Malaysian Applied Biology Journal

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47_06_14

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Malays. Appl. Biol. (2018) 47(6): 113-125

 

MORPHOMETRIC VARIATION AND GENETIC RELATIONSHIP

OF Coptotermes spp. (BLATTODEA: RHINOTERMITIDAE)

IN SARAWAK, MALAYSIA

 

NORSYARIZAN JAMIL1, WAN NURAINIE WAN ISMAIL1* and G. VEERA SINGHAM2


1Faculty of Resource Science and Technology, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak,

94300 Kota Samarahan, Sarawak, Malaysia

2Centre for Chemical Biology, Universiti Sains Malaysia,

11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang, Malaysia

*E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Accepted 10 December 2018, Published online 31 December 2018

 

ABSTRACT

Amongst the termite genera within Rhinotermitidae, the genus Coptotermes is probably regarded as one of the most destructive pest in Malaysia as it contributes to more than 90% of the damages in buildings and structures. In this study, 17 parameters were used for morphometric analysis. Partial sequence of mitochondrial DNA cytochrome oxidase subunit II (COII) was obtained from 21 populations of C. curvignathus, seven populations of C. sepangensis and two populations of C. kalshoveni in Sarawak. In addition, 11 sequences of Coptotermes spp. were obtained from GenBank and included in the analysis. Based on Discriminant Function Analyses (DFA), the maximum width of postmentum (MxWPt) is identified as the best morphological character for differentiating the four species of Coptotermes in this study, proved by canonical discriminant function. Phylogenetic analyses of COII found that C. sepangensis and C. kalshoveni are nested within a single clade. Morphological comparison also showed these two species to be identical in terms of body measurements and diagnostic features. These evidence indicates that C. sepangensis and C. kalshoveni are the same species, thus we suggest C. sepangensis is a junior synonym of C. kalshoveni.

Key words: Coptotermes, synonym, morphometric variation, molecular phylogenetics

 

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