“No study in the past [has described] a complete elimination of males,” claims Rebeca Rosengaus, an insect sociobiologist and behavioral ecologist at Northeastern University. Professor Rosengaus’ statement relates to the study by postdoctoral researcher Toshihisa Yashiro and Professor Nathan Lo on Japanese
islands of Shikoku and Kyushu, where termites are evolved to reproduce strictly asexual with a population of only females. The primary question facing the researcher team faces is how does this advanced animal population reproduce without the necessity for their male counterparts? The termite subset of the cockroach family is not the first creature to do so as there are species of hymenopteran insects, both ants and bees, that have gone female. Due to the recent discovery of the evolutionary change, researchers can only hypothesis on the breeding techniques of the all-female termite populations based on similar populations of bees and prior termite activity. In the strictly feminine bee colony, the label queen, which normally mates and holds a sperm-hoarding pouch within her body from males, reproduces by laying unfertilized eggs which only receives chromosomes from their mothers and hatch producing females with double copies of their mothers’ chromosomes at a far faster rate. These termites, however, also varied from their typical monogamous relationships and queen and king breeders to a queen driven society before in order to avoid inbreeding between fertile kings and their own offsprings. So while there are many suspicions on the reproduction of these highly evolved termites, the answer to how they evolved to such conditions are left unknown as the normal order of society is to maintain the health of a colony through sexual reproduction to protect against diseases and environmental changes. Such diseases are believed to be rather rare, however, on the islands of Shikoku and Kyushu, yet this concept is under-researched as of now. These females are surviving after this shift in sexual dependence approximately fourteen million years ago as their all-female band of soldiers are structured far more uniformly and have increased defensive efficiency. These females are not suffering by any means without their male counterparts. The Glyptotermes nakajima species are the underrated feminist heroes of our insect world despite being only a few millimeters long with soft, doughy bodies. What do you think will human males someday become obsolete? Is this the way the world is going or just a random phenomenon?