Interspecific variation of diterpene composition ofCubitermes soldier defense secretions

J Chem Ecol. 1984 Aug;10(8):1219-31. doi: 10.1007/BF00988550.


Soldiers of the humivorous termite generaCubitermes andCrenetermes (Isoptera: Termitidae: Termitinae) secrete a mixture of unusual diterpene hydrocarbons from the fontanellar opening of the frontal gland. The defense secretions of sixCubitermes species and oneCrenetermes species show species-specific distributions of the five chemically identified major components and 12 unidentified minor components. The secretion is also present with its characteric terpene distribution in white presoldiers and newly molted soldiers, but is completely absent in workers.