Cave Critters

Cave Invertebrates (Real Media)

Texoreddellia texensis: This cave adapted silverfish looks very similar to its relative on the surface but never leaves the cave. Because it lives in total darkness, it doesn't need its eyes or color pigment. It relies on sensitive feelers to find food.

Speodesmus: A millipede has 2 pairs of legs per body segment; a centipede has one pair. Millipedes eat fungus and bacteria and per the more moist areas in a cave.

Rhadine subterranea: This beetle lives in the dry, loose, disturbed dirt and limestone floor of the cave where it often finds cricket eggs to eat. This beetle is about the same shape and size as a large ant.

Ceuthophillus secretus: This cave cricket lives on the ceiling and walls, and leaves the cave at night to feed. They help bring nutrients back into the cave that the truly cave-adapted critters can live on.

Ceuthophilus cunicularis: This cave cricket prefers the cave floor. It's darker and smaller than the ceiling cricket. It may live off of droppings and other food sources from the ceiling dwelling critters.

Plethodon glutinosus: The Slimy Salamander often likes to live in the entrance "light" zones where it feeds on flying insects and other bugs including crickets, when they leave the cave to feed. These shy salamanders live under rocks and on ledges, so be careful where you step.

These creatures are known as "Troglozenes." They like caves and would live in them if they could, but their species lives on the surface and in the light, where they are known to feed on Big Macs, pizza and cola. They are not totally cave-adapted yet, but some hope one day they will be able to shed their artificial light sources, seeing in complete darkness.

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