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Oftentimes, when BeePeople show up to fight a BugWar against humanity, while the humans use the full panoply of technology, including [[TheBattlestar spaceships]], [[TankGoodness tanks]], PoweredArmor, and military aircraft, the Bugs are likely to use specialized castes of their own race instead, with a large level of polymorphism between different castes of the same species to adapt them to specialized roles. This system is actually inspired by certain RealLife ants, bees and termites, who indeed come in several of the varieties seen below.

* Some will be Workers, who build weapons or just dig tunnels for their ElaborateUndergroundBase.
* Some will be Warriors, who either fight with weapons or just charge forward and try to bite and claw their enemies to death.
* Some will be [[GiantMook oversized versions of the warrior]] - tougher to kill and big enough to bite through tanks.
* Some will have specialized weaponry as part of their body - [[BreathWeapon spraying acid, flame]], or darts.
* Some may burrow into the brains and/or spines of their enemies and [[PuppeteerParasite take them over as puppets]].
* Some may be [[PsychicPowers psychic]] or just superintelligent Brain Bugs who tell everyone else what to do.
* And, of course, there's usually the InsectQueen, who lays eggs and is probably [[LargeAndInCharge bigger]] and [[AuthorityEqualsAsskicking badder]] than the other castes.
* And then, sometimes Drones, [[GlorifiedSpermDonor who pretty much exist to mate with the queen and not much else]].

Since the Ants and Bees that inspired this trope have all-female worker castes, this often leads to a sort of OneGenderRace.

When aliens have a caste system, but the various castes are not physically very different, that's not this trope, that's FantasticCasteSystem. Often leads to CripplingOverspecialization for individuals, or is a way to avoid it for the race as a whole.


[[folder: Anime & Manga]]
* The manga version of ''Manga/ChronoCrusade'' mixes this trope with FantasticCasteSystem for the demons. Although we're never told the details of the system, demons often talk about the "rank" of themselves and other demons, and the higher the "rank", the less beast-like and more intelligent and powerful the demon seems to be. There also seems to be clearly defined roles for demons--among the ones the audience learns about are Pursuers (which seem to be Demon Cops of some sort), soldiers, Sinners (outcasts), and Pandaemonium, the HiveQueen.

[[folder: Card Games]]
* The Slivers in ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' are pretty solidly this. The trope is played with in that their apparent home plane, Rath, is a DeathWorld, and so even the lowest of the low of them are deadly enough to kill and devour a human--there is no real "worker caste", just "specialized breeds that are useful in this particular tactical environment". Each breed also shares their adaptations with everyone else in the hive. Thrulls also fit the bill. There are even some that exist primarily to be worn as armor by other creatures.

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* The Brood from the Franchise/MarvelUniverse.
* The alien invaders from ''ComicBook/{{Camelot 3000}}''.
* The Evronians from ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures''.

[[folder:Film Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Antz}}'', even though the ants are PettingZooPeople, soldier ants are about twice the size of workers and have {{Heroic Build}}s. The Queen has an enlarged abdomen and gives birth every ten seconds, though Princess Bala does not yet look any different from a worker.

[[folder:Film Live-Action]]
* ''Film/StarshipTroopers'' The Movie and its direct-to-DVD sequels added Plasma Bugs, who shot blue death from their butts clear up to orbit; Tanker Bugs, giant bombardier beetles who spat red death at close range; Chariot Bugs, who carried around the bloated Brain Bugs; Hoppers, which could fly but were otherwise similar to Warriors; and in the later films Control Bugs, who were much smaller and could mind-control people similar to {{Puppeteer Parasite}}s, and the God-Bug or Brain-Of-Brains Behemecoatyl, a top-level caste with a hyperintelligent and telepathic Bug that overgrows most of a planet. See Literature for the book, where they were quite different.
* The ''Franchise/{{Alien}}'' series features several stages of life for Xenomorphs, from facehuggers through chestbursters to your standard double-jawed Giger nightmare. And then there was the Queen, who laid eggs and was [[MamaBear fiercely protective of her offspring]]. It was implied and then later confirmed in the movies, video games, and books that the xenomorphs take on characteristics from the host they gestate within. That explains why a chestbuster coming from a dog looks doglike and why one from a ''Franchise/{{Predator}}'' is bigger than those from humans and has the characteristic mandibles and dreadlocks. {{Novelization}}s and ExpandedUniverse material would feature more castes, such as tiny drones (who serve the Queen) and even a "Pretorian class," which was far tougher than the standard Xenomorph.

