Four "castes" of a termite colony: workers are approximately 1/4-inch long, light-colored and wingless; soldiers have elongated heads with mandibles; supplementary reproductives are light-colored and wingless or have very short, nonfunctional wings.
Live in colonies underground, from which they build tunnels in search of food; able to reach food above the ground level by building mud tubes; dependent on moisture for survival.
Wood and other cellulose material.
Different rates of growth from egg stage to adult depending on individual species; one queen per colony, which can lay tens of thousands of eggs in its lifetime, but most eggs are laid by supplementary reproductives in an established colony.
Termites cause over $2 billion in damages each year. Subterranean termites cause 95% of all termite damage in North America. Colonies can contain up to 1 million members.