Tonsuritermes mathewsi Cancello & Constantini

Constantini, Joice P., Carrijo, Tiago Fernandes, Palma-Onetto, Valeria, Scheffrahn, Rudolf, Carnohan, Lucas Paul, Šobotník, Jan & Cancello, Eliana M., 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. 2 View 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, TF GoogleMaps   Carrijo coll., MZUSP 12268 View Materials , 12615 View Materials , 27374 View Materials   ; 04.viii.2009, MR Rocha coll., MZUSP 23920 View Materials   .

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

Imago. Unknown.

Worker. Monomorphic ( Fig. 2 View 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