* ''Literature/StarshipTroopers''. In the original novel, there were workers, who couldn't fight but were available in huge numbers and useful for diversions; Warriors, who fought with technological weapons equal to those of the Mobile Infantry; Brain Bugs, who psychically controlled most of the rest; and Queens, who laid eggs in huge numbers but did little else. However workers and warriors (which compose 99% of the race) are nearly identical in appearance. This is actually a plot point, when a massive decoy force -- composed entirely of non-aggressive workers -- is used as a feint.
* OlderThanTelevision: Creator/HGWells' ''Literature/TheFirstMenInTheMoon'' (1901).
* ''Literature/TheMoteInGodsEye''. The Moties are divided up into a number of castes, including Mediators, Engineers, Physicians, Warriors and Masters. They have genetically based differences in bodies and mindsets.
* Kevin J Anderson's ''Literature/TheSagaOfSevenSuns'' has the Ildirans with dozens of different castes, each different enough that some of them don't even appear to be the same species.
* Averted in the ''Literature/{{Spellsinger}}'' books, where the social ranks of Plated Folk are determined by what ''species'' of insect they are, rather than what caste within a species.
* There's a borderline example with the Killiks in the ''Literature/DarkNestTrilogy''. Killiks in general are hivemind insects, and the people of other species who've been absorbed into the hive mind are called Joiners. There are several species of Killik, all of them sentient, all of them different somehow - mostly, these are minor things like speed, dexterity, priorities like aesthetics, skills, and preferred tactics, but some are particularly specialized, from being only inches long to fifty-meter-long tanks.
* The Vord from ''Literature/CodexAlera'', which adapt different sub-species to deal with specific situations. Vord Queens, Vord warriors, wax spiders (which fill the "worker" slot) and [[PuppeteerParasite Takers]] are the standard castes (though they vary depending on which race the Vord copied for them), but there are many more beyond that which are created during the course of the series, in response to different threats. For example, a flying caste to counter the Alerans' use of Knights Aeris, and burrowers to counter fortifications.
* In [[Creator/DavidEddings David and Leigh Eddings's]] ''The Dreamers'' quartet, the original workers and warriors are joined by humanoid bugs capable of semi-independent thought. Eventually this causes problems for the species as contrary points of view need to be dealt with for the first time.
* In the ''Literature/XeeleeSequence'', Olympus Mons becomes a librarian hive--a great Archive full of large-headed Scholars, lean book-finding Runners and spiderlike Maintenance Workers.
* Common in ''Literature/PerryRhodan''; if an intelligent alien species is insectoid, it's all but ''guaranteed'' to have a hive structure and be run by a highly intelligent queen who's also generally still the overall mother of her people. After that, caste specialization varies with the individual species.
* The Parshendi from ''Literature/TheStormlightArchive'' have a partial variant of this. Each Parshendi is able to assume one of several different forms using the {{Mana}} from the frequent highstorms. At the start of the series, they know five forms, plus a sixth. First is warform, which grants strength and causes them to grow plate armor. Workform has strength comparable to warform, but lacks the armor and has a mental block against violence. Mateform is used for reproduction, while nimbleform is quick and dexterous. There is also dullform, a baseline form with no advantages. Finally, we have slaveform, the near-mindless "absence of form" in which the vast majority of Parshendi exist, and which is used by the humans as a SlaveRace. [[spoiler: During the second book, they unlock stormform, which grants ShockAndAwe powers but [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity opens the wearer to possession by Odium]].]]
* The corelings in ''Literature/TheWardedMan'' series. There are the near-mindless elemental drones (fire, water, rock, sand, wind, etc), the shapeshifting mimics, the psychically gifted mind corelings, and the unseen Queen.
* The [[StarfishAliens Jan]] in ''Literature/AlienInASmallTown'' have male Workers, the majority of their population; sterile Warriors, with six clawed arms and giant fanged jaws; and breeding Matriarchs, who essentially mature into sessile [[GeniusLoci living mountains,]] and serve as the leaders of Jannite society.
* ''Literature/TheWanderingInn'': Every Antinium (a race of humanoid insects) has a specific task to fulfill. The hive queen forms their body, while having in mind how it could help them accomplish their task. For example, a soldier is huge and muscular, while a worker is rather slender.

