Taxonomic Partition Suggests a High Degree of Coevolution Between Termites and Their Termitophiles


  • Igor Eloi Universidade Estadual da Paraíba - Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia e Conservação
  • Carlos M. Pires-Silva Universidade de São Paulo-Museu de Zoologia
  • Bruno Zilberman Universidade de São Paulo - Museu de Zoologia



Corotocini, Evolution, Biodiversity scaling, Termitophily


Termites have a tight interaction with their social parasitic Corotocini beetles. This association is thought to be mainly host-specific, despite some host-switch events. By analyzing the taxonomic partition between species and genera of Corotocini, we propose the hypothesis that the main driver of the diversity of these termitophiles is coevolution.


Download data is not yet available.


Bourguignon, T., Lo, N., Cameron, S.L., Šobotník, J., Hayashi, Y., Shigenobu, S., Watanabe, D., Roisin, Y., Miura, T. & Evans, T.A. (2014). The evolutionary history of termites as inferred from 66 mitochondrial genomes. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 32: 406-421. doi: 10.1093/molbev/msu308

Cai, C., Huang, D., Newton, A.F., Eldredge, K.T. & Engel, M.S. (2017a). Early evolution of specialized termitophily in Cretaceous rove beetles. Current Biology, 27: 1229-1235. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.03.009

Cai, C., Huang, D., Newton, A.F., Eldredge, K.T. & Engel, M. S. (2017b). Response to “Evidence from amber for the origins of termitophily”. Current Biology, 27: R794-R795. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2017.06.083

Eloi, I., Pires-Silva, C.M. & Zilberman, B. (2020). Cumulative species description curve of Corotocini (Aleocharinae, Staphylinidae) and prospects for the future. Acta Brasiliensis, 4: 133-136. doi: 10.22571/2526-4338325.

Enquist, B.J., Haskell, J.P. & Tiffney, B.H. (2002). General patterns of taxonomic and biomass partitioning in extant and fossil plant communities. Nature, 419: 610-613. doi: 10.1038/ nature01069

Gotelli, N.J. (2002). Biodiversity in the scales. Nature, 419: 575-576. doi: 10.1038/419575ª

Irmler, U., Klimaszewski, J. & Betz, O. (2018). Introduction to the biology of rove beetles. In O. Betz, U. Irmler & J. Klimaszewski (Eds.), Biology of Rove Beetles (Staphylinidae): Life History, Evolution, Ecology and Distribution (pp. 1-4). Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-70257-5_1

Jacobson, H., Kistner, D. & Pasteels, J.M. (1986). Generic revision, phylogenetic classification, and phylogeny of the termiophilous tribe Corotocini (Coleoptera: Staphylinidae). Sociobiology, 12: 1-239.

Janzen, D.H. (1980). When is it Coevolution? Evolution, 34: 611-612. doi: 10.2307/2408229

Mouillot, D. & Poulin, R. (2004). Taxonomic partitioning shedding light on the diversification of parasite communities. Oikos, 104: 205-207. doi: 10.1111/j.0030-1299.2004.12833.x

Oliveira, M.H. de, Vieira, R.V. da S., Moreira, I.E., Pires-Silva, C.M., Lima, H.V.G. de, Andrade, M.R. de L. & Bezerra-Gusmão, M.A. (2018). “The road to reproduction”: Foraging trails of Constrictotermes cyphergaster (Termitidae: Nasutitermitinae) as maternities for Staphylinidae beetles. Sociobiology, 65: 531-533. doi: 10.13102/sociobiology.v65i3.2902

Page, R.D. (2003). Tangled trees: Phylogeny, cospeciation, and coevolution. University of Chicago Press, 350p

Pagel, M.D. & Harvey, P.H. (1989). Taxonomic differences in the scaling of brain on body weight among mammals. Science, 244: 1589-1593. doi: 10.1126/science.2740904

Parker, J., Taro Eldredge, K., Thomas, I.M., Coleman, R. & Davis, S.R. (2018). Hox-logic of body plan innovations for social symbiosis in rove beetles. BioRxiv. doi: 10.1101/198945

Poulin, R. & Mouillot, D. (2004). The evolution of taxonomic diversity in helminth assemblages of mammalian hosts. Evolutionary Ecology, 18: 231-247. doi: 10.1023/B:EVEC.00 00035029.55952.68

Seevers, C.H. (1957). A monograph on the termitophilous Staphylinidae (Coleoptera). Fieldiana: Zoology, 40: 1-334.

Thompson, J.N. (1994). The coevolutionary process. University of Chicago Press, 383.




How to Cite

Eloi, I., Pires-Silva, C. M., & Zilberman, B. (2021). Taxonomic Partition Suggests a High Degree of Coevolution Between Termites and Their Termitophiles. Sociobiology, 68(4), e5942.



Short Note