Wednesday, January 20, 2016

A new termite: Hospitalitermes nigriantennalis

Like their hymenopteran cousins (ants, bees and wasps) termites (isopterans) live in colonies and divide labor among castes, produce overlapping generations, and take care of their young collectively. A typical colony contains nymphs (half-mature young), workers, soldiers, and reproductive individuals of both sexes, sometimes even several egg-laying queens.There are more than 2,900 living termite species worldwide

This new species was found on Borneo and named after the blackish antennae in the soldier caste.

For the experts: A new species of open-air processional column termite is here described based on the soldier and worker castes from eight colonies in north Barito, central Kalimantan. Hospitalitermes nigriantennalis sp. n. is readily distinguished in the field from related Hospitalitermes spp. by the light brown to orangish coloration of the soldier head capsule that, further, is with vertex yellowish and nasus brownish. The soldier antenna and the maxillary and labial palps are blackish. By contrast, soldiers from other species of Hospitalitermes from this region have a uniformly black head capsule and antennae. Finally, H. nigriantennalis sp. n. has a minute indentation in the middle of the posterior part of head capsule, which further helps to differentiate this new species from other Hospitalitermes from the Indo-Malayan and Austro-Malayan regions.

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