A dispersal route for Nasutitermes corniger (Isoptera: Termitidae) in the Neotropical Region
Amanda de Faria Santos, Amanda de Faria Santos , Tiago Fernandes Carrijo , CANCELLO, E. M. , Adriana Coletto Morales Corrêa e Castro
Universidade Estadual Paulista - UNESP; Universidade Estadual Paulista - UNESP ; Universidade Federal do ABC - UFABC ; Museu de Zoologia da USP ; Universidade Estadual Paulista - UNESP
The Neotropical Region is known for its biodiversity and ranks third in number of known termite species. However, biogeographic and phylogeographic information of termites of this region is limited compared to other world geographic regions. Nasutitermes corniger is widely distributed in the region and has considerable economic importance. The goal of this study was to describe the phylogeography of N. corniger in the Neotropical Region, to better understand its evolutionary processes. The sampled populations of N. corniger showed high genetic variation. Results indicated strong geographic structure among N. corniger populations, with most haplotypes not broadly shared among separated locations. Phylogeographic analyses showed a dispersal route for N. corniger from Central America into South America via the Isthmus of Panama, with subsequent dispersal through the highlands east of the Andes and into eastern regions of the continent. The majority of haplotypes were limited in distribution to proximal regions, corresponding to particular biomes (Atlantic Forest, Amazonia, Chaco, Cerrado and Caatinga). Nasutitermes corniger is suggested to be a good model for biogeographic and phylogeographic studies in the Neotropical Region. This study clarified the phylogeographic history of N. corniger and can contribute to the understanding of biogeographic dispersion processes in the Neotropical Region.