Termite Queen Clones Herself by Making Eggs Impervious to Sperm

Even kings and queens that have six legs and live underground aren’t immune to royal machinations. In one Asian termite species, queens choose to shut their mates out of the picture when it’s time to breed a successor. They simply clone themselves to make new queens. To keep the king’s genes away, the queen makes special eggs that have no entrances for sperm—all their drawbridges are pulled up tight.

The lives of Reticulitermes speratus termites are worthy of an HBO series. The story starts

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