Insectes Sociaux

, Volume 61, Issue 2, pp 123–131 | Cite as

Kalotermes sinaicus Kemner (Isoptera, Kalotermitidae): new morphological and genetic evidence, and assignment to the new genus Longicaputermes gen. nov

  • S. Ghesini
  • D. Simon
  • M. Marini
Research Article


The drywood termite Kalotermes sinaicus Kemner was described in 1932, based on the observation of five soldiers collected in the north-east of Sinai (Egypt). No description of the alate exists in literature. The species is known to occur also in Israel. We analyze from the morphological and the genetic point of view (partial COII, 16S, and 18S sequences) nine K. sinaicus samples collected from five Israeli localities, to provide data for a better definition of the species. Important morphological differences exist between K. sinaicus and other Kalotermes species. In particular, the wing venation of K. sinaicus alates is not compatible with that of Kalotermes and is similar to that of a group of genera including Paraneotermes, Comatermes, and Ceratokalotermes. From the genetic point of view, K. sinaicus is quite different from the species in the genus Kalotermes, with distances comparable to inter-genera distances. These morphological and genetic characters indicate that K. sinaicus should be excluded from the genus Kalotermes. Because these characters do not correspond to those of any existing genus, we describe it as a new genus: Longicaputermes gen. nov.


Kalotermes sinaicus Israel Drywood termites Ceratokalotermes Comatermes Paraneotermes 



We wish to thank Ariel-Leib Friedman and Dr. Tovit Simon of Tel Aviv University for help in collecting samples, and Prof. A.L. Szalanski for making available to us the 18S sequence of P. simplicicornis. This study was supported by Canziani donation and Israel Taxonomic Initiative (ITI) funds.


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Copyright information

© International Union for the Study of Social Insects (IUSSI) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche, Geologiche e AmbientaliUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly
  2. 2.Department of Zoology, George S. Wise Faculty of Life SciencesTel Aviv UniversityTel AvivIsrael

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