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Temporal range: HauterivianHolocene, 129.4–0 Ma[1]
CSIRO ScienceImage 3698 Mastotermes darwiniensis Giant Northern Termite.jpg
Mastotermes darwiniensis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Blattodea
Infraorder: Isoptera
Parvorder: Euisoptera
Family: Mastotermitidae
Desneux 1904

See text

Mastotermitidae is a family of termites with one sole living species, Mastotermes darwiniensis which is found only in northern Australia. The remaining genera of this family are only known from the fossil record.

Fossil record[edit]

Numerous fossil taxa have been described in the Mastotermitidae, as well as in the genus Mastotermes. The family seems to have had a worldwide distribution until just a few million years ago, when all but the ancestors of the giant northern termite became extinct for unknown reasons.

Genera included in the Mastotermitidae are:[2]


  1. ^ Wang, Yan-hui; Engel, Michael S.; Rafael, José A.; Wu, Hao-yang; Rédei, Dávid; Xie, Qiang; Wang, Gang; Liu, Xiao-guang; Bu, Wen-jun (2016). "Fossil record of stem groups employed in evaluating the chronogram of insects (Arthropoda: Hexapoda)". Scientific Reports. 6: 38939. doi:10.1038/srep38939. PMC 5154178. PMID 27958352.
  2. ^ Krishna, K., D.A. Grimaldi, V. Krishna, & M.S. Engel (2013) Treatise on the Isoptera of the world. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 377: 1-2704.