These bugs kill six termites with a single toxin


There are termites on every continent on the planet except Antarctica. These insects, like ants, form community communities, making it difficult for them to fall prey easily.

However, a special method of hunting down a pest has been developed. The Lomamia latipennis They are like little worms that inhabit all parts of the planet. These animals excrete a type of aluminum and toxins through the anus, which is deadly to termites. Thus, only the air of L. latipennis can kill up to six termites at the same time.

In particular, the larval stage is 35 times smaller than that of these insects.

(Scott Bauer)

Therefore, the females of this insect lay eggs near a termite nest. In this way, the larvae hunt with poison as they hatch. As if it wasn’t strange, the poison doesn’t kill the prey in the face, but rather paralyzes it. In this way, the L. latipennis larvae can feed on living pests together with the permanent prey.

How to hunt with poisonous gases

The first studies with these insects were carried out in the 1980s. The researchers observed that the larvae of insects invaded the trunks and nests in search of pests. Once the prey is found, L. latipennis they stand firmly, well raised on the back of the body, about the level of Termit’s face. The animals released toxins into the air and paralyzed up to 6 termites at the same time.

Studies have shown that this toxin is very specific to termites. This means that other insects are not affected by animal infestation. This indicates an evolutionary relationship that is very close between the prey and the hunter.

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