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Huge termite trail


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#1 Offline T.C. - Posted October 10 2017 - 9:54 PM

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Ran across this video. Can anyone explain what's going on here? Absolutely amazing!


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#2 Offline LC3 - Posted October 10 2017 - 11:05 PM

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These are nasute termites (part of the subfamily of Nasutitermitinae, of the family Termitidae (Higher termites)). The soldiers of nasute termites have a long snout like projection on the front of their heads that shoots a spray or a stream of sticky foul glue like substance that sticks to aggressors, mainly ants and slowly kills them or at least drives the away.  

 

They are crazy accurate at it too while amazingly being blind. This defense mechanism is superior to mechanized defense mechanisms like enlarged heads and mandibles and much more advantageous in open areas. As a result some species of nasute termites can form and sustain really long foraging trails  (Up to a couple of tens of meters I think) as they are capable of doing so with little threat from ants. They also tend to have very specific diets, such as only feeding on lichen. 

 

Even open trailing termites with mechanised based defenses in that location with really huge soldiers like Macrotermes only tail for around 5 meters at very specific times of the day and will not do so if ants are found in the area.

 

Location (Cambodia/South-East Asia), subterranean nest, and insanely long foraging trail coupled with the lack of major soldiers (From what I can see in the video), I would guess that this is a Hospitalitermes sp.

 

https://www.youtube....jkbGlPCKU=6m16s

 

6:16, TL;DR pretty much. Part of a larger documentary, I suggest you check it out. Link is in the description. 


Edited by LC3, October 10 2017 - 11:23 PM.

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Spoiler

 


#3 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted October 11 2017 - 2:10 AM

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They're like the army ants of termites. Workers run out and tear bark off of trees while soldiers guard them.


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#4 Offline T.C. - Posted October 11 2017 - 8:02 AM

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These are nasute termites (part of the subfamily of Nasutitermitinae, of the family Termitidae (Higher termites)). The soldiers of nasute termites have a long snout like projection on the front of their heads that shoots a spray or a stream of sticky foul glue like substance that sticks to aggressors, mainly ants and slowly kills them or at least drives the away.  

 

They are crazy accurate at it too while amazingly being blind. This defense mechanism is superior to mechanized defense mechanisms like enlarged heads and mandibles and much more advantageous in open areas. As a result some species of nasute termites can form and sustain really long foraging trails  (Up to a couple of tens of meters I think) as they are capable of doing so with little threat from ants. They also tend to have very specific diets, such as only feeding on lichen. 

 

Even open trailing termites with mechanised based defenses in that location with really huge soldiers like Macrotermes only tail for around 5 meters at very specific times of the day and will not do so if ants are found in the area.

 

Location (Cambodia/South-East Asia), subterranean nest, and insanely long foraging trail coupled with the lack of major soldiers (From what I can see in the video), I would guess that this is a Hospitalitermes sp.

 

https://www.youtube....jkbGlPCKU=6m16s

 

6:16, TL;DR pretty much. Part of a larger documentary, I suggest you check it out. Link is in the description. 

Ah, very interesting. I'll have to watch the full documentary when I get home later tonight. Now I am getting hooked on termites. Probably end up going out looking before the end of this week. I am becoming to realize that they are more complicated than ants though. I just need to read an ultimate guide to termites. :lol:



#5 Offline Connectimyrmex - Posted October 11 2017 - 6:52 PM

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Nasutitermes is tropical, and seeing one in the US is pretty rare. If I were you, I'd start with watching the diminutive Subterranean Termites, Dampwood Termites, and Drywood Termites.


Hawaiiant (Ben)

Keeper of
Miniature Labradoodle
Baby Wolf Spider
Mud Dauber wasp larvae
Ochetellus Glaber
Solenopsis Geminata
Brachymyrmex Obscurior
Cardiocondyla Emeryi
Tetramorium Bicarinatum
Plagiolepis Alluaudi
Anoplolepis Gracilipes
Technomyrmex Difficilis
Pheidole Megacephala
Aholehole fish
Cowrie snail
Sea Fan Worm
100+ sea squirts
Tree seedlings
Ghost Crab
Day Gecko
Small Fat Centipede
Endemic Lacewing larva
Vernal Pool shrimps

#6 Offline T.C. - Posted October 11 2017 - 7:08 PM

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I know this species I won't be finding in my location.

#7 Offline Vendayn - Posted October 11 2017 - 7:24 PM

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It be so awesome to find a colony of these. But they'd be so rare and none in California at all anyway. Their behavior looks amazing. Plus they look pretty unique.

 

There are termites that grow fungus too, which is cool. Like fungus growing ants, but termites instead. There are also termites that go out and forage grass and stuff, like Harvester ants do.

 

Pretty much anything ants do, termites evolved to do the same and some unique stuff on top of that. Like ants can't produce their own water, but Drywood termites actually make their own water inside their bodies. I guess closest similar function to that would be Honeypot ants, but not exactly the same and definitely far less advanced.

 

But these ones in the video are awesome. Such an awesome and effective defense mechanic too.


Edited by Vendayn, October 11 2017 - 7:25 PM.

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