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Saturday, July 02, 2011

Amitermes Dentatus

Amitermes dentatus is another species of wood eating termites. The soldiers are equipped with mandibles that has a tooth in the middle similar to the Globitermes genus. Typically termite soldiers mandibles comes in four main designs - the slash (includes the clasp feature against large enemies) the weapon of choice the Macrotermitinae subfamily aside from others; the bite and cling or grasp/clasp common among the smaller size termites (aka snapping termites); the flick (either cross flick or open flick) deployed by all the Termes group; and then cross tunnel and passage way block deployed as the only defense by drywood Cryptotermes but not exclusively. Scherdorhinotermes is quite unique in that the major soldiers deploy a different mandible design (grasp and clasp) from the minor soldiers (slash or nip). Of course then there are the termites that use mandible-less, the syringed or ‘nozzled’, defense.

I have noted that among all those termites (that I have encountered) with slashing andor clasping mandibles the left mandible tip overlay over the right. And among the flicking mandible termites the left mandible overlay below the right when the mandibles are not deployed but deployed with the right crossing over the top of the left. Of course not all termites (i.e. the more primitive species) with slashing andor clasping mandibles have their left mandible tip overlay the right, species (not from this location, example: Hodotermes) may have the left on top instead. This might suggest that termites with these two mandibles design types split in the genetic lineage before the greater species diversification among these two lineage began. Doing a back ward trace might reveal those species that separated from these two lineage in the evolutionary tree.

Termites that do not have a soldier caste deploy other strategies of nest defense. One such species deploy the poison dung defense. The soldierless termite workers release a drop of opaque liquid from its abdomen that repulse and kills ants. The workers themselves are also poisonous when eaten, killing any ant that eats it.


Workers and soldiers of the termite species Amitermes dentatus
Workers and soldiers of the termite species Amitermes dentatus.
A close up view of the soldier of Amitermes dentatus.
Top view of a soldier and worker of Amitermes dentatus
Top view of a soldier and worker of Amitermes dentatus.

Lateral view of of a soldier and worker of Amitermes dentatus
Lateral view of of a soldier and worker of Amitermes dentatus.


Amitermes dentatus soldier viewed from top.
Lateral view of a soldier and worker of Amitermes dentatus



Last Updated: 2015 12 02
First Posted: 2011 07 02
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