What Do Soldier Termites Do in Battle?



In the termite colony, there are many caste systems, the aptly named soldier termites being located in the middle of it. They basically function as bodyguards of their huge termite mound and are highly protective of their oversized queen with ants being their archenemies.  Possessing a large, intimidating head and dark, wicked mandibles, they can be easily identified.  Others are endowed with poisonous glands that they use to secrete deadly substances onto their enemies.





1.  Tunnel-blocking soldier

When their termite fortress is breached by enemies, soldier termites with exceptionally large, bulky heads are given the task of the blocking the points of unwanted entry.  They simply plug the holes with their oversized heads and slash at their enemies with their mandibles.


2.  Hoplite termite

If the breach is larger than the soldier’s head, they will immediately spread out into a phalanx which is a blocky battle formation very commonly used by Greek hoplites hundreds of years ago.  Positioning themselves close to one another, they gravely defend their home, the termites at the back of the group instantly replacing their fallen comrades at the front of battle to maintain their formation.  As the worker termites repair and close the breach while the battle ensues, there is no turning back for the soldier termites and they basically fight to the death.

3.  Suicide termite

These loyal, unwavering soldiers will charge among their enemies and will intensely contract their thoraxes, bursting forth dark poisonous liquid in a certain radius.  This act of pure loyalty to protect their home ruptures their internal organs and they die.





4.  Squirting termite

Nasal channels located on the foreheads of these termites spray glue-like substances that immobilize and paralyze their enemies.  This enables them to quickly kill off their enemies.  Think of their nasal channels akin to a shotgun.  Soldier termites use their antennas to trace their enemies.  This allows them to launch their poisonous projectiles accurately which is extremely remarkable considering that they are practically blind.

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