Termites are one of the peskiest insects out there, but you have to hand it to them―they know how to organize a colony, with each one having a queen, soldiers, and workers to fill various roles.
Termites are such an issue for humans that we have a whole branch of pesticides called termiticides to deal with them.
But out in the wild, they’re a delectable, protein rich snack for many mammals, reptiles, and even other insects.
So what in the animal kingdom eats termites in the rainforest?
What Eats Termites in the Rainforest?
Termites are suitable food for many animals such as moles, ants and anteaters, who can actively seek out and destroy entire colonies by themselves.
Other animals like snakes, spiders, birds, and ants will also attack colonies and kill stray termites.
Termites are fascinating, but in the wild rainforest, anything goes. Lots of predators have their own ways of hunting termites, and the rest of this article will break down some of the most interesting ones.
Built for underground life, moles can detect termites from a long distance. With their size and powerful digging claws, accessing a termite colony is an easy feat for a mole. These voracious creatures can single-handedly destroy an entire colony of termites.
Anteaters, big and clunky as they may look, are perfectly designed to attack termite mounds with long digging claws. Their long pointy nose allows them to get right in the mound to slurp up any termites about.
Anteaters use their two-foot tongue to reach termites in their passageways, making them a serious threat to a termite colony.
Ants are extremely territorial and vicious. In the rainforest, where carnivorous ants are everywhere, termite neighbors aren’t tolerated, and the ants will wage war against the colony.
Working their way through the termite soldiers with excessive numbers and egregious force, ants are more than capable of both attacking and killing a colony.
If they reach the queen, the colony might well be eradicated since the queen is a valuable source of protein and fat that can sustain the colony for a long time.
Of course, there are plenty of other animals that won’t hesitate to snatch up a termite if they see one. Birds will eat scout termites if they spot them. Spiders, depending on their size, will attack colonies to draw out and eat termites.
Some geckos, lizards, and frogs also enjoy eating termites if they find one.