Suicide Bombing Termites 'Explode' To Kill Attackers

July 31, 2012


According to recent research, scientists have discovered that Neocapritermes taracua termites indigenous to French Guiana "suicide bomb" their attackers when threatened, releasing a poison toxic enough to kill their would-be overlords. Plus their guts squirt out in the process. Sick!

The blue spots are external pouches containing copper-containing proteins secreted by specialized glands located on top of the salivary glands. When the researchers picked up the termites using forceps, they were surprised to find they burst, releasing a toxic sticky droplet along with fragments of intestines and internal organs.

The researchers found that when a worker with blue spots was attacked by invading termites, it ruptured its body wall, releasing the contents of the blue pouches, which mixed with salivary fluid to form a drop of chemical so toxic that it paralyzed or killed most of the invading termites that touched it. The blue-spotted worker termites died in the process.

Not to brag or anything, but I have a similar, albeit much less lethal, defense mechanism. Here -- try to take my wallet. *BRAAAAAPPFFFT "Did you just..." Shit my pants real bad? Yes. "You're disgusting." But you're not thinking about reaching for my wallet!

Hit the jump for a video, which looks a lot less like "exploding" and way more like "oozing a drop" than was advertised.

Thanks to Philnorv and Matty Boy, who agree it's probably still better to actually fight instead of just blowing yourself up so in the event you actually win the battle you could go on living. I swear, termites -- so stupid.

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