Scientists have discovered the weirdest thing in the world of ants, they discovered that Termites, a type of insect, manage to move very quietly on ground in order not to be heard, to be able to escape from their predators. The researchers showed that termites can move hundred times quieter than ants. Their work was published in Ecology letters under the title ''Cryptic termites avoid predatory ants by eavesdropping on vibrational cues from their footsteps.''

Prey and predators

Termites are a wide class of insects that are believed to have emerged from their relative, cockroaches.

They are considered to be a very social insect just like ants, having their own queens, soldiers, workers, and colonies.

Ants are a major predator of termites, but they cannot easily hunt them since they can hardly hear them, this is because they move very quietly so that they are not heard by other predator insects. These species are blind, but they have a very good sense of hearing that allows them to keep track of any surrounding enemy and be able to escape.

In order to test their sense of hearing, scientists put termites in a maze-like box with chambers, some chambers empty, other chambers containing live ants, and other chambers containing recordings of the sounds that ants produce. Interestingly, the termites only entered the chambers that were empty and did not enter all the other chambers, showing a very sensitive and powerful sense of smell.

Mimicking the ants

The researchers also discovered that termites bang their heads very hard or shake their bodies when faced with danger, the researchers believe that termites are imitating the sound of ants as one of the researchers said: “We think this alarm signal has evolved to mimic the walking signal of ants.”

The researchers believe that their findings will play a very beneficial role in pest control.

They have discovered that these insects respond to tiny vibrations (sounds) produced by ants, so instead of using dangerous chemicals to eliminate termites, people could install specific sound systems that mimic the sound of ants, preventing termites from entering the house. Although the researchers think that termites are smart and they will figure it out after a while.