[[folder: Live-Action TV]]
* In ''Series/{{Farscape}}'', the Scarrans have at least three castes in their hierarchy, sorted into Low, Middle and Ruling class: the [[http://images2.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20070219193260/farscape/images/0/0c/Plonek1.jpg Low-class]] [[http://www.oocities.com/motemeal/Scarranlips.jpg "Horse-Faced"]] Scarrans are used as warriors, torturers, and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking ambassadors]]; the [[http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20070212190451/farscape/images/3/37/Najgil.jpg Middle-Class]] Scarrans tend to be found acting as bodyguards to the Ruling class; finally, the telepathic [[http://farscape.wikia.com/wiki/Staleek Ruling-Class]] Scarrans are high-ranking politicans and military officers, though some are happy acting as torturers and secret agents.
* The Wraith on ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' are divided into Queens at the highest strata (typically just one per Hiveship), followed by male Wraith (functioning in officer and science capacities), and Wraith soldier-drones at the bottom, who are under the constant mental influence of the higher groups. Sometimes there are human Wraith worshippers as well, who are akin to pets/slaves for the Wraith. The queens themselves have a hierarchy with a YouKillItYouBoughtIt mentality.
* In ''Series/BabylonFive'' the insectoid race Gaim is divided into several castes like queens, warriors, workers and the only humanoids ambassadors. [[AllThereInTheManual Not that you'll know this from the show itself.]] There is also fan speculation about a caste system among the Drakh, because of the very different look of the leaders and soldiers.

[[folder: Other Sites]]
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'': [[Characters/SCPFoundationSCPs1000AndBeyond SCP-1702]] [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-1702 ("The French Hive").]] The humanoids who live in SCP-1702 are of three types: an InsectQueen who mainly lays eggs, male drones who fertilize the Queen and sterile females who do most of the work.

