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How are ants distinguished from termites?

Learn to recognize just how ants and termites are distinguished.

There are many details that make ants and termites very different. [©Jupiter Images, 2010]
©Jupiter Images, 2010
There are many details that make ants and termites very different.

Ants are distinguished from termites via specific physical characteristics. These insects -- ants (order Hymenoptera) and termites (order Isoptera) -- have segmented bodies with multijointed legs. Listed below are some differences.

Characteristics Ants Termites
Wings Two pairs with the front pair being much larger than the back pair Two pairs of equal length
Antenna Bends at right angle Straight
Abdomen Wasp-waist (pinched in) No wasp-waist

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