|Huge ant nest - a large insect community|
There is however a drawback to living in a large community. Once an infection enters the community it can rapidly sweep through the nest killing vast numbers - after all, the occupants of an insect nest are closely related and thus have similar ability to fight off infection. Once it has begin it is difficult to stop.
This begs the question - what are the larger limbs for then? Tests show that the soldier insects can secret antifungal compounds whereas smaller limbed castes cannot. Perhaps then remarkably the main job of a soldier is to fight of fungal invaders rather than larger foe?
This theory is not yet universally accepted but it serves to illustrate the degree of threat fungi exert even on the smallest of creatures, and the extent to which even they have to go to hold fungi at bay.