Did you know that fart can be a weapon of mass destruction? Not just the smell in humans … No, it’s an impressive weapon in the larva of this insect that can destroy up to six termites in a single flatulence.
Fart to taste for termites
We find out from Nick Caruso and Dani Rabaiotti, authors of the bestseller Does It Fart? The Definitive Guide to Flatulence in Animals. This insect is none other than a pearl fly wing, a species from the Berothidae family. A species called Lomamyia latipennis, which the book describes as “one of the few truly deadly farts known to science.” A fart so powerful this little insect can count on its larvae to feed on termites.
In fact, an adult pointy wing lays its eggs near a termite nest. Therefore, after hatching, the eggs release the larvae, which approach the place where the termites are located. And here they work thanks to an allomon, a semiochemical substance that will be fatal to the termite.
When the larva lets go of its flatulence by releasing its allomon near the termite, which is 35 times heavier than the larva, it will stop moving after a maximum of three minutes. She is paralyzed but alive. Then the larva just has to devour it without fear.
Worst of all, lacewing larvae can paralyze up to six termites with just one fart!
The study also shows that this released substance does not affect other species. Other insects can be found in a termite nest, but the allomon does not appear to have any effect on them. This means that this “weapon” was developed solely to attack termites. Why ? We don’t know yet, despite the studies that have already been done on this Allomon. Although we know of its devastating powers on Termini, scientists still don’t know exactly what it is made of.