Chemical and molecular identification of the invasive termite Zootermopsis nevadensis (Isoptera: Archotermopsidae) in Japan
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Numerous termite species have been introduced outside their native ranges by human transport, and some have become invasive. The dampwood termite Zootermopsis nevadensis (Hagen), which is native to western North America, has been introduced to and become established in Kawanishi City, Hyogo Prefecture, Japan. Zootermopsis nevadensis is subdivided into two subspecies based on cuticular hydrocarbon (CHC) phenotypes: Z. nevadensis nevadensis and Z. nevadensis nuttingi (Haverty and Thorne). Here, we identified Z. nevadensis in Japan as hybrids between the two subspecies. Chemical analysis showed the presence of 7,15-dimethylhenicosane and 5,17-dimethylhenicosane in the CHCs of Z. nevadensis in Japan, corresponding to the CHC phenotype of Z. n. nevadensis. Conversely, all mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I sequences of Z. nevadensis in Japan were identical to sequences from Z. n. nuttingi and hybrids between the two subspecies from a native hybrid zone in California, USA. In addition, phylogenetic analysis showed that Z. nevadensis in Japan formed a clade with Z. n. nuttingi and hybrids between the two subspecies. Our results show discordance between the chemical and genetic features of Z. nevadensis in Japan, indicating that individuals of Z. nevadensis in Japan are hybrids between the two subspecies.
KeywordsBiological invasions Hybridization Social insects Isoptera
We thank Naoto Yoshioka for termite collection; Naoki Mori for providing GC–MS facilities; Nathan Lo for helpful discussion. This work was partly supported by Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Kiban Kenkyu S Grant No. 25221206 (to K.M.), and a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship for Research Abroad No. 558 (to T.Y).
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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