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13 November 2015 Redescription of the Soil-Feeding Termite Sinocapritermes mushae (Isoptera: Termitidae: Termitinae): The First Step of Genus Revision
C.-I. Chiu, Man-Miao Yang, Hou-Feng Li
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The soil-feeding termite, Sinocapritermes mushae (Oshima & Maki), was described briefly in Japanese in 1919 and its type locality is Taiwan. S. mushae is the first found species of the genus, and all the other 15 congeners were described from China, and many of them were compared with S. mushae for species differentiation. However, the inconsistent interpretation of the original description of S. mushae soldier morphology occurred in Chinese literature. The winged imago of S. mushae was later described based on a single specimen collected in China, which is insufficient to represent the morphological variation and caused further confusion. To solve these problems, we re-describe and describe the soldier, winged imago, and worker enteric valve of S. mushae based on multiple colony samples collected from the type locality, Taiwan. Partial sequences of mitochondrial 16S gene confirmed that S. mushae is the only Sinocapritermes species found in Taiwan, but Taiwanese populations present high morphological variation. With the intraspecific variation of S. mushae, we demonstrated that most qualitative characters used for species differentiation among Chinese species are not valid. In addition, the morphometric data showed that the five species, Sinocapritermes sinensis Ping & Xu, Sinocapritermes songtaoensis He, Sinocapritermes tianmuensis Gao, Sinocapritermes yuannensis Ping & Xu, and Sinocapritermes xiai Gao & Lam, are not significantly different from S. mushae, and hence they are proposed as junior synonyms. This study indicates that the 15 exclusive Sinocapritermes spp. found in China need to be more thoroughly investigated, and a further revision of Sinocapritermes is necessary.

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C.-I. Chiu, Man-Miao Yang, and Hou-Feng Li "Redescription of the Soil-Feeding Termite Sinocapritermes mushae (Isoptera: Termitidae: Termitinae): The First Step of Genus Revision," Annals of the Entomological Society of America 109(1), 158-167, (13 November 2015).
Received: 10 August 2015; Accepted: 14 October 2015; Published: 13 November 2015

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