Tonsuritermes mathewsi Cancello & Constantini,

Constantini, Joice P., Carrijo, Tiago Fernandes, Palma-Onetto, Valeria, Scheffrahn, Rudolf, Carnohan, Lucas Paul, Šobotník, Jan , 2018, Tonsuritermes, a new soldierless termite genus and two new species from South America (Blattaria: Isoptera: Termitidae: Apicotermitinae), Zootaxa 4531 (3), pp. 383-394: 389-390

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Tonsuritermes mathewsi Cancello & Constantini

sp. nov.

Tonsuritermes mathewsi Cancello & Constantini  sp. nov.

( Figs. 2View FIGURE 2 E–F; 3C; 6)

Holotype: worker from lot MZUSP 12268, (in a separate vial with the remaining sample).

Type-locality: BRAZIL. Mato Grosso: Chapada dos Guimarães, lat 15.4605S  , long 55.7497W.

Type-repository: MZUSP

Paratypes. BRASIL. Goiás: Anápolis , lat 16.3266S, long 48.9527W, DE Oliveira coll., UEG 4075; same data of holotype sample: 04.viii.2009, TFGoogleMaps  Carrijo coll., MZUSP 12268View Materials, 12615View Materials, 27374View Materials  ; 04.viii.2009, MR Rocha coll., MZUSP 23920View Materials  .

Diagnosis. Monomorphic worker; head capsule with long bristles of almost the same size and bristles of tergites scattered.

Imago. Unknown.

Worker. Monomorphic ( Fig. 2View FIGURE 2 E–F). Head capsule with long bristles of almost the same size. Bristles of tergites scattered. Postclypeus hyper-inflated. Fontanelle 1/4 diameter of head capsule in dorsal view. Protibia strongly inflated, with a groove in the inner surface of the profemur.

Comparison and remarks. A huge variation at the head pilosity, number of spine-like bristles on the protibia, and form and size of the fontanelle were observed among the samples of the new genus, which makes the distinction of the two species quite challenging. Despite the similarity between Tonsuritermes tucki  and Tonsuritermes mathewsi  , the latter, with monomorphic workers, is restricted to the Brazilian savannah, the Cerrado, while the dimorphic T. tucki  , was collected primarily in forests and was sampled mostly (but not only) in forest formations. The head of T. tucki  has bristles of two sizes, and those on tergites are all pointing backwards, while in T. mathewsi  the bristles are same size, long on the head, and in the tergites, the bristles are pointing in multiple directions. The postclypeous of T. mathewsi  is more inflated than in T. tucki  . The workers of T. mathewsi  are larger than T. tucki  ( Tab. 2) and the fontanelle is on average lower in T. mathewsi  than W2 of T. tucki  . In addition, the protibia of T. mathewsi  is more inflated, and the groove in the inner surface of the profemur is deeper.

Etymology. Tonsuritermes mathewsi  is named in honour of A. G. Anthony Mathews for his important contribution to the taxonomy and biology of the termites of Mato Grosso, Brazil ( Mathews 1977).

Biological notes. Some samples were collected from derelict nests built by undetermined species of Cornitermes Wasmann, 1897  in cerrado vegetation.


Department of Mineral Resources