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MOSCOW, June 13. /TASS/ Researchers from the Tyumen State University (TyumSU) have discovered a new species of Acari living in termite mounds in South Africa.
The finding has been reported by Andrey Tolsktikov, the chief of international complex scientific and research laboratory at TyumSU for researching climate, agricultural usage, and biodiversity.
"The scientific expedition by researchers from TyumSU to South Africa has been crowned with success as previously not known species and genus of Acari living in termite mounds have been discovered," Tolstikov stated.
The mites have been found in a small national park near the city of Bloemfontein in the African savanna. The representatives of that species feed on mushrooms and settle in new areas by attaching to the body of termites.
According to the scientists, up to now, the mites living in termite mounds in South Africa have not been studied and the researchers are very excited about upcoming findings.
The expedition has been organized as a part of cooperation with the National Museum of the Republic of South Africa in Bloemfontein.
Termites belong to the most abundant insects in the South Africa with some of them being capable of causing damage to buildings. An encouraging way of controlling them is through a biological method by using their natural enemies. The scientists presume that the careful study of the neighbors of termites might open a new path to developing ways to reduce the population of depredators.