Ant or Not? (Allan, Sri Lanka)


About a week ago at location Kandy, Sri Lanka round 7 in the evening local time (a little after sunset) I was observer of a fantastic scenery with some rather large insect. They were attracted by the light in the room, and in very short time, there were hundreds flying round the lamps. Suddenly over few minutes, they landed, dropped their four wings and mated, where after the male died and the female disappeared - I didnĀ“t see where, as I was occupied taking photos.
The length of the insect was round 10 mm, and the wingspans round 30-40 mm. A local told me that this happened at few times a year. Somehow it's was like when ants are mating in my country, but I do not find the animals very ant like.

I add a few pictures showing the experience. I'm great full for any informations regarding these insects.

Allan Bergmann Jensen

2011-11-25 13-44-51 - _ABJ1469.jpg
2011-11-25 13-54-43 - _ABJ1484.jpg
2011-11-25 14-03-15 - _ABJ1498.jpg
2011-11-25 14-04-03 - _ABJ1503.jpg
2011-11-25 14-04-27 - _ABJ1505.jpg
2011-11-25 14-14-26 - _ABJ1520.jpg

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Dear Allan,

Thanks for your detailed descriptions and great photography work concerning the termite queens that were mating in your kitchen! You were right, there are some very distinct differences between the termites in your kitchen and the ants you may have seen mating previously in your life.

If you'd like to know more about the differences between ants and termites, here is a good blog previously written on how to distinguish them.

As you can see in your pictures, the insects in question have broad waists, a pair of forewings and hindwings of roughly equal size (and almost double the body size), and beadlike antennae. This makes them termites!

Good luck on your future identification!

-Max Winston & the AntAsk team


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