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Termite Mounds in Australia's Northern Territory

By Edited May 11, 2015 1 0

It never ceases to amaze me how the termites build their hills or mounds whichever you want to call them. They will vary in colour all over the countryside. You can find a grey mound on one side of the road and a red on the other, while further down the road they change to nearly white.

Depending on where you are the shapes also change. Some are tiny and look like the steeple on the church then others are built to look like a statue of a human’s wide shoulders with their head on top. This encourages people to decorate them with their clothing and at first glance they look like someone standing in the grass on the side of the road.

Then there are others that are very wide around the base and do not go very high at all. In some areas you will see hundreds so that it almost looks like a cemetery with the headstones. Other areas they are spread out and only notice one or two in a paddock. I am not sure if this is because of the type of ground or the area and climate that causes these differences.

These are completely different to the others and still vary in size. They are built by a variety termite species. Every one of them faces towards the North. They also change a little in colour although mainly grey with a darker fleck. These are like a half a circle, like that of the half moon. In the picture above you can see bullet holes where someone had to have their destroying fun.

You can see these while visiting Lichfield National Park. If you are not going there then you can still see them near Wagait beach. After visiting the Milady Liberator crash sitecontinue down the same road to the number 53 pole on the road and turn in to the left. Beware of crocodiles in the nearby creek as they are there too.

Bulbous Mounds

Spinifex Termites construct most of the biggest mounds. As their name suggests these are usually wider or more spread out than many of the others. The Termites harvest by feeding on the grass carrying it back to their mound through underground tunnels to build their earthen structures.

Tree mounds

Many termite species build their mounds high in trees. Several species like different type bark trees, and use tunnels connecting their nest to the ground so it is hidden amongst the bark.

Sometimes you will see a mound attached to one or two trees, which some of the termites eat the centre of the wood away eventually destroying the tree.

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