The main function of the soldier termite is to defend the colony. Soldiers have an enlarged, hard head with two large jaws. When openings occur in the galleries, they quickly position themselves at the opening with their jaws open and pointing outwards from the hole. When alarmed, soldiers termites will bang their heads against the gallery walls to alert the rest of the colony. In addition to having large jaws, the Formosan termite soldier has a large opening in the head above the jaws called the “fontanelle”. From this they emit a white gluey secretion when needed in defense.

« Back to Glossary Index