Termites building a mud wall


Termites are a highly successful group of colonial insects, with thousands of species. They build nests in trees or underground, as well as building large mounds above ground. Just like cows, many types of termite have special micro-organisms in their guts to help them digest plants.

Scientific name: Isoptera

Rank: Order

Common names:

White ants

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The Termites can be found in a number of locations including: Africa, Amazon Rainforest, Asia, Australia, China, Europe, Indian subcontinent, Mediterranean, North America, South America. Find out more about these places and what else lives there.

Fossil types

Learn more about the other animals and plants that also form these fossils.

Amber Amber
Amber owes its existence to the defence mechanisms of certain kinds of tree. When the bark is punctured or infected, a sticky resin oozes out to seal the damage and sterilise the area.


  1. Life
  2. Animals
  3. Arthropods
  4. Insects
  5. Termites

BBC News about Termites

Video collections

Take a trip through the natural world with our themed collections of video clips from the natural history archive.

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  • David Attenborough's favourite moments David Attenborough's favourite moments

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