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A Taxonomic Revision of the Termitophilous Tribe Termitopaedini, (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae) with Notes on Behavior, Systematics, and Post-Imaginal Growth

All genera of the aleocharine tribe Termitopaedini are redescribed and illustrated, and a key differentiating all the genera is provided. Two new genera are described, Macrotoxenus and Termitofurcula. All but 2 of the previously described species are redescribed and new characters illustrated for nearly every species. Seventeen new species are described: Termitolinus minutus (South-West Africa), T. mohalei (South-West Africa), Macrotoxenus goliath (Tanzania and South Africa), Termitofurcula sheasbyi (South Africa), Termitopulex coatoni (South-West Africa), T. seeversi (South Africa), T. sheasbyi (South-West Africa), T. tanzaniensis (Tanzania), T. transvaalensis (South Africa), Termitotecna amaniensis (Tanzania), T. angustoxenus (South Africa), T. lateroxenus (South Africa), T. seeversi (South Africa), T. tsumebensis (South-West Africa), Termitobia coatoni (Mozambique), T. leleupi (Congo Republic), and T. swaziae (South Africa). Many new geographic and host data of previously described species are presented.

Data are presented to illustrate the postimaginal growth of physogastry in Termitobia rhodesiae Seevers. The process is discussed in reference to 2 other species, Termitobia burgeoni Cameron and Neodioxeuta oudemansi (Franssen).

Behavioral observations of species belonging to the genera Termitolinus, Macrotoxenus, Termitopulex, Dioxeuta, Neodioxeuta, and Termitobia are reported. These data suggest that Termitolinus and Macrotoxemis are not integrated into the social life of the termites, whereas the others are. However, Termitolinus and Macrotoxenus are adapted to life in the nest by the use of avoidance reactions.

The phylogeny of the genera and species that was derived by numerical analysis is presented and discussed. The computer placement of only 3 of the 37 species disagrees with the relationships derived by traditional means.

All of these termitophiles are host specific at the species level. A summary of host information is presented. The presence of the primitive members of the tribe in Africa supports Emerson’s concept of an Ethiopian origin of the termite subfamily Macrotermitinae.

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