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'':
** The Tyranids don't have castes ''per se'', but various different types of Tyranid creatures are bred to do specific jobs, ranging from enormous Hive Ships to not-quite-as-enormous (but still as big as most HumongousMecha) Biotitans to various Synapse Creatures (that control lesser Tyranid creatures) to tank-sized montrosities and smaller and more numerous warrior organisms, down to bug-sized living ammunition. Non-combat Tyranid creatures include the Norn Queens (that breed other Tyranids inside the Hive Ships), capillary towers (which funnel nutrients from overrun planets to hive ships in orbit) and mycetic spores (organic drop pods). Even their weapons and ammo are Tyranid creatures.
** Granted they are not bug people, but the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Tau]] have a caste system where members of each caste possess different physiologies. The military Fire caste are tall and strong, the pilot Air caste are slender and have better depth-perception and G-force tolerance, and the worker Earth caste are short and stocky.
* The [[LizardFolk Lizardmen]] of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' fantasy have the small, wiry Skinks (drones), who handle their society's artisan crafts and also serve as priests and wizards; strong, massive Saurus (warriors), who live for nothing but fighting and form the bulk of the Lizardmen's armed forces and guards; and the absolutely massive Kroxigor (workers), who perform most heavy construction and repair labor in the temple-cities; with the toadlike [[WitchSpecies Slann]] as a kind of "Queen Bees", acting as the high priests, societal leaders and archmages. That said, all four of them will fight if called upon, the Skinks acting as scouts, assassins, skirmishers, beast handlers, scribes and overseers; the Kroxigors as shock troops and living tanks; and the Slann leading armies and raining magical destruction 'round the enemies' ears. An interesting note is that the Lizardmen aren't born in the usual sense -- they crawl out of special spawning pools in the hearts of their cities (with one kind of pools for Slann that rarely activates, one for Saurus and one for Skinks and Kroxigor alike), being quite literally bred for their roles.
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** The Formians, an ant-like Outsider race with various specialized subtypes (worker, warrior, elite warrior, winged warrior, giant warrior, observer, taskmaster, and queen). All outsider types are specialized in a similar, although less overtly insectoid, way; Modrons are the most obvious.
** Beholder hives have Hive Mothers (magically modified beholders) which rule over normal beholders and specialized abominations they spawned.
** Kreen are very social insectoids, but live in networks of small groups, not hives -- so there are basic roles, but no "castes". However, some TabletopGame/DarkSun tohr-kreen create lots of SuperSoldier scouts, so modified that the term for them translates as "altered [[WhatMeasureisANonHuman near-person]]" ([[MemoryGambit but scouts don't know this]]).
** Saurials do something like this via social symbiosis of several different species, naturally with different abilities. It's not a strictly binding limitation, but small fragile flier both naturally makes a great scout and courier, and is likely to prefer such an activity over any manual labour.
** Abeils are literal BeePeople with three castes: vassals (average citizens and basic infantry), soldiers (elite warriors), and queens.
** The Hivebrood from Basic/Expert/etc. D&D combine this trope with TheVirus.
* At least one sourcebook for TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu (Delta Green?) divides the [[Franchise/CthulhuMythos Mi-Go]] into three castes: warriors, workers and scientists.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Talislanta}}'', native insect-folk include the aggressive "sniper bugs" and nomadic "caravan bugs". These Bugs Are Different in that they're the size of ordinary insects, and are included more for exotic flavor than as potential opponents ... although the former are feuding with the pixie-like (and equally small) whisps, and the latter will trade tiny samples of rare plants for minute amounts of food.
* Droyne in ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'' have several castes, including Leaders, Warriors (who grow larger than the others), and - unusually - Sports, who have the job description "Go out there and MINGLE!"

* The Skrall in ''Toys/{{Bionicle}}'' are a gender-segregated version of this. Among the males, there are the nameless "warrior" Skrall, which make up most of the population and serve as {{Mooks}}, then the Elite Skrall (Bigger, more powerful Skrall ), and finally the enormous Leader Class who are in charge of the Skrall society. The females [[LadyLand live separately]] to the males, and it's implied that the only interaction between the genders consists of fighting or mating. The [[GenderRestrictedAbility females also have]] PsychicPowers.

