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Termites can distinguish nestmates and non-nestmates through chemical communication and gut symbionts: compounds consisting of hydrocarbons released from the cuticle permit the recognition of alien species.148149 Each colony has its own distinct odour. This odour is a result of genetic and environmental elements such as the termites' diet and also the composition of the bacteria within the termites' intestines.150.
Termites rely on alert communication to defend a colony.134 Alarm pheromones can be discharged when the nest has been broken or is being assaulted by enemies or potential pathogens. Termites constantly avoid nestmates infected with Metarhizium anisopliae spores, through vibrational signals released by infected nestmates.151 Other methods of defence include intense jerking and secretion of fluids in the frontal gland and defecating faeces containing alarm pheromones.134152.
To termites, any violation of their tunnels or nests is a cause for alarm. When termites detect a potential breach, the soldiers usually bang their heads, apparently to attract different troops for defence and also to recruit additional employees to repair any breach.56 Additionally, an alarmed termite bumps into other termites which causes them to be alerted and to leave pheromone trails to the distressed area, which can be 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 capability to exude noxious fluids via a horn-like frontal projection that they use for defence.155 Nasutes have lost their mandibles through the course of More Help 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 Likewise, Formosan subterranean termites have look at this website been known to secrete naphthalene to protect their nests.157.
When soldiers guarding nest entrances are attacked by intruders, they engage in autothysis, creating a block that denies entry to any outsider.161.
Workers use several different approaches to deal with their deceased, including burying, cannibalism, and avoiding a corpse altogether.162163164 To avoid pathogens, termites occasionally engage in necrophoresis, in which a nestmate carries a corpse in the colony to dispose of it everywhere.165 Which approach is used depends on the these details nature of this 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 small brown chunks, known as"termite balls", rarely kill the eggsand in some cases the employees 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 termite species within Reticulitermes.
This compound 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 enables the beetle to mimic a termite worker.169.
Several species of ant have been known to capture termites to utilize as a fresh food origin after on, rather than killing them. For instance, Formica nigra captures termites, and those 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 move in alone to steal the eggs or nymphs.146 Ants such as Megaponera analis attack 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 geographical range; another is to shield themselves from floods.174175 Iridomyrmex also inhabits termite mounds but no evidence for any kind of relationship (other than a 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 dwell inside termite colonies (they are unable to survive independently).56 As a consequence, certain beetles and flies have evolved with their hosts.