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To termites, any violation of their tunnels or nests is a cause for alarm. When termites detect a potential violation, the soldiers normally bang their heads, apparently to entice other soldiers for defence and also to recruit additional employees to repair any breach.56 Additionally, an alarmed termite lumps into other termites that induces them to be alarmed and to leave pheromone trails to the disturbed area, which can be a means to recruit additional workers.56.
The pantropical subfamily Nasutitermitinae has a specialised caste of soldiers, also known as nasutes, that have the ability to exude noxious fluids via a horn-like frontal projection that they utilize for defence.155 Nasutes have lost their mandibles through the plan of evolution and have to be fed by employees.59 A wide variety of monoterpene hydrocarbon solvents have been identified in the fluids which nasutes secrete.156 Likewise, Formosan subterranean termites have been known to secrete naphthalene to protect their nests.157.
Soldiers of those species Globitermes sulphureus commit suicide by autothysis rupturing a huge gland just beneath the surface of their cuticles. The thick, yellow fluid in the gland gets very tacky on contact with the atmosphere, entangling ants or other insects that are trying to invade the nest.158159 Another termite, Neocapriterme taracua, also engages in suicidal defence.
When soldiers guarding nest entrances are attacked by intruders, they engage in autothysis, creating a block that denies entry to any attacker.161.
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Workers use several different approaches to deal with their deceased, including burying, cannibalism, and avoiding a corpse entirely.162163164 To avoid pathogens, termites occasionally engage in necrophoresis, in which a nestmate carries away a corpse in the colony to eliminate it elsewhere.165 Which approach 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", rarely kill the eggsand 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 behaviour exists between different species of Trichopsenius beetles and certain particular species within Reticulitermes.
This chemical 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.
Some species of ant are known to capture termites to use as a fresh food source after on, rather Continued than killing them. For instance, Formica nigra captures termites, and people who try to escape are immediately seized and driven underground.170 Certain species of ants in the subfamily Ponerinae conduct these raids although other ant species move in alone to steal the eggs or nymphs.146 Ants like 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 inhabited and abandoned ones.174 One reason many ants reside in Nasutitermes mounds is due to the termites' frequent occurrence in their own geographical range; another would be to protect themselves from floods.174175 Iridomyrmex also inhabits termite mounds although no evidence for any kind of relationship (other than a predatory one) is known.116 In rare cases, certain species of termites reside 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.
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 are considered as potential pollinators for a number of flowering plants.178 One blossom in particular, Rhizanthella gardneri, is regularly pollinated by more info here foraging workers, and it is 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. But, 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 typically achieved by secreting antifeedant chemicals into the woody cell walls.180 This reduces the ability of termites to efficiently digest the cellulose.
When kept near the infusion, they get disoriented and eventually die.181.
Termite populations can be substantially impacted by environmental changes including those caused by human intervention. A Brazilian research investigated the termite assemblages of 3 websites 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 were present in the three websites, and 196 encounters were recorded in the transects.