Luzon Point Headed Termites… Are They Faceless?

1 January 2011
Termites are often spotted in our parks, and the infestation can get really bad. Most do not go closer to see how they look like. For some who did look closer, they might have observed that some termites only had a pointed head and no face!

The Luzon Point Headed Termites (Nasutitermus luzonicus) are soldier termites without mandibles. They feed on wood sap and often form their nests in tree trunks.

Had a chance to shoot these guys up close in Venus Drive as I joined James (Singapore Nature) in a night shoot all the way to the following year.

Luzon Point Headed termites? (Nasutitermes Luzonicus) - DSC_8030#1 A normal view from above, where many mistake them to be faceless. Where are their eyes??

Termite (Termitodea) - DSC_1322#2 Side view of the termite, the “face” is actually located beneath the pointed head

Termite (Termitodea) - DSC_1330#3 A curious termite peeps over. I was just a few cm away from the mess of termites.

Termite (Termitodea) - DSC_1341#4 Another closer look

Stick Insect (Phasmatodea) - DSC_1363#5 Stick insect spotted while waiting for the rest to shoot the glowing mushrooms! IDed by James as the Green Striped Flying Stick (Presbistus peleus). The tip of the tail is interestingly swollen.

Stick Insect (Phasmatodea) - DSC_1367#6 Closer look at it’s face

Bioluminescent Fungi (Mycena illuminans?) - DSC_1382#7 Only managed 1 shot of the bio-luminiscent mushrooms, with the help of Alvin’s tripod. Mine was too cumbersome and couldn’t reach in.

Jumping Spider (Bavia aeroiceps) - DSC_1388#8 Not sure of exact species, but we found many of these jumping spiders and thought it’s back looked like the Eight Spotted Crab Spider which we were talking about earlier.

Jumping Spider (Bavia aeroiceps) - DSC_1393#9 Frontal shot

Jumping Spider (Bavia aeroiceps) - DSC_1395#10 Another look at it’s back

Harvestman (Opiliones) - DSC_1410#11 We also found many Harvestmen in the night

Harvestman (Opiliones) - DSC_1422#12 Side view, very hard to see all the details!

The complete album can be viewed here.
  1. Reply

    James K

    6 January 2011

    The termite shots are pretty amazing, how you managed get them in focus! The stick insect may be the green striped flying stick (Presbistus peleus).

  2. Reply

    Nicky Bay

    6 January 2011

    Thats why I was stuck behind while u all were shooting the first mushrooms. 😛

    Thanks for the stick insect ID!

  3. Reply


    11 September 2011

    When termites eat your house, you don’t notice a thing. You don’t hear a thing, you don’t see a thing—you’re house stands there, silent and staid, while you and your family happily go about your days, without a care in the world—until your house crashes on top of your head.exterminators los angeles



Hi my name is Nicky Bay. I am a macro photographer, instructor and book author, travelling the world to document the vast micro biodiversity that nature has to offer. Follow my updates and discover with me the incredible beauty and science behind our planet's micro creatures!

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