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To termites, any violation of the tunnels or nests is a cause for alarm. When termites detect a potential breach, the soldiers usually bang their minds, apparently to attract different soldiers for defence and also to recruit additional workers to repair any breach.56 Additionally, an alarmed termite bumps into other termites that causes them to become alerted and to leave pheromone trails to the disturbed area, which is also a means to recruit extra workers.56.
The pantropical subfamily Nasutitermitinae has a specialised caste of soldiers, also known as nasutes, that possess the capability 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 must be fed by employees.59 A wide variety 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 large 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 which 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 attacker.161.
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Employees use several different approaches to deal with their dead, including burying, cannibalism, and avoiding a corpse entirely.162163164 To avoid pathogens, termites occasionally engage in necrophoresis, in which a nestmate conveys away a corpse in the colony to dispose of it everywhere.165 Which strategy is utilized depends on the nature of the corpse a worker is dealing with (i.e.
A species of fungus is known to mimic termite eggs, successfully avoiding its natural predators. These tiny brown balls, known as"termite balls", seldom kill the eggsand in certain cases the employees tend to these.166 This fungus mimics these eggs by producing a cellulose-digesting enzyme known as glucosidases.167 A unique mimicking behavior exists between different species of Trichopsenius beetles and certain particular species within Reticulitermes.
This compound mimicry allows the beetles to integrate themselves within the termite colonies.168 The developed appendages on the physogastric abdomen of Austrospirachtha mimetes enables the beetle to mimic a termite worker.169.
Several species of ant have been known to capture termites to utilize as a brand new click to read more food origin after on, rather than killing them. By way of example, Formica nigra captures termites, and people who try to escape are instantly seized 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 such as Megaponera analis assault the outside of mounds and Dorylinae ants attack 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 a result of the termites' frequent occurrence in their geographic range; another would be to shield themselves from floods.174175 Iridomyrmex also inhabits termite mounds although no evidence for any kind of relationship (other than the usual predatory one) is known.116 In rare cases, certain species 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 result, certain beetles and flies have evolved with their hosts.
Mounds may also offer shelter and heat to birds, lizards, snakes and scorpions.56.
Termites are known to carry pollen and regularly visit blossoms,177 so are considered as potential pollinators for any number of flowering plants.178 One flower in particular, Rhizanthella gardneri, is frequently pollinated by foraging workers, and it's perhaps the only Orchidaceae blossom in the world to be pollinated by termites.177
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Many plants have grown powerful defences against termites. However, seedlings are vulnerable to termite attacks and need additional protection, as their defence mechanisms only grow when they've passed the seedling phase.179 Defence is normally accomplished by secreting antifeedant compounds into the woody cell walls.180 This reduces the ability of termites to efficiently digest the cellulose.
When retained close to the infusion, they become disoriented and eventually die.181.
Termite populations can be substantially influenced by environmental changes including those due to human intervention. A Brazilian research investigated the termite assemblages of three sites of Caatinga under different levels of anthropogenic disturbance in the semi-arid region of northeastern Brazil were sampled using 65 x 2 m transects.182 A total of 26 species of termites had been present in the 3 sites, and 196 encounters were listed in the transects.