New termite species discovered, named in Taiwan

Focus Taiwan
Date: 2019/03/01
By: Chao Li-yen and Elizabeth Hsu

Photo courtesy of National Chung Hsing University

Taipei, March 1 (CNA) A new termite species has been discovered feeding on living tree trunks in eastern Taiwan, the first termite species in the world to be discovered and named by Taiwanese scientists.

Named after the aboriginal Bulun term “halum” for pangolin, Stylotermes halumicus comes from the ancient and rare termite family Stylotermitidae, said a statement released by National Chung Hsing University (NCHU) on Friday.

Stylotermitidae consists of a single extant genus, Stylotermes, that exist only in East Asia, according to a report on the discovery of the Stylotermitidae family in Taiwan, published in March 2017 in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America.

Stylotermes has distinctive trimerous tarsi and is considered an intermediate between the Rhinotermitidae and Kalotermitidae families. It had never been found in Taiwan until 2014 when NCHU entomology department doctoral student Liang Wei-ren (梁維仁) discovered some in Taitung.    [FULL  STORY]

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