Molecular phylogeny and biogeography of the nasute termite genus Nasutitermes (Isoptera: Termitidae) in the pacific tropics.Mol Phylogenet Evol. 2000 Oct; 17(1):1-10.MP
The nasute termite genus Nasutitermes is widely distributed over all tropical regions. The phylogenetic relationships among 17 Nasutitermes species from the Pacific tropics were inferred from sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase II and 16S ribosomal RNA genes. Several methods of analysis yielded phylogenetic trees showing almost the same topology and in good agreement with reconstructions based on morphological or behavioral characters. Neotropical and Australian species came out as separate, apical clades. Asian species split between an apical branch, appearing as sister group to the neotropical clade, and basal taxa. New Guinean species were spread among several clades, suggesting a derivation from multiple origins. A well-supported clade includes the neotropical, Australian, and New Guinean species, with the southeast Asian N. takasagoensis and N. matangensis. It excludes the Asian species N. regularis, N. parvonasutus, and N. longinasus, which might deserve to be removed from Nasutitermes, as well as the long-legged Asian genera Hospitalitermes and Longipeditermes. A Gondwanan origin is proposed for the former clade, although an Old World origin of Nasutitermes followed by dispersal to Australia and South America cannot be excluded.