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The Termite's Corner: Noditermes cristifrons

termitidae cubitermitinae noditermes termites termite

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#1 Offline ItalianTermiteMan2.0 - Posted January 14 2023 - 6:25 PM

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Termite's Corner time!

 

Here we have a bizarre one: Noditermes cristifrons!

This African termite hails from the Cubitermitinae subfamily and is a soil-feeder that generally builds either tree-leaning or free-standing epigeal mounds, though in some parts of its range it's apparently only found in the mounds of other genera (mainly the related Procubitermes). Its soldiers are quite peculiar and sports huge slashing-type mandibles, weirdly-shaped postmentums and a wide protuberance on the front of their heads (as far as i know, "cristifrons" should roughly mean crest-forehead in latin); though i have no info on this precise genus this protuberance is most likely used to house part of the defensive frontal gland and maybe to increase phragmotic efficency aswell. As it's sadly quite common in termites, not much is known about these.

 

 

 

323136167_6399179456803996_7116912481416589892_n.jpg

 

Alcohol-preserved Noditermes cristifrons soldier; pic by Dr. Rudolf Scheffrhan. Now this is a funny looking termite!

 

 

 

 

 


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#2 Offline ANTdrew - Posted January 15 2023 - 4:04 AM

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It would not be fun to be on the business end of those mandibles!
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"The ants are a people not strong, yet they prepare their meat in the summer." Prov. 30:25
Keep ordinary ants in extraordinary ways.

#3 Offline Flu1d - Posted January 15 2023 - 4:13 AM

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Do those shoot inwards like trapjaw ant mandibles, but instead of grabbing they slice?

#4 Offline ItalianTermiteMan2.0 - Posted January 15 2023 - 6:36 AM

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Do those shoot inwards like trapjaw ant mandibles, but instead of grabbing they slice?

 

No, these don't snap (accumulate energy to strike), their mandibles open and close "normally".



#5 Offline Flu1d - Posted January 15 2023 - 9:18 AM

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Do those shoot inwards like trapjaw ant mandibles, but instead of grabbing they slice?


No, these don't snap (accumulate energy to strike), their mandibles open and close "normally".

Cool, so regular open/close but instead of grab it slices? that's gangster

#6 Offline ItalianTermiteMan2.0 - Posted January 19 2023 - 1:51 PM

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Do those shoot inwards like trapjaw ant mandibles, but instead of grabbing they slice?


No, these don't snap (accumulate energy to strike), their mandibles open and close "normally".

Cool, so regular open/close but instead of grab it slices? that's gangster

 

 

Yes, many termite soldiers employ mandibles exclusively shaped to cut and slash, as the manual labor (building, carrying, grooming and feeding others and so on) that would require a more "multi-tasking" set of mandibles is relegated to the worker caste. 







Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: termitidae, cubitermitinae, noditermes, termites, termite

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