2 July 2019 Identification of Subterranean Termite Genus, Reticulitermes (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae) in Taiwan
Chia-Chien Wu, Cheng-Lung Tsai, Wei-Ren Liang, Yoko Takematsu, Hou-Feng Li
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Species identification in the genus Reticulitermes is often difficult because of ambiguous morphological characters. Challenges in Reticulitermes spp. recognition have also been encountered in East Asia, includingTaiwan. Because of unknown Reticulitermes taxa in Taiwan and the possible origin of alien Reticulitermes kanmonensisTakematsu in Japan and Korea, reexamining Reticulitermes fauna in Taiwan is imperative. To clarify the Reticulitermes fauna in Taiwan, this study applied two mitochondrial genes (cytochrome oxidase subunit II [COII] and 16S rDNA) and morphological characters for species delimitation. Reticulitermes specimens collected from 63 localities across the main and adjacent islands ofTaiwan were analyzed. Phylogenetic analyses, morphological comparisons, and ecological traits suggested the existence of three species inTaiwan: Reticulitermes flaviceps (Oshima), R. kanmonensis, and Reticulitermes leptomandibularis Hsia and Fan. Altitudinal distributions among the three Reticulitermes termites tended to differ: R. flaviceps adapted to low hills, but R. kanmonensis and R. leptomandibularis occurred in medium mountainous areas. The combined data, including haplotype diversities and distribution range, suggest that 1) R. flaviceps is an endemic species and only found in Taiwan; 2) R. kanmonensis and R. leptomandibularis are both native species in Taiwan and China; 3) Japanese R. kanmonensis populations originated from southern China and/or Taiwan and that Korean populations were possibly introduced from Japan.

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Chia-Chien Wu, Cheng-Lung Tsai, Wei-Ren Liang, Yoko Takematsu, and Hou-Feng Li "Identification of Subterranean Termite Genus, Reticulitermes (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae) in Taiwan," Journal of Economic Entomology 112(6), 2872-2881, (2 July 2019). https://doi.org/10.1093/jee/toz183
Received: 21 March 2019; Accepted: 6 June 2019; Published: 2 July 2019

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cryptic species
invasive pest
subterranean termite
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