4 years ago

Response to “Evidence from amber for the origins of termitophily”

Response to “Evidence from amber for the origins of termitophily”
Michael S. Engel, Alfred F. Newton, Chenyang Cai, K. Taro Eldredge, Diying Huang


In a recent Current Biology paper [1], we reported the oldest, morphologically specialized, and obligate termitophiles, Cretotrichopsenius burmiticus (Figure 1, left), from mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber, about 99 million years old. Cretotrichopsenius, belonging to the obligately termitophilous rove beetle tribe Trichopseniini, display the protective horseshoe-crab-shaped body typical of many extant termitophiles. However, the termitophilous lifestyle of Cretotrichopsenius is being questioned by Yamamoto et al. [2] based on their representation of the termitophile-related features and premature and presumptive phylogenetic placement of Cretotrichopsenius within Trichopseniini. We stand by our interpretation that Cretotrichopsenius are obligate termitophiles, and Mesosymbion [3], a member of the largely free-living Mesoporini, are not necessarily termitophilous.

Publisher URL: http://www.cell.com/current-biology/fulltext/S0960-9822(17)30856-4

DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.06.083

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