After the first good soaking rain at the start of the rainy season, especially in areas with distinct dry season like ours, there are common sights at night, which are usually unwanted in most households. This is the reproduction rituals of termites around light sources. These days these termites swarm around the lighted electric bulbs. The group of termites doing this is called the “alates” or the winged caste, also known as reproductive caste. In times like these, we put off all the light bulbs inside the house and leave a lighted bulb open at the terrace, so all of them converge there.
I am fascinated in observing them, performing their courtship rituals around the light bulb, after landing on the floor most of them do a very fast pirouette with all the wings extended. I wonder what that means! When their wings close again, they find partners and sometimes the partners do the pirouette again, clinging on each other through their opposite ends, inverted position. Few minutes later, they walk on the floor with one following another in tandem. Many pairs simultaneously do this 'long walks' on the floor, after which they shed the wings and walk wherever, looking for seclusion. References said they are already fertilized and will look for the nest for their next colony. I wonder if those which left still with their wings on did not find their partners. Or maybe their potential partners drowned in my water pool.
Above left: still finding for mates; Above right: pirouetting partners
Some cultures like countries in
Africa and some Southeast Asian countries like Indonesia eat these termites. It is a good source of protein especially during food shortage. In my case, I put a big basin of water under the light bulb and let them fall there.
other entities in the household got curious too
Another one joined in!
they tried eating them, one at the left already feasting on its harvest, one at the right followed
the one at the left returned, they liked it fresh, very fresh!
my harvest will be for the chicken tomorrow morning, i wonder if they like it too
other onlookers got their share too, this time the tiny ants...
Termites destroy our wooden structures in the house. We dont like them, so i tried my best to lessen their population. I don't think I altered or spoiled the drama of the food chain. I just tampered it a bit!