ASU scientist of Altai State University finds new species of lepidopteran butterfly in South Africa

26 March 2018 Department of Information and Media Communications
Professor of the Department of Ecology, Biochemistry and Biotechnology under the Faculty of Biology at Altai State University, Doctor of Biology Roman Yakovlev summarized the preliminary results of the scientific expedition he had made as part of an international group of scientists on the territory of South Africa.

Within a month, Roman Yakovlev and 4 other Russian biologists worked in South Africa with the support of the staff of the KwaZulu-Natal Museum in the South African Republic, where they examined 9 specially protected natural areas on the territory of provinces: KwaZulu-Natal, Free State, Eastern and Western Cape.

"I am satisfied with the results of my work in South Africa. This was my third expedition to Africa, where I managed to work in six different countries. During this trip I collected a lot of material for molecular genetic research and even discovered one new species of lepidopterans in the Cossoidea group, which is the sphere of my scientific interests. All this is very important for the implementation of my scientific program, the participants of which include students of Altai State University,” Roman Yakovlev said.

According to the scientist, the trip was somewhat complicated by the information about the murder of two British botanists by radical Islamists in the Pangola region, where an expedition with the participation of Professor Yakovlev was carried out. Due to the news, the researchers had to make adjustments to their plans, and yet they managed to visit a number of unique reserves and national parks.

"In addition to working with entomological material, I managed to see with my own eyes and photograph dozens of larger representatives of African fauna: zebras, giraffes, damans, numerous antelopes, monkeys, turtles, ostriches, lizards, snakes, etc. The materials collected by us will be included in a number of publications. In addition, I tried to collect materials for my fellow botanists and bought several interesting books," Roman Yakovlev specified.

This trip has been a part of Professor Yakovlev’s expedition program, supported by a number of domestic and foreign funds. It is aimed at the research of biodiversity. In particular, Professor Yakovlev is working on the collection of materials for molecular genetic studies within the initiative project of entomologists of Altai State University on the topic "Lepidoptera, Cossoidea of the World Fauna: Taxonomy, Molecular Phylogeny, Zoogeography" supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research.

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