Rhynchotermes matraga , Constantini, Joice P. & Cancello, Eliana M., 2016

Constantini, Joice P. & Cancello, Eliana M., 2016, A taxonomic revision of the Neotropical termite genus Rhynchotermes (Isoptera, Termitidae, Syntermitinae), Zootaxa 4109 (5), pp. 501-522: 510

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Rhynchotermes matraga

sp. nov.

Rhynchotermes matraga  , sp. nov.

Holotype. Soldier, 17–27.iv. 2011, R.R. Silva & E.Z. Albuquerque cols., part of sample MZUSP 16130.

Type-repository: MZUSP.

Type-locality. BRAZIL. Minas Gerais: Conceição do Mato Dentro, Serra da Serpentina., lat 19.0502 S, long 43.3635 W.

Paratypes. BRAZIL. Minas Gerais: Conceição do Mato Dentro, Serra da Serpentina, lat 19.0502 S, long 43.3635 W, 17–27.iv. 2011, R. R. Silva & E. Z. Albuquerque cols., MZUSP 16125 (4 soldiers, 5 workers), 16130 (suplementary of holotype, 3 soldiers).

Imago. Unknown.

Soldier ( Fig. 3View FIGURE 3 F, 4 F, 5 F). Monomorphic. Head capsule pear-shaped in dorsal view ( Fig 3View FIGURE 3 F). Antenna articles short ( Fig. 4View FIGURE 4 F). Frontal tube conical, about one-third longer than length of head. Dorsal margin of head and margin of frontal tube straight in profile. Mandible strongly curved ( Fig. 5View FIGURE 5 F), with subrectangular marginal tooth, apical region of each mandible aligns to the proximal region of the opposite mandible when closed. Inner margin of mandible serrated. Postmentum quadrangular. Forecoxa process subcylindrical. Head capsule with six long bristles; four laterally and two centrally. Pronotum with two to four long bristles on anterior lobe followed by a set of short bristles. Head capsule orange to reddish, body yellow. Measurements given in Table 3.

Worker. Fontanelle inconspicuous. Postclypeus with a medium line light, inconspicuous. Measurements given in Table 2.

Etymology. Augusto Matraga  is a fictional character created by João Guimarães Rosa ( Rosa 1966, translation), an important writer known for his work that values the country people of Minas Gerais. The author compares the strength of Augustus Matraga  to termites: “(…) tired his body with hard work and said prayers for his soul, all this without effort, like the white ants that raise red mounds in the pasture (…)” (Op. cit.).

Biological notes. Rhynchotermes matraga  sp. nov. was collected with Winkler extractors without other biological data.

Comparisons. The soldier of R. matraga  sp. nov. is morphologically similar to R. piauy  but is more robust with a wider head capsule and has proportionally shorter legs than R. piauy  . In R. piauy  the frontal tube length is almost as long as the head length while R. matraga  sp. nov. has a frontal tube that is markedly longer than the head.


Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo