Taxonomy, Biogeography, and Notes on Termites (Isoptera: Kalotermitidae, Rhinotermitidae, Termitidae) of the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands

  • Scheffrahn R
  • Křeček J
  • Chase J
 et al. 
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Abstract

Termite surveys of 33 islands of the Bahamas and Turks and Caicos (BATC) archipelago yielded 3,533 colony samples from 593 sites. Twenty-seven species from three families and 12 genera were recorded as follows: Cryptotermes brevis (Walker), Cr. cavifrons Banks, Cryptotermes cymatofrons Scheffrahn and Krˇecˇek, Cr. bracketti n. sp., Incisitermes bequaerti (Snyder), I. incisus (Silvestri), I. milleri (Emerson), I. rhyzophorae Herna´ndez, I. schwarzi (Banks), I. snyderi (Light), Neotermes castaneus (Burmeister), Ne. jouteli (Banks), Ne. luykxi Nickle and Collins, Ne. mona Banks, Procryptotermes corniceps (Snyder), and Pr. hesperus Scheffrahn and Krˇecˇek (Kalotermitidae); Coptotermes gestroi Wasmann, Heterotermes cardini (Snyder), H. sp., Prorhinotermes simplex Hagen, and Reticulitermes flavipes Koller (Rhinotermitidae); and Anoplotermes bahamensis n. sp., A. inopinatus n. sp., Nasutitermes corniger (Motschulsky), Na. rippertii Rambur, Parvitermes brooksi (Snyder), and Termes hispaniolae Banks (Termitidae). Of these species, three species are known only from the Bahamas, whereas 22 have larger regional indigenous ranges that include Cuba, Florida, or Hispaniola and beyond. Recent exotic immigrations for two of the regional indigenous species cannot be excluded. Three species are nonindigenous pests of known recent immigration. IdentiÞcation keys based on the soldier (or soldierless worker) and the winged imago are provided along with species distributions by island. Cr. bracketti, known only from San Salvador Island, Bahamas, is described from the soldier and imago. Two soldierless species, Anoplotermes bahamensis n. sp. and Anoplotermes inopinatus n. sp., from the central Bahamas are described from the imago and worker. The imago of Pa. brooksi is described for the Þrst time. Mutually exclusive distributions were recorded for the following groups: Cr. bracketti/Cr. Cymatofrons Cr. cavifrons, Ne. mona/Ne. jouteli, Pr. corniceps/Pr. hesperus, Reticulitermes flavipes/H. cardini H. sp., and Na. corniger/Na. rippertii. All termites found on the Turks and Caicos also occur in parts of the Bahamas except for the likely exotic H. sp., and the exotic Coptotermes gestroi. Present-day distributions of indigenous termite species are related to two primary factors: dry land connections of the BATC during low sea level stands of the late Pleistocene and the proximity of these emergent lands to the faunal sources of Florida, Cuba, and Hispaniola. Flotsam containing mated reproductives or whole colonies are propagules for overwater dispersal by termites.

Author-supplied keywords

  • 1995
  • biogeography
  • collins et al
  • darlington 1992
  • diversity survey
  • from the west
  • identiþcation keys
  • indies
  • isoptera
  • jones et al
  • new species
  • renewed interest in cataloging
  • rich diversity of termites
  • the
  • there has been a
  • west indies

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Authors

  • Rudolf H. Scheffrahn

  • Jan Křeček

  • James A. Chase

  • Boudanath Maharajh

  • John R. Mangold

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