Noticed this bug on my kitchen floor, and am wondering whether it is a termite:

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I have a video of it crawling too, but don't see how to upload video here.

Edit: Regarding scale: it is small, perhaps 3 mm (~1/8 inch). Location is northern Arkansas, so is within termite territory.

  • $\begingroup$ Could you tell us your approximate location to aid in ID? Nice pictures BTW. but could you add some idea of scale. $\endgroup$ Jul 19, 2023 at 16:18
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you @JiminyCricket. I have edited the question to include that additional info you suggested (~3mm and northern Arkansas). $\endgroup$
    – mherzl
    Jul 19, 2023 at 16:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ As someone who is not entomologist, that would not even cross my mind as being a possible termite because the abdomen looks all wrong. It looks like a beetle to me. But as I said, not an entomologist. $\endgroup$
    – DKNguyen
    Jul 19, 2023 at 17:51

1 Answer 1


This is a beetle rather than a termite: in comparison to a termite, most beetles have sclerotized forewings (so-called elytra) and from above, you can recognize its head, pronotum and forewings.

Termites, however, have soft bodies and most often are wingless. From above, you can additionally see their meso- and metanotum and their abdominal tergites (latter are covered by the wings in most beetles). Commonly, they are unpigmented and thus, pale. Winged termites have transparent wings that are longer than their bodies.

Beetles are extremely diverse with almost 200 described beetle families with more than 300,000 species, so it's super hard to tell even the family let alone the species from a photo.

beetle vs termite

Image source (in reading direction): Sanjay Acharya CC-BY-SA-4.0 | Teechippy CC-BY-SA-4.0 | Dulneth Wijewardana CC-BY-SA-4.0


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