Who needs males? Not these termites

Study of over 4,200 termites from coastal sites in southern Japan finds they are all female and thriving too

Termites are often dismissed as nothing but home-destroying pests, less charismatic than bees, ants or even spiders.

In fact, termites have been doing incredible things since the time of dinosaurs, maintaining complex societies with divisions of labour, farming fungus and building cathedrals that circulate air the way human lungs do. Now, add "overthrowing the patriarchy" to that list.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 04, 2018, with the headline 'Who needs males? Not these termites'. Print Edition | Subscribe