Amitermes laurensis  - Magnetic Termite
Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia

photograph © Alex Wild 2004

A magnetic termite mound.  Amazingly, these tall, thin mounds are usually oriented north-south.  This is thought to help the termites regulate temperature more efficiently under an intense tropical sun.  To tell direction, these termites are apparently able to sense the earth's magnetic field.

This image is copyrighted by the photographer and cannot be used without permission. To obtain permission to use this image, please email Alex Wild. (alwild (at)  Most of the photographs on are reduced from their original size and compressed for more efficient web transmission.  In some cases, higher quality versions are available.

This image was captured with a Canon EOS D60.