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Termites and Timber

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology

ISSN: 0002-2667

Article publication date: 1 December 1945



TERMITES, or as they are commonly and erroneously called, “White Ants”, belong to the zoological class “Insects”. Insects are characterized by having in the adult state three distinct parts to the body: the head, with one pair of feelers and usually three pairs of jaws; the thorax, bearing three pairs of legs and at most two pairs of wings; and the abdomen. The class is divided into three sub‐classes, of which the termites belong to the exopterygota: insects which change, mainly by enlargement, their appearance each time they moult, the wings developing outwardly, and thus visibly, throughout the process until they are fully winged at maturity. Of the many orders of this sub‐class the termites belong to the isoptera, having two similar and almost equal pairs of wings, large heads, and powerful jaws. The order is sub‐divided, as is common in zoology, into families. There are four families of termites, one, the mastotermitidæ, is purely Australian; the other three are common throughout the tropics and named according to their degrees of development. The most primitive of the three tropical families is the protermitidae (known as kalotermitidæ in the U.S.A.); rather more advanced, the mesotermitidæ (rhinotermitidæ in the U.S.A.); and the termitidæ, the most highly developed of all. True ants belong not only to a different order, but to a different sub‐class, the endopterygota, in which the development is quite different from the termite type, they are allied closely to bees and wasps, whereas the termites are allied to cockroaches.


Fitzgerald‐Lee, G. (1945), "Termites and Timber", Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, Vol. 17 No. 12, pp. 359-360.




Copyright © 1945, MCB UP Limited

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