The queens are slightly
larger than the workers at about 13-15 mm.
In Northern Thailand the alates are produced
in Jan – February which is at the end
of the cold season. The females and males
are a similar size suggesting mating takes
place on the ground or on nearby shrubs.
The new queens form
colonies independently and can frequently
be found in the nests of a species of termite
- suggesting that maybe at the colony foundation
stage they are temporary parasitic on termites.
Each colony usually
has one queen and colonies seem to vary in
size from about 300 - 500 workers.
colonies in ideal conditions will accept
a second or even a third queen but colonies
with more than one queen are rarely found.
queen and cluster of newly laid eggs.
For the first few
years after a colony is established the queens
are not given much attention and almost act
as workers - but once a colony is well established
with a good force of workers the queens become
more swollen and the workers become much
can usually be found nesting in old dead
hardwood which is extremely difficult to
get into and the entrance to their nest is
often very small with just enough room for
a worker to squeeze in - hence the colony
is well protected from predators. They will
utilize passages left by other insects such
as wood borers and will slowly over time
carve out larger chambers.