Explosive Backpacks in Old Termite Workers

@article{obotnk2012ExplosiveBI,
  title={Explosive Backpacks in Old Termite Workers},
  author={Jan {\vS}obotn{\'i}k and Thomas Bourguignon and R Hanus and Zuzana Demianov{\'a} and Jana Pytelkov{\'a} and Monica Mareş and Pavla Foltynova and Jan Preisler and Josef Cva{\vc}ka and Jana Krasulov{\'a} and Yves Roisin},
  journal={Science},
  year={2012},
  volume={337},
  pages={436 - 436}
}
As Neocapritermes taracua termites age, they develop a suicidal toxic apparatus that bursts during aggressive encounters. By nature, defensive behavior is risky. In social insects, such behavior is more likely to occur in individuals whose potential for other tasks is diminished. We show that workers of the termite Neocapritermes taracua develop an exceptional two-component suicidal apparatus consisting of copper-containing protein crystals, stored in external pouches, and internal salivary… 
Molecular Mechanism of the Two-Component Suicidal Weapon of Neocapritermes taracua Old Workers.
TLDR
This work identifies both components of this activated defense system and describes the molecular basis responsible for the toxicity of N. taracua worker autothysis, a sticky and toxic cocktail harmful to opponents.
Worker Defensive Behavior Associated with Toxins in the Neotropical Termite Neocapritermes braziliensis (Blattaria, Isoptera, Termitidae, Termitinae)
TLDR
The morphology, mechanisms of action, and proteomics of the salivary weapon in workers of this species, which due to the autothysis of theSalivary glands causes their body rupture, in turn releasing a defensive secretion, observed during aggressiveness bioassays, are described.
Involvement of the Salivary Glands in the Suicidal Defensive Behavior of Workers in Neocapritermes opacus (Blattaria, Isoptera, Termitidae)
TLDR
The suicidal mechanism in workers of the Neotropical termite Neocapritermes opacus, which involves salivary gland autothysis followed by body cuticle rupture and the release of a defensive secretion, was investigated.
Age-dependent changes in ultrastructure of the defensive glands of Neocapritermes taracua workers (Isoptera, Termitidae).
TLDR
The defensive device of N. taracua is truly exceptional as it involves a new gland and a previously undescribed function for parietal cells, being a remarkable example of evolution of morphological innovation.
Ecology of Termites
Termites show a structured social life, provisioned with work-based divisions, i.e., king, queen, workers, and soldiers. Ecologically, termites interact with living and nonliving surroundings and
Comparative Study of the Labial Gland Secretion in Termites (Isoptera)
TLDR
The results highlight the dual role of labial gland secretion, i.e. the defensive role in soldiers and workers of several termite species, and the digestive function in workers.
The labral gland in termite soldiers
TLDR
This study is the first to provide a comprehensive picture of the structure of the labral gland in soldiers across all Termite taxa, and suggests that thelabral gland is involved in communication rather than defence as previously suggested.
Soldiers of the termite Nasutitermes corniger (Termitidae: Nasutitermitinae) increase the ability to exploit food resources
TLDR
The role of soldiers in N. corniger increases the efficiency of termite groups in the exploration and exploitation of food resources and promotes a faster exploitation of the environment that allows them to encounter more food sources simultaneously.
Armed reproductives: evolution of the frontal gland in imagoes of Termitidae.
TLDR
The data suggest that the ancestral form of the frontal gland is epithelial with reservoir, as found in Rhinotermitaceae, Serritermitidae, and basal Termitidae.
Dehiscent organs used for defensive behavior of kamikaze termites of the genus Ruptitermes (Termitidae, Apicotermitinae) are not glands.
TLDR
The results showed that the dehiscent organs do not exhibit the typical characteristics of the exocrine glandular cells class I, II or III of insects, suggesting that they constitute a new type of defensive organ, which seems to be a specialized fat body that is peculiar and exclusive of Ruptitermes termites.
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