Journal of Chemical Ecology

, Volume 5, Issue 3, pp 459–480 | Cite as

Chemical defense by termite soldiers

  • Glenn D. Prestwich
Review Article


The chemistry of the defensive secretions of termite soldiers is reviewed. The structural variety of the chemical weapons, the uses of these substances in defense, and some potential biosynthetic interrelationships are discussed. Classification of the monoterpenes, sesquiterpenes, diterpenes, and various acetate-derived compounds according to termite subfamilies places the known defense substances in a phylogenetic perspective.

Key words

Termite soldiers defense compounds chemical defense frontal gland terpenes Isoptera 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glenn D. Prestwich
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of ChemistryState University of New YorkStony Brook

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