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Termites can distinguish nestmates and non-nestmates through compound communication and gut symbionts: chemicals consisting of hydrocarbons discharged from the cuticle permit the recognition of alien termite species.148149 Each colony has its own distinct odour. This odour is due to genetic and environmental factors such as the termites' diet and also the composition of these bacteria within the termites' intestines.150.
Termites rely on alarm communication to defend a colony.134 Alarm pheromones can be discharged when the nest has been breached or is being attacked by enemies or potential pathogens. Termites always avoid nestmates infected with Metarhizium anisopliae spores, through vibrational signals released by infected nestmates.151 Other procedures of defence include intense jerking and secretion of fluids in the frontal gland and defecating faeces containing alarm pheromones.134152.
In certain species, a few soldiers block tunnels to prevent their enemies from entering the nest, and they might intentionally repaint themselves as an act of defence.153 In cases where the intrusion is coming out of a breach that is larger than the soldier's head, defence requires a distinctive formations where soldiers form a phalanx-like formation around the violation and sting at intruders.154 When an invasion carried out by Megaponera analis is powerful, an entire colony may be destroyed, although this scenario is infrequent.154.
To termites, any breach of their tunnels or nests is a cause for alarm. When termites discover a potential violation, the soldiers usually bang their heads, apparently to entice other soldiers for defence and also to recruit additional employees to fix any breach.56 Additionally, an alarmed termite bumps into other termites which causes them to become alerted and to leave pheromone trails to the disturbed area, which is also a means to recruit additional workers.56.
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The pantropical subfamily Nasutitermitinae includes a specialised caste of soldiers, known as nasutes, that have the ability to exude noxious liquids through a horn-like frontal projection that they use for defence.155 Nasutes have dropped their mandibles through the course of evolution and have to be fed by employees.59 A vast array of monoterpene hydrocarbon solvents have been identified in the fluids that nasutes secrete.156 Similarly, Formosan subterranean termites have been known to secrete naphthalene to safeguard their nests.157.
Soldiers of the species Globitermes sulphureus commit suicide by autothysis rupturing a huge gland just beneath the surface of the cuticles. The thick, yellow fluid in the gland gets quite sticky on contact with the air, entangling ants or other insects that are trying to invade the nest.158159 Another termite, Neocapriterme taracua, additionally engages in suicidal defence.
When soldiers guarding nest entrances are attacked by intruders, they engage in autothysis, creating a cube which denies entry to any outsider.161.
Employees use many different strategies to take care of their deceased, including burying, cannibalism, and avoiding a corpse altogether.162163164 To avoid pathogens, termites occasionally engage in necrophoresis, in which a nestmate carries away a corpse in the colony to eliminate it everywhere.165 Which approach is utilized depends on the nature of the corpse a employee is dealing with (i.e.
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A species of fungus is known to mimic termite eggs, successfully avoiding its natural predators. These tiny brown chunks, known as"termite visit the site balls", rarely kill the eggs, and in some cases the workers tend to them.166 This fungus mimics these eggs by producing a cellulose-digesting enzyme known as glucosidases.167 A unique mimicking behavior exists between various species of Trichopsenius beetles and certain particular species within Reticulitermes.
This chemical mimicry makes it possible for the beetles to integrate themselves within the termite colonies.168 The developed appendages on the physogastric abdomen of Austrospirachtha mimetes allows the beetle to mimic a termite worker.169.
Several species of ant are known to catch termites to use as a brand new food origin later on, rather than killing them. By way of instance, Formica nigra captures termites, and people who attempt to escape are immediately captured and driven underground.170 Certain species of ants in the subfamily Ponerinae conduct these raids although other ant species go in alone to steal the eggs or nymphs.146 Ants like Megaponera analis assault the exterior of mounds and Dorylinae ants assault underground.146171 Despite this, some termites and ants can coexist peacefully.
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54 species of ants are known to inhabit Nasutitermes mounds, both occupied and abandoned ones.174 One reason many ants reside in Nasutitermes mounds is due to the termites' frequent occurrence in their own geographic range; another is to shield themselves from company website floods.174175 Iridomyrmex also inhabits termite mounds but no evidence for any kind of relationship (other than a predatory one) is known.116 In rare situations, certain species https://innovativepestcontroladelaide.com.au/termite-treatment-adelaide/ of termites live inside active ant colonies.176 Some invertebrate organisms such as beetles, caterpillars, flies and millipedes are termitophiles and reside inside termite colonies (they are unable to survive independently).56 As a consequence, certain beetles and flies have evolved with their hosts.