Observations on the diversity of termites in Angola and Namibia
Keywords:Angola, diversity, endemism, highlands, Namibia, termites
Termites are widely distributed, and the highest number of genera are documented for the Afrotropical region. Nevertheless, data or species lists for southern Africa were mainly compiled by a few scientists during several field surveys between the 1950s and 1970s. However, knowledge about the diversity and endemism of termites in highland areas was not collated during these surveys and has not been assembled to date. Since then, different scientists used these datasets to measure the species richness or the endemic species richness for single countries, e.g., South Africa. Termite species lists for Angola are scarce and were compiled for only a few regions, where 10 of 93 species were found to be endemic. Our current knowledge about the termite species diversity in Namibia is substantially better, with 8 of 54 species from four families being endemic. However, recent molecular studies on single termite species show high genetic diversity. More research on the currently available material in collections as well as molecular studies on species from southern Africa is needed.
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