[[folder: Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/StarCraft'', the majority of Zerg are warriors of different specializations, with zerglings as the basic warrior. Drones are workers, overlords are sub-command units (subservient to the cerebrates and the Overmind, or Kerrigan and the Brood Mothers in the second game) while hatcheries ("buildings" that are actually metamorphosed drones) produce larvae that become most of the various castes. The diversity is justified as the Zerg assimilate the DNA of other species.
* In ''VideoGame/AgeOfWonders,'' differences between units of the same species sometimes is obviously biological, at least for Draconians and Shadow Demons.
* VideoGame/{{Pikmin}}. They're far cuter than most examples on this list, they're [[PlantAliens plant-based]], and they're stuck on the bottom of the food chain without the player's guidance. With the player's guidance, they quickly fly up the food chain.
* Antlions from ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' are composed of several different castes. These including the standard Antlion, Workers (which tend the Antlion grubs and can spit corrosive acid), and Antlion Myrmidonts (which are huge and serve as miniboss monsters), and the Antlion King.
* Rlaan in ''VideoGame/VegaStrike'', despite their arthropoda appearance, are far from a hive. But they have "worker" and "defender" subspecies, with "administrator" sterile hybrids that have mental qualities of subspecies balanced. [[FridgeBrilliance As a bonus]], these aren't going to spawn any hereditary aristocracy.
* ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars'': Hivers:
** Hivers are organized in clans centered around a princess, who has birthed all members of that clan. Aside from birthing princesses, hivers come in three kinds: Workers (scientists, engineers, artists, etc.), warriors (heavy manual labor, high-risk work, soldiers, etc.) and princes (sexually active and otherwise basically big, intelligent warriors). Each of the castes can apparently be further divided, as the princess is able to modify her eggs to slightly specialize the role of the hiver that hatches from it -- she can, for instance, make a clutch of soldiers slightly more radiation-resistant than normal to work in fallout clearance, but she can't make soldiers with wings and acid-spitting. Hivers thus use a panoply of technology (guns, tanks, starships, armour, etc.) roughly equal to those of humans and tarka, and nothing strictly prevents a worker from picking up one of their guns and using it... Apart from the problem that said gun was likely built for a soldier and weighs a bit more than your average worker can handle.
** The Hiver system also has a weird form of social mobility: Hiver brains can survive for a few days after the body dies, and princesses can swallow the disembodied brains and recycle them into new bodies. If a worker or soldier impresses the princess enough she might decide they're leadership material and rebirth them as a prince. Do something ''really'' impressive and [[HiveQueen Grandma]] might decide they're what she's looking for in a new princess.
** Reborn Hivers usually keep their original name with the infix "zo" added. For example, the novel ''Deacon's Tale'' features a prince named Chezokin, who used to be a worker named Chekin.
** There is also the Queen who births all princesses, when she dies her daughters fight amongst one another for the right to consume her ovaries, transforming her into a new Queen. Though a princess who isolates herself for about 200 years might also turn into a Queen, explaining how multiple Hiver factions are possible.
* The bugs in ''VideoGame/SimTunes'' are insects crossed with musical instruments.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'' has the rachni. Among the types you encounter are Workers (who just [[SuicideAttack explode]] to kill you), Soldiers (who actually fight you) and Brood Warriors (larger, [[MindOverMatter Biotics-using]] Soldiers, who according to the codex are also the Rachni males), and the Queen.
