During a four week period from in 1983, 45 sets of pooled water and soil samples were collected from the circumferences of 12 gravel pits, 16 natural fountains and 3 natural pans in the Etosha National Park. The gravel pits and naturaI pans all lay in a broadly defined ""anthrax enzootic"" region.
Thirty-six species of ant were collected in the central Namib Desert. South West Africa/Namibia during the period 1981 to 1985. The ant fauna was dominated by the Myrmicinae, comprising 29 species, followed by the Formicinae, comprising six species and the Pseudomyrmecinae with one species. The majority of ant species occurred on the gravel plains.
The genetic possibility of putative intergeneric hybridization between two sympatric Namib tenebrionids is descriptionbed. Crosses and reverse crosses were carried out between the putative parent species, as well as between two other related taxa. Egg production and hatching success were recorded for intergenericalIy, intersubspecifically and intraspecifically mated females as well as for females that were isolated from males and these data were compared. Obvious differences in the morphology of hybrid and nonhybrid larvae are descriptionbed.
Three new species of Mormisma (Thysanura: Lepismatidae) from the Namib desert of South West Africa are descriptionbed. A key to the known species of Mormisma is provided and the place of the genus in the system is discussd. It is proposed thal the smooth rnacrosetae of Mormisma may be due to secondary loss of barbs, making Mormisma and Hyperlepisma a monophyletic group.
Adults of the Adesmine tenebrionid beetle Onymacris plana secrete varying amounts of a bluish-white wax bloom related to their location in the climatic gradient of the central Namib desert. The material, produced by dermal glands and their associated secretory cells, forms whorls which anastomose covering the otherwise black cuticle.
The feasibility of using false colour composite Landsat images as an aid for mapping some of the major lichen communities in the Namib Desert is shown. Inherent limitations and possible applications of the technique in other regions of the world are discussed.
Behavioural and physiological aspects of the water economy of steenbok (Raphicerus campestros in the Namib Desert were investigated. Field observations indicate that the antelope are normally independent of free water, their main water source being dietary.
Remains of mammalian prey were extracted from pellets cast by Asio capensis (marsh owl) and Tyto alba (barn owl) at a number of sites in the Skeleton Coast Park and neighbouring Damaraland. Analysis of these remains provided information on micromammalian distribution and community struclure. Evidence for population structure of Gerbillurus paeba and G. cf setzeri was aIso forthcoming.
Baboons in the Kuiseb Canyon shifted to alternative foods as search time for formerly preferred foods increased. Newly incorporated plant food items included one species, Cyperus marginatus, which required extensive processing and one species, Salvadom persica which was an abundant but low quality food.
Sediments of the Khommabes depression provide evidence for a varied history of deposition and secondary alternation during the Quaternary. During a period or wetter dimate, fluvial sediments, probably deposited on a former flood-plain of the Kuiseb River, were cemented by calcite to form a calcrete. The lower part or this calcrete was later altered to dolomite. Subscquently, aeolian sand, possibly derived from the flood-plain, was deposited at the basin.