One afternoon during a short, sunny break on a rainy day, the skies became a buzz of life. Millions and millions of small flying insects seemed to have appeared out of the earth and taken flight. I soon realized this was a very rare occurrence and these earth bending insects were fertile termites seeking to establish new colonies.
These flyers, as they are known, are all fertile males and females that are leaving their “birth” colonies to take flight. This normally happens in the afternoon during spring time after a quick rain shower. Flight can be anything from a couple of meters to a couple of hundred meters. Shortly after the female lands, her wings drop off leaving a multitude of wings strewn over the area. The female then release pheromones which will attract any male that might be close. Once the male lands he too loses his wings and starts following the female to where she starts digging.
They will both dig into the earth and start a colony of their own. They will start breeding almost immediately and a massive population explosion will take place. The female can lay up to 10,000 eggs a day. Nymphs hatch from the eggs and develop into worker individuals who take care of the breeding pair as well as into soldiers who help defend the mound and the breeding pair. Once the colony has expanded to such a degree that a surplus of food is available, certain nymphs will be fed enough to develop into flyers themselves and the whole process of flight and commencement of colonies continues.