* The Space Pirates of the ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'' series. Higher ranks are more powerful and specialized, whereas ordinary grunts serve as either [[WeHaveReserves arm cannon fodder]], unwilling test subjects for the science division, or lunch. Yeah, life as a Space Pirate sucks.
* The Pfhor in ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'' are hinted to be like this. In Infinity, Tycho says "bugs are so obedient" in reference to the Pfhor under his command, and they have a clear caste system in which the lower ranking members are considered more expendable than the upper ranking ones.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'':
** The game has had insectoid races since its first incarnation, beginning with the Silithids and their more advanced cousins the Qiraji, which are differentiated into such castes as worker, flyer, tank, soldier and queen.
** Later, the Wrath of the Lich King expansion expanded on the beetle/spider-like Nerubians that had been introduced in ''Videogame/WarcraftIII'', this race includes priests and necromancers among its ranks.
** The Mantids of the Mists of Pandaria expansion show by far the most nuanced and advanced differentiation of any arthropoid culture in Azeroth to date (probably because player interact with the Mantid more than any other race). Among the mantids' various caste differentiations all manner of specializations including poisoners, blademasters, preservers, swarmkeepers, philosophers, puppetmasters, and even paladins exist.
* In ''VideoGame/TheSims2'', there is only one playable non-hybrid alien in the original game (though you can get another with the ''University'' ExpansionPack), Pollination Tech#9 Smith, and from what can be seen in his family tree, alien society is organized like this. The only two castes seen are drones (called Pollination Techs) and {{hive queen}}s. Pollination Techs also are the ones that abduct, [[AnalProbing probe]] and impregnante male Sims.
* The Yanme'e (Drones) from ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' are a downplayed version of this; they're divided into Queens, Protectors, Domestics, etc., but most Yanme'e castes are physically fairly similar to each other. Also, they use the same high-tech energy weapons as the rest of the Covenant.
* The titular Gears of the ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'' games. All Gears are magically-augmented lifeforms built for warfare, and they come in various forms to suit their battlefield role. Regular Gears form "the backbone", they're built for rugged combat and often feature sharp claws and armoured carapaces, so they resemble ancient mythological monsters. Large Gears are bigger and stronger than Regulars, and often work as {{Giant Mook}}s as well as manual labour. Flying Gears often resemble bats, dragons and other monsters, and serve as air support. Toxic Gears are poor fighters but capable of releasing magic-based gases and spores as a form of biological warfare. Megadeth Gears are basically monstrous {{Kaiju}} which range between the size of a small building to the size of a large mountain, and are meant for the wholesale destruction of cities. Humanoid Gears are created from converting humans into Gears or are the offspring of Gear and human couples. Command Gears have the unique ability to control other Gears on a massive scale through pheromones, and often possess an affinity for magic as well as excellent combat ability. Prototype Gears, created from the oldest batch of Gears, count as {{Super Prototype}}s and possess phenomenal magical and combat prowess and can easily {{curbstomp|Battle}} even the mighty Megadeth Gears. [[BigBad Justice]], [[ElegantGothicLolita Valentine]] and [[AllLovingHero Dizzy]] are Command types, [[TheDragon Testament]] and [[spoiler:[[IdiotHero Sin Kiske]]]] are Humanoid types, and [[spoiler:[[TheAtoner Sol Badguy]]]] is the only known Prototype class.
* ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'': Antmen, one of the primitive underground animal people, come in four castes: workers, a third the size of a dwarf; drones, the same size and winged; warriors, as big a dwarf, that will defend the queen at all costs; and the queen, the size of a lion and the only female.

