Response to “Evidence from amber for the origins of termitophily”
In a recent Current Biology paper , 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.  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 , a member of the largely free-living Mesoporini, are not necessarily termitophilous.
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