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Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Globitermes termites

Globitermes is a small genus of termites some of which build hard rounded mounds. No all though.

Globitermes globosus that does not build mounds of earth and excrement but nest in the ground. It secretes (spew out/vomit out) a opaque white liquid upon biting similar to Globitermes sulphureus except that with G. suplphureus the opaque yellow liquid is yellow. Many termites species (including Rhinotermes, Coptotermes and some species of Odontotermes) the soldiers in additional using to their mandibles as a primary weapon of defense also release a chemical liquid (in autothysis) when they bite. Of course Globitermes are not the only termites that deploy autothysis as a self destruct defense, several other species including Coptotermes, Prorhinotermes, etc does the the same.

In most such defensive strategy the soldier sacrifice itself and eventually dies once it secretes the liquid chemical. But then again in most termites species with 'snap and cling' mandibles the soldiers invariably sacrifice itself once they bite, never to let go. Even among the species where the soldiers deploy the flick or the slice/chop defense, usually the soldiers lives are forfeit once their engaged against the common enemies the ants, as they stand to block against invading ants into their tunnels or nests will the workers seal off access behind them. 

Soldier and worker of Globitermes globosus.

Soldiers of Globitermes globosus.

Soldiers of Globitermes globosus.
 Alate nymphs, soldiers and workers of Globitermes globorus.
The size of the body and the colour might be indicative of the age as the soldier produces the chemical that it secretes in defense of the nest.

Below the small mount of a yellow bodied species of Globitermes, most probably Globitermes sulphureus or a subspecies, that is common in this region. The mound is composed of a mixture of earth and workers' excrement. This particular species in this locale strangely does not eject a yellow liquid upon biting.
Globitermes sulphureus mound.

Globitermes sulphureus builds hard rounded mound nest.

Soldiers and workers of Globitermes sulphureus
Globitermes sulphureus

Globitermes sulphureus workers.

 A Globitermes sulphureus soldier with the yellow body and red head. 

Order: Isoptera 7499
Suborder: Fontanella
Subdivision: Longiprocta
Superfamily: Termitiodae 46569
Family - Termitidae 46569
Subfamily - Termitinae 92738
- Amitermes group 377832 / Amitermitidae / Amitermitinae
- Amitermes 187510
Genus - Globitermes 187538

Last Updated: 2013 10 29
First Posted: 2009 09 09
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