Genetic Evidence for a New Subterranean Termite Species (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae) from Western United States and Canada

Allen L. Szalanski, James W. Austin, J. Mckern, Matthew T. Messenger


Genetic evidence for a new subterranean termite species herein named Reticulitermes okanaganensis is provided based on DNA sequence analysis. Partial sequences of the mitochondrial DNA rRNA 16S gene were obtained from 27 samples of R. okanaganensis from British Columbia, Idaho, Oregon, Nevada and California. Five nucleotide sites were variable among the four observed haplotypes. One haplotype occurred only once, while the most common haplotype, O3, occurred in 37% of the samples. Molecular phylogenetic analysis of R. okanaganensis relative to five other North American Reticulitermes species has clarified its distinct position within the genus.

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