About the Author

Kyle Gordon


Kyle was born and raised in the Eastern Highlands of Zimbabwe. His childhood was spent scurrying barefooted along the banks of various rivers and dams, fishing rod ever-in-hand, enjoying the beauty and freedom of outdoors. Kyle obtained a degree in construction from UCT ...

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on In the Sky with Alates: A Dramatic Tale of Life and Peril

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Kyle, you made this lifecycle sounds so dramatic and exciting! Well done.

Thank you, Chelsea!

Very skilfully written, it conveys great feelings along with accurate information. Insects documentations, especially social Insects, always found me in awe. The strength of ants is superior to any other living being if compared equally in mass. Termites are other incredible creatures. I will never get tired of getting news and, why not, poetry about them! Thank you

Hive insects really are fascinating, Francesca. I’m glad you enjoyed this!

Wonderful how the cycle of nature reappears after the first rains. They are forsure the torchbearers for the future and carrying their legacy forward. Beautiful fotos thank you Kyle ,and once again we see how nature takes it’s place on earth.

A wonderfully poetic text, Kyle on the alates’ dramatic emergence from the underground world.
I witnessed such a night, two years ago, when literally millions of these animals flew into the night sky. They were everywhere, even in our room, on the main deck of the lodge, attracted by the lights, shedding their wings in vain because there was no to get into the ground again.
A fascinating spectacle to witness.

Hi Christa, thank you so much! The emergence is soon to be happening here and we’ll have that exact situation unfolding any day now!

So fascinating Kyle! A quick question; Are the very large termite mounds that act as perches in many photographs of leopards, cheetah etc. inhabited by the the origin line as the original alate couple?

Hi Paul. So the queen can live for 20 – 30 years, depending on different studies. That means that first 20 years of the mound being built is her direct offspring. On occassion there will also be princesses that will be groomed to take over. Whether they start producing eggs before the queen dies, I am unsure but they will take up the torch when necessary. There is also the other side where a queen will be killed and the entire colony will die and the mound is then inactive for a period, but a fortunate termite couple may find the mound and kickstart it again. Some mounds are estimated to be hundreds of years old!!!

Wow!! Incredible information Kyle, and thank you so much for your thorough and thoughtful response. This information really makes these mound much more than just perches for some of my favorite Londolozi animals. The unseen history and complexity of these mounds brings them center stage for me!!

Kyle, thank you for this look into the life and survival of the termites. Life indeed finds a way.

Thanks, William!

Fascinating story telling Kyle on the lifecycle of these Alates. To think they are waiting until the rains dampen the soil in order to begin their lives, is incredible. What’s the most interesting is the union of the male and female who then go off to establish their own colonies whilst joining forces with other survivors. Nature is wonderful and exciting!

Thanks for reading, Denise!

Kyle – your marvellous script here is fitting to be read by David Attenborough himself.

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