If you get a chance to go to Yosemite by car, you should see an insane number of rotten logs in the woods. A ranger explained to me that it’s because of a snow storm causing toppling of trees.
All those logs on the floor are progressively rotting and eventually in spring will form a paradise for termites where they will be prosperous.
It’s then quite easy to collect termites, just open a log and you’ll have a high chance to find them moving around.
Somehow this time, I took a juvenile with a fine skin on the abdomen and as you can see on the video, I was able to see through.
Wikipedia is explaining very well the complexity of the symbiosis existing in between termites and this flagellates which are about 100μm long :
Wikipedia :Trichonympha is a genus of single-celled, anaerobic parabasalians of the order Hypermastigia that is found exclusively in the hindgut of lower termites and wood roaches. […] The symbiosis between lower termites/wood roaches and Trichonympha is highly beneficial to both parties: Trichonympha helps its host digest cellulose and in return receives a constant supply of food and shelter. Trichonympha also has a variety of bacterial symbionts that are involved in sugar metabolism and nitrogen fixation.
Regarding the fact that rotten logs form the support of living for termites, I am curious to know if the termites are acting on the living trees to weaken them. This in order to increase the chance of causing toppling of trees, forming their environment.