Isoptera Insect Fossils Gallery - Termites
Insect Fossils
Isoptera Fossil Insects - Termite

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Insect Fossils
Of related interest:
Fossil Amber (Resin)


Termites are of insect Order Isoptera, appeared during Cretaceous time, and are distant relatives of cockroaches. Symbionic bacteria in their gut assist in the digestion of fiberous plants, yielding methane (CH3) as a byproduct. In aggregate, the flatulent termites are the largest source of methane gas on Earth, and a major contributor to green-house gases. The large bubbles often found adjacent and attached to the termites in amber is bacteria-produced methane.

Flying termites, or Alates, are the sexual form of termites which swarm from the colony in huge numbers to fly weakly to a new site to form another colony, where they soon shed their wings and set up housekeeping. Modern-day termites time the emergence of all colonies in a region to swamp the predators, giving at least a few the opportunity to found new colonies. There are many different pictures of alates in the gallery below, simply because they are so awesomely beautiful.

Gallery of Fossil Termite Images
Flying termite (or Alate) in amber.
Soldier termites in Colombian amber.
Nasute termite in amber. Nasute termites spray glue from their nose.
Flying termites (or Alates) in amber.
Flying termites (or Alates) in amber.
A 14 mm Alate