8. Family Termitidae – Nasute-mandibulate Termites
Blind, juicy termites appeal to predators looking for easy pickings. That’s why these insects bunker up in wooden or earthy citadels and colonies of “higher termites” muster a soldier caste equipped with powerful jaws or a “nasute” chemical blaster. Either weapon packs the grossly muscular head; yet, a few termite clans manage to bear both arms simultaneously. These duel-wielding Armitermes can melee enemies with wicked mandibles, or, facing attacking ants—their nemesis—spray a fatty secretion to confuse enemy coordination. In jungle life, where termites constantly wage war with ants—besides a multitude of other foes—possessing formidable fighters may be a worthwhile investment that improves a colony’s chances of surviving for another day.
Blattodea: Termitidae: Nasutitermitinae: Armitermes spp.