Minor and major soldiers and worker of Dolichorhinotermes longidens, photographed by Yves Laurent.

Belongs within: Isoptera.
Contains: Heterotermes, Reticulitermes, Coptotermes, Prorhinotermes, Parrhinotermes, Schedorhinotermes.

The Rhinotermitidae is a family of termites that usually nest within damp wood (often buried in soil), though they may forage into dry wood (Maiti 2006). Many species have dimorphic soldiers, with minor soldiers having the fontanelle drawn out on a frontal tube that is used to spread defensive chemicals.

Characters (from Maiti 2006): Imago: Head oval to round, lateral sides parallel or convex; Y-suture distinct or indistinct. Fontanelle either minute or moderately prominent, fontanelle plate absent. Postclypeus either flat or weakly swollen. Mandibles each with one apical and three marginal teeth, first marginal of right mandible greatly reduced. Antennae with 14-23 segments. Pronotum flat. Forewing scale generally large, overlapping hindwing scale except in Reticulitermes and Psammotermes. Apical tibial spurs 3:2:2; tarsi with four segments; cerci two-segmented. Soldier: Monomorphic or dimorphic. Head oval or subrectangular. Fontanelle always present, opening variable in size and placement, sometimes placed either just on or near clypeus (Coptotermes) or on head-dorsum or on frontal tube drawn out anteriorly (Acorhinotermes); frontal furrow or fronto-clypeolabral furrow either present or absent. Labrum variable, either with or without hyaline tip; either broadly tongue-shaped or pentagonal or long drawn out; either with a few bristles near apical tip or a daubing brush. Mandibles well developed, at times reduced in minor soldier (Rhinotermes, Dolichorhinotermes, Acorhinotermes), either with marginal teeth or with a few crenulations on left mandible in basal half or without any marginal teeth and crenulations. Antennae with 12-17 segments. Pronotum flat. Apical tibial spur formula 3:2:2 (except in Glossotermes 2:2:2); tarsi four-segmented; cerci two-segmented.

<==Rhinotermitidae [Mesotermitidae]
    |--+--+--Heterotermitinae M06
    |  |  |    |--Heterotermes H42
    |  |  |    `--Reticulitermes M06
    |  |  `--Termitogeton Desneux 1904 [Termitogetoninae] M06
    |  |       |--*T. umbilicatus (Hagen 1858) [=Termes umbilicatus] M06
    |  |       |--T. minor Thapa 1982 M06
    |  |       `--T. planus (Hairland 1898) [=Termes planus] M06
    |  `--+--Coptotermes M06
    |     `--Psammotermitinae M06
    |          |--Glossotermes Emerson 1950 M06
    |          |    `--*G. oculatus Emerson 1950 M06
    |          `--Psammotermes Desneux 1902 M06
    |               |--*P. hybostoma Desneux 1902 (see below for synonymy) M06
    |               |--P. allocerus Silvestri 1908 M06
    |               |--P. rajasthanicus Roonwal & Bose 1960 M06
    |               `--P. voeltzkowi Wassmann in Voeltzkow 1910 M06
    `--Rhinotermitinae M06
         |--Prorhinotermes M06
         `--+--Parrhinotermes M06
            |--Macrorhinotermes Holmgren 1913 M06
            |    `--*M. maximus [=Schedorhinotermes (Macrorhinotermes) maximus] M06
            `--+--Schedorhinotermes M06
               `--+--Rhinotermes Hagen 1858 M06, H42
                  |    |--*R. nasutus (Perty 1830) (see below for synonymy) M06
                  |    |--R. hispidus Emerson 1925 M06
                  |    |--R. manni Snyder 1926 M06
                  |    `--R. marginalis (Linne 1758) [=Hemerobius marginalis, Termes (Rhinotermes) marginalis] M06
                  `--+--Acorhinotermes Emerson & Snyder in Snyder 1949 M06
                     |    `--*A. subfusciceps (Emerson 1925) [=Rhinotermes (Rhinotermes) subfusciceps] M06
                     `--Dolichorhinotermes M06
                          |--D. hageni M06
                          |--D. latilabrum (Snyder 1926) [=Rhinotermes latilabrum] M06
                          |--D. longidens (Snyder 1926) [=Rhinotermes longidens] M06
                          |--D. longilabius (Emerson 1925) [=Rhinotermes (Rhinotermes) longilabius] M06
                          `--D. tenebrosus (Emerson 1925) [=Rhinotermes (Rhinotermes) tenebrosus] M06

*Psammotermes hybostoma Desneux 1902 [incl. P. assuanensis Sjostedt 1912, P. fuscofemoralis Sjostedt 1904, P. senegalensis Sjostedt 1924] M06

*Rhinotermes nasutus (Perty 1830) [=Termes nasutum, T. (Rhinotermes) nasutus; incl. Rhinotermes taurus Desneux 1904] M06

*Type species of generic name indicated


[H42] Hill, G. F. 1942. Termites (Isoptera) from the Australian Region (including Australia, New Guinea and islands south of the Equator between 140°E. longitude and 170°W. longitude). Commonwealth of Australia Council for Scientific and Industrial Research: Melbourne.

[M06] Maiti, P. K. 2006. A taxonomic monograph on the world species of termites of the family Rhinotermitidae (Isoptera: Insecta). Memoirs of the Zoological Survey of India 20 (4): i–viii, 1–272.

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