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Incrementing and clarifying the diversity and early evolution of termites (Blattodea: Isoptera)

Abstract : The past diversity of Isoptera is relatively poorly documented. Many early-diverging families are only represented today by relicts of their Mesozoic and Cenozoic richness. Therefore, the onset of their evolutionary history and the transitions between families, or even between subsocial and eusocial ways of life, remain difficult to decipher and require additional fossil occurrences. Here, we report the oldest worker/pseudergate trapped in amber and a new Mastotermitidae, both from Hkamti amber. We document a diverse assemblage of species representing early-diverging families from the ‘Mid’-Cretaceous of Myanmar, including two new genera and four new species in as many different genera: Anisotermes bourguignoni sp. nov., Longitermes pulcher gen. et sp. nov., Magnifitermes krishnai gen. et sp. nov. and Mastotermes myanmarensis sp. nov. These descriptions provide significant morphological evidence to discuss the placement of the genus Anisotermes, confidently place the new genera and confirm the monophyly of Mastotermitidae. The diversity of Cretaceous isopterans, in light of the biology of their extant representatives, is used to discuss palaeoecological implications and highlights the radiation of early diverged Isoptera in the complex Cretaceous ecosystem. The validity of the species Meiatermes cretacicus is discussed.
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Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Wednesday, September 28, 2022 - 10:03:54 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 12, 2022 - 10:24:54 AM


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Corentin Jouault, Michael Engel, Frédéric Legendre, Diying Huang, Philippe Grandcolas, et al.. Incrementing and clarifying the diversity and early evolution of termites (Blattodea: Isoptera). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2022, 196, 2 (608–629), pp.zlac064. ⟨10.1093/zoolinnean/zlac064⟩. ⟨insu-03790190⟩



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