reaching the ground.
- Be on the look for these guys this Spring – Swarming Termites
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