ArticlePDF Available

The cave fauna of Texas with special reference to the western Edwards Plateau

Authors:

Abstract

Stejneger's 1896 description of Typhlomolge rathbuni, the Texas blind salamander, from the artesian well in San Marcos, inspired several important studies of the cave and phreatic fauna of the San Marcos area. Additional random collections in Texas resulted in the discovery of several additional troglobites and troglophiles of interest. No systematic survey of the cave fauna of the state, however, existed prior to the formation of the Texas Speleological Survey (TSS) in 1961. The TSS began an active program of collection in all caves visited, with several trips specifically designed to sample cave fauna. The early results of these studies were published by Reddell (1965, 1966, 1967,
A preview of the PDF is not available
... Meso-mammals are an important part of the ecosystem of a cave. The scat deposited by meso-mammals, such as North American porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum), raccoons (Procyon lotor), and Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), is an essential source of nutrition for caveobligate species in the oligotrophic cave environment (Reddell, 1994;Gary, 2009;Moseley et al., 2013). Historic records suggest central Texas caves were historically associated with use by raccoons and Virginia opossums (Reddell, 1994;Veni et al., 2002) but are now used extensively by newly naturalized North American porcupines (Montalvo, 2017). ...
... The scat deposited by meso-mammals, such as North American porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum), raccoons (Procyon lotor), and Virginia opossum (Didelphis virginiana), is an essential source of nutrition for caveobligate species in the oligotrophic cave environment (Reddell, 1994;Gary, 2009;Moseley et al., 2013). Historic records suggest central Texas caves were historically associated with use by raccoons and Virginia opossums (Reddell, 1994;Veni et al., 2002) but are now used extensively by newly naturalized North American porcupines (Montalvo, 2017). ...
... This new nutrient source may threaten cave-obligate species because overabundance of nutrients could support the invasion of caves by more competitive or predatory nonobligate species (Veni et al., 2002;Wood et al., 2008). Understanding how meso-mammals interact with the cave ecosystem is especially critical for Camp Bullis because these caves are habitat for both rare species and three federally endangered species (Cicurina madla, Rhadine exilis, Rhadine infernalis; Reddell, 1994;Gary, 2009). ...
... Management of meso-mammal cave use is especially important at Joint Base San Antonio-Camp Bullis (hereafter Camp Bullis), where many of the caves are actively managed for three United States federally-listed endangered invertebrates (Cicurina madla Gertsch, 1992; Rhadine exilis Barr & Lawrence, 1960; Rhadine infernalis Barr & Lawrence, 1960) as well as cave crickets (Ceuthophilus spp.), whose eggs serve as an important food source for cave-obligate species. Generally, Raccoons (Procyon lotor Linnaeus, 1758; Reddell 1994) and Virginia Opossums (Didelphis virginiana Kerr, 1792) are suspected to use caves for denning and feeding on arthropods (Winkler and Adams 1972;Allen et al. 1985;Martin et al. 2003;Elliott and Ashley 2005;Elbroch and Rinehart 2011;Moseley et al. 2013). North American Porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum Linnaeus, 1758) are suspected to use caves for resting and denning (Woods 1973;Morin et al. 2005;Roze 2009). ...
... The geographic range of North American Porcupines is expanding and the species is now naturalized in central Texas (Ilse and Hellgren 2001;Schmidly and Bradley 2016). Whereas Raccoons (Reddell 1994), and likely Virginia Opossums, historically used caves in central Texas, North American Porcupines were first seen at Camp Bullis in 2003 (C. Thibodeaux, unpublished data), so their scat represents a novel, and often abundant, energy input. ...
... Cave fauna require external nutrient inputs but if a cave's total nutrient input is too large, the cave-adapted species can be replaced by more competitive or predatory species (Gary 2009). Camp Bullis caves were historically supported with nutrient inputs from both cave crickets (Ceuthophilus spp.; Reddell 1994) and Raccoons (Veni et al. 2002) but nutrient inputs are now often dominated by newly naturalized North American Porcupines (Montalvo 2017). North American Porcupine scat is therefore a new and often abundant nutrient source that needs continued research and monitoring to prevent extirpation of cave-adapted species. ...
... These species rely on nutrients from external sources, particularly the scat of meso-mammals such as raccoons (Procyon lotor) or porcupines (Calder & Bleakney 1965;Peck 1988;Elliott & Ashley 2005;Moseley et al. 2013). The caves in central Texas on Joint Base San Antonio -Camp Bullis (hereafter Camp Bullis) include three endangered arthropod species, Madla Cave meshweaver (Cicurina madla) and two ground beetles (Rhadine exilis and R. infernalis), that were historically associated with raccoon scat nutrient inputs (Reddell 1994;Veni et al. 2002). Porcupines were first recorded in Camp Bullis caves in 2003 (C. ...
... The results of this study are pertinent to porcupine management on Camp Bullis where their recent cave use could jeopardize federally endangered cave-obligate arthropods. Because the oligotrophic cave environments on Camp Bullis were historically supported mainly by the nutrient inputs provided by raccoon scat (Reddell 1994;Veni et al. 2002), scat left by porcupines represents a novel and often abundant source of additional nutrients. These additional nutrients could eventually threaten cave-obligate species by supporting less specialized, but more competitive or predatory terrestrial species in the cave environment (Gary 2009). ...
Article
Full-text available
North American porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum) have expanded their range into central Texas and are now frequent users of caves as den sites. What remains unknown is how caves affect their home range, and their local habitat preferences. This information is important for management decisions on Joint Base San Antonio – Camp Bullis where novel and abundant porcupine scat in caves could jeopardize federally endangered cave-obligate arthropods by allowing for the invasion of less specialized terrestrial species. To better understand porcupine home range and habitat use at Camp Bullis, we trapped four porcupines at cave entrances and fitted them with GPS collars. The 95% home range averaged 71.3 ha for females and measured 420.6 ha for the male. The 50% core habitat averaged 55.4 ha for females and measured 7.4 ha for the male. Porcupines typically stayed near the den-cave trap site except when visiting more diverse mixed forest patches. At the landscape and point levels, individuals selected for forested cover and avoided open areas. At the home range level, individuals selected for bare ground and roads, which were likely used to get from the cave den site to feed at mixed forest patches. Typically solitary, individuals in this study tolerated sharing a cave. Because of the small sample size and single sampling location, this study represents a pilot study and additional research is needed to establish concrete conclusions. Should cave managers need to limit the cave use by porcupines, a cave gate, exclosure, or reduction of forested cover would make caves less desirable.
... Most troglobitic Rhadine spp. are geographically separated and known from only one or few localities (Barr and Kuehne 1971;Reddell 1994), which has led to federal listing for some species (Reddell 1994). Life history traits, such