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Characteristics of Isopterans
Examples Termites
Wings 0-4; Fore and Hind wings similar in size
Mouth Parts Chewing
Usual Number of Tarsal Segments 4
Metamorphosis Simple Metamorphosis
Usual Size Small
Where usually found Ground or wood

Isoptera is composed entirely of termites. Termites are small insects, often pale-colored. They also have caste differentiation. They usually have short antennae along with short cerci. Those that have wings have 2 pairs that are similar in shape and size and are narrow.

Termites for the most part are pests that eat away at homes and other structures and cause major damage. However, they do have one beneficial role, which is the decomposition of dead trees into material useful for other plants.

Termites usually live in colonies in either the ground or in wood. Within a termite colony, there are normally four different castes, though in different species there may be more or less.

There are four families of termites located in the United States, and these are seperated by their head and wing structures. These four families are: Rhinotermitidae, Termitidae, Kalotermitidae, and Hodotermitidae.