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I've attempted to raise termite colonies before (i find their social structure to be quite fascinating, more so even than ants or any other social insect group). I was aware of the difficulties and risks of raising them, apparently you need to keep one tank with substrate and plenty of wood for the termites and then place it a larger one with some water to combat potential escape, as termites have a burrowing instinct and once the colonies grows to a certain point, they will simply chew through the walls. My colony was taken from a large colony in a garage. Some folks were trying to dig through their old books and found that they were entirely infested with termites, so i went to work recovering what i could from their bins before they eliminated the termites. My colony lasted for awhile and i even got it to the point where there were workers AND soldiers but i suppose i didn't take enough as no secondary reproductive ever began producing eggs and the colony died out after a few months.

anyone ever try raising termites or had any success? The colony i had was i suppose the most common termites in the area (near long island, NY).

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I could almost move this thread to the general section... Our member Megaloblatta (not to be confused with user Megaloblatta from the archived forums) is a taxonomist who recently co-authored a paper showing genetic evidence that termites are social cockroaches related to the Cryptocercidae. So, unless/until some publishes a paper proving otherwise, termites are now a type of cockroach. (As though cockroaches didn't already have a bad enough rap! ha ha)

I've run across termites in my area but they're too tiny to be of interest to me. However, it used to be possible to order western dampwood termites Zootermopsis angusticollis from biological supply houses that have soldiers up to an inch long. I ordered a group -around a dozen- they lasted eight months before the last ones died out (ten years ago). Zootermopsis have been on display for years at Insect World in in the Cinci Zoo -Cincinnatti, Ohio (below the naked mole rat exhibit).

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I could almost move this thread to the general section... Our member Megaloblatta (not to be confused with user Megaloblatta from the archived forums) is a taxonomist who recently co-authored a paper showing genetic evidence that termites are social cockroaches related to the Cryptocercidae. So, unless/until some publishes a paper proving otherwise, termites are now a type of cockroach. (As though cockroaches didn't already have a bad enough rap! ha ha)

I've run across termites in my area but they're too tiny to be of interest to me. However, it used to be possible to order western dampwood termites Zootermopsis angusticollis from biological supply houses that have soldiers up to an inch long. I ordered a group -around a dozen- they lasted eight months before the last ones died out (ten years ago). Zootermopsis have been on display for years at Insect World in in the Cinci Zoo -Cincinnatti, Ohio (below the naked mole rat exhibit).

I've heard this, that now they are actually considered primitive roaches! Speaking of which, are any cryptocercus available in the hobby? I've never come across them save in passing mention in studies of termites.

The soldier termites in mine were easily identifiable with large jaws and red heads, i suppose the most common type.

I'm not interested in termites for the same reasons as roaches, as i said its their social structure. As i see it, a termite colony can almost be considered one single complex organism. I find the dependence each individual has on the other (ie the termite soldier caste that can't feed itself but is important for defense, the workers who are blind and helpless against attack but vital for everything else) as one of the best examples of hierarchy in nature, or at least, a powerful display of what a collective mind can do, even in frail, minute organisms.

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