Neocapritermes taracua secreting bluish toxic liquid (Photo : Nature Newsteam / Youtube Snap)
Apparently, bees are not the only insects that will sacrifice themselves for the sake of their colonies.
A certain type of termite found in French Guiana was found to discharge a bluish liquid in the event of having their colonies suffer an attack.
According to a report by Science, these termites called Neocapritermes taracua "explode" this bluish liquid, which is highly toxic, onto their enemies in an apparent act of suicide.
Like Us on Facebook
When the bluish liquid lands on the attackers, it starts eating into their bodies injuring them and ultimately killing them.
The self-sacrificial termites on the other hand carry two salivary glands or "backpacks" that hold two liquids apart.
"When they come under attack, these backpacks explode, the liquids mix and produce a more toxic substance," Professor Yves Roisin from the Free University of Brussels told BBC News.
As the Neocapritermes taracuae grow older, their abilities to provide food or maintain the colony start declining since their jaws become unsharpened and their movements lethargic. Still under such conditions, Robert Hanus of the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry in Prague said that the aged termites can provide a necessary defense and provide a great benefit for the colony.
"It makes perfect sense to me because theories predict that social insects should perform low-risk, laborious tasks such as housekeeping in the first part of their life and risky tasks such as defense as they age," he said according to Nature.com.
Now, as researchers continue to study this trait, or 'bomb', the next step lies in understanding how the liquids are produced in the termites.