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A fossil termite bug, Termitaradus protera sp. n. (Hemiptera: Termitaphididae), from Mexican amber

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image of Insect Systematics & Evolution

A termite bug, Termitaradus protera sp. n. (Termitaphididae: Hemiptera) from Mexican amber, represents the first known fossil of this family. The fossil species differs from the nine extant species by its larger size, the larger number of lobules present in each body segment and the distinctly geniculate antennae. Two shriveled termite bodies lying next to the fossil suggest that contrary to traditional opinion, termitaradids may indeed be predatory on termites. The presence of a termitaradid in Mexican Tertiary deposits suggests a wider distribution of these forms in the past than is inferred by the distribution of extant forms.

Affiliations: 1: G.O. Poinar Jr. & J.T. Doyen, Department of Entomological Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 U.S.A.


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