Macrotermes bellicosus soldier,
collected in Bossou, Guinea, near Ivory Coast border.
There are very few pictures of workers in Dr. Myles' collection. I think that's because basically all termite workers (and alates, too) look alike. So I pretty much based all my Shshi Workers on this photo.I think they're kind of cute! Chubby little devils!
Varieties of termite also exist called nasutoids; these have not only a nasus that sprays poisons but also formidable mandibles. Here is the one I used as the model for Ju'mu, the strange outland Shi encountered in "The War of the Stolen Mother."
You can see in the body view above that this character has a pointy nasus on top of its head, and huge downward-curving and crossing mandibles. It even has the stubby antennae and the stripe around the belly that I gave Ju'mu. Possessing the two characteristics of the non-Nasute Plains Shshi and the mountain-dwelling true Nasutes makes this a good candidate to represent the Centaurs. It was the closest I could come to the state of a hybrid and still make the creature a big termite.
I used a number of these nasutoid species in designing some of the other peoples that the Companions will encounter during the later part of their quest. I'll leave most of those for a later post. It's absolutely fascinating to see the huge varity of mandible shapes and general body conformation!