Location = Bellingham, MA
ScienceDaily (Sep. 7, 2009) — The drywood termite, eavesdrops on its more aggressive subterranean competitor, to avoid contact with it, according to scientists from CSIRO Entomology and the University of New South Wales at the Australian Defence Force Academy.
“We already knew that chewing termites generate vibrations which they use to determine wood size and quality, so it seemed possible that one species could detect another using these vibrations,” CSIRO Entomology’s Dr Theo Evans said.
“We found that termites could use vibration signals to distinguish between their own and other species individuals. They would even respond to recorded signals.
“This is the first time the ability to identify a different species using only their vibration signals have been identified in termites.
“Because vibration signals move rapidly through wood and can be detected from a distance, the vulnerable species have an eavesdropping advantage as they can detect their aggressive relatives without having to come into contact with them.”