[[folder: Web Original]]
* ''TabletopGame/TechInfantry'' repeats most of the bug castes it borrowed from Literature/StarshipTroopers, but adds Guardian Bugs and Emperor Bugs, gigantic guards and mates for the queen; Drones, a tougher version of Workers that can fight by trying to bite enemies, and gives the Warrior bugs and larger castes the ability to use magic.
* On the opposite extreme, in ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'' it's suggested that because most [[http://wiki.drowtales.com/index.php/Driders driders]] are sterile, there is a mass - egglaying drider queen, though they do not have many specialized castes otherwise.

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/RoughnecksStarshipTroopersChronicles'' The animated TV series kept all the new bugs from the movie, and added the Transport Bugs, huge bugs that serve as [[LivingShip Living Starships]]; Ripplers, acid-dart-spitting variations on the Hoppers; Firefries, bugs that spit flame, and Ice Bugs, huge bugs that hide as ice-covered asteroids and live in a symbiotic relationship with the Firefries. There are various other insectlike species on several planets, but it's unclear if they're part of the Bugs or just dangerous animals; the Bugs can [[YouWillBeAssimilated assimilate other species or absorb traits from them]], so variations in appearance don't tell you much. The last two campaigns introduced Bugs based on human DNA, infiltrators that on Klendathu needed to wear MI armor to pass for human but could actually shapeshift in the Earth campaign.
* ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'': Although Gem types fulfill roles more typical of a FantasticCasteSystem (corresponding to human occupations like engineers or architects, and even having nobility), they vary greatly in shape, size, physical ability, and [[ComboPlatterPowers various powers]] even if though they're all humanoid and fully sapient. These differences come from deliberate design instead of evolution, as the whole race (except perhaps their leaders, [[BigBadDuumvirate the Diamond Authority]]) seems to have been created artificially. In one commonality with bees, they are [[OneGenderRace all female]]--there's no equivalent to drones because gems [[BizarreAlienReproduction are grown from the ground using machines]]. This origin makes Homeworld denizens completely ignorant of how other sentient species, such as humans, are born and named. On many occasions, Homeworld Gems believe that individually named humans are representative of a type of human, such as when Aquamarine and Topaz are sent by Yellow Diamond to collect [[spoiler:"My Dad, a Connie, a Lars, a Sadie, a Mailman, and an Onion-I-Think" for the Human Zoo, based on something Steven once said to Peridot about humans prior to her HeelFaceTurn]].
-->''An army has a use--they can go and fight a war.\\
A [[{{Seers}} Sapphire]] has a use, [[PrescienceIsPredictable she can tell you what it's for]].\\
An [[BadBoss Agate terrifies]], a [[MakingASplash Lapis]] [[HostileTerraforming terraforms]]...''
** [[TheEngineer Peridots]] are technicians, operating and fixing machinery and managing the Kindergartens.
** [[BloodKnight Quartzes]] (Rose Quartzes, Amethysts, Jaspers, Carnelians, etc.) are soldiers, who live for fighting
*** [[BadBoss Agates]] are the leaders of a group of Quartz-soldiers, responsible for managing their tasks and keeping them in line.
** [[RedShirt Rubies]] serve as [[RedShirt generic soldiers]] and bodyguards for upper-class gems.
** [[{{Seer}} Sapphires]] are high-class seers.
** Pearls are [[BeautifulSlaveGirl property of high-class gems]], and are generally used for "standing around, looking nice and holding your stuff for you".
** [[MakingASplash Lapis Lazuli]] are terraformers.
** Bismuths are builders.
** Zircons are lawyers.
** Nephrites are most likely pilots.
** Topazes, Emeralds, Morganites, Hessonites, Aquamarines, and Rutiles are all featured in some form, but their exact roles in Gem Society is unclear.
** [[LargeAndInCharge The Diamonds]] are the leaders of gemkind as a whole.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* Ants and bees, all of order ''Hymenoptera'', and termites, from order ''Isoptera'', almost all of which have specialized Queens, Drones, and Workers.
** Some also add nursemaids to take care of the young, up to several sub-castes of soldiers, and Honeypot ants add workers adapted to serve as living storage jars for nectar. Bugs are cool, huh?
** Some termite species even have warriors that spray irritating liquids: a genuine example of the BreathWeapon caste option.
** There is even a species of ant whose warrior caste takes [[WeHaveReserves expendable]] to new heights. Upon critical injury, it [[ActionBomb explodes in a shower of harmful chemical agents]], doing more damage than it could fighting to the death after such a wound.
* Some species of tiny gall-infesting insects (aphids, thrips) and three species of sponge-parasitic shrimps live in colonies of closely-related or clonal individuals, some of which develop enlarged mandibles/pincers to serve as a "soldier" caste. As breeding isn't restricted to a single female, inbreeding and mutual defense of a "fortress" gall or sponge seem to be the drivers for caste evolution in these instances.
* One Australian beetle (''Austroplatypus incompertus'') is now known to demonstrate a simple form of eusociality, with a single breeding female producing lots of offspring that excavate tunnels in trees and care for her young.
* The naked mole rat, a "mammalian ant", is one of two mammals that have insect-like sociality, with "Queen" and "Workers" (the other is another mole rat). Unlike eusocial insects, they aren't irreversibly born into their castes -- all naked mole rats are born as workers, with pheromones in the queen's excrements, which the workers absorb when using the latrine burrows, keeping them that way. When the queen dies, the female workers begin to compete for dominance until one matures into a queen and begins producing the suppressive pheromones again. Also said to be insusceptible to cancer. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Naked_mole_rat See the other wiki.]]