Termites are eusocial insects currently classified into nine families, of which only Stylotermitidae has never been subjected to any molecular phylogenetic analysis. Stylotermitids present remarkable morphology and have the unique habit of feeding on living trees. We sequenced mitogenomes of five stylotermitid samples from China and Taiwan to reconstruct the phylogenetic position of Stylotermitidae. Our analyses placed Stylotermitidae as the sister group of all remaining Neoisoptera. The systematic position of Stylotermitidae calls for additional studies of their biology, including their developmental pathways and pheromone communication, which have the potential to change our understanding of termite evolution.
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Vol. 32 • No. 5