All termite colonies are governed by a caste system. Queen termites are integral to the founding and growth of termite colonies.
Colonies are founded when a potential queen termite joins a mating swarm. Swarms are comprised of male and female reproductives from fully established termite colonies. Unlike worker and soldier termites, these reproductives are equipped with wings, and many species are dark in color. After mating, swarmers land and shed their wings.
Although reproductive termites bear a distinct resemblance to winged ants, both males and female reproductive termites survive beyond the mating swarm and go on to found colonies, whereas male winged ants die after mating. The termites become the kings and queens of their new colonies. The termite queen is responsible for maintaining and increasing the population of the colony.