People often mistake them for burls, bee hives or ants nest but in fact they are far more interesting. Of the many species of Termite in Australia, this variety choose to live primarily off grass. It would certainly be no benefit living in a tree while eating it too!
Tunnels made of mud and feces help to identify these hidden mounds, where the Termites have created pathways of protection allowing movement up and down the tree away from predators and allowing the collection of grass, this grass is then stored in chambers to later be consumed during times of scarcity.
In essence, Arboreal Termites convert dead grass into protein, what a great contribution to the habitat! Imagine all the insectivores that rely in this ecological phenomena.
Birds and Reptiles often drill and claw holes in the mounds to eat the termites and more extensively, use the mounds as nest areas. This becomes quite popular during the Wet Season where holes become a regular site.
Lace Monitors have been known to use the mounds to lay their eggs. The female will leave the area afterwards and allow the Termites to immediately repair the damage. The eggs of the female Lace Monitor will then be trapped safe inside the warm busy mound during the incubation period.
In the below media, you’ll notice two Blue-winged Kookaburras’ preparing to dine on Termites by using their powerful beaks to destroy the outside and expose the nest