creatures also called white ants are actually confirmed enemies of the
ants. There are about 2,500 Isoptera species which generally inhabit the
tropics. Termites are social animals; they live in groups of hundreds,
hundred thousands and even millions specimen. They build their homes where
they create and maintain a microclimate. These buildings are so large that
the abandoned ones are used as a place to hide by many other animas such
as buffaloes or
elephants. There are four casts of termites in the colony:
a Queen, a King, workers and warriors. The latter can destroy almost everything
including a house. They eat even limber and plastic.
Some species possess also
chemical weapons except for the mighty jaws. When the termite is attacked
its abdominal muscles contract and a poisonous liquid pours over the enemy
which is usually an insect. The secretion contains benzochinon and triens
and quickly reacts with the air and gets thick. The limbs of the victim
clot so it is paralysed.
Sometimes, when the
whole colony is in danger all the termites release the liquid at the same
time, even those which werent threatened directly. This is due to their
communication system based on pheromones, bioactive substances with a strong
smell. Their collective defense is incredible.