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premolt termites

premolt termites

As Formosan subterranean termites (Coptotermes formosanus) begin to molt, their outer exoskeletal layer is shed from the body, leaving a new one behind, as can be seen in some of the termites above. Research at the University of Florida has found that termites consistently return to their central nest to molt—a behavior that can be put to use in termite management efforts. (Photo originally published in Kakkar et al., Journal of Economic Entomology, September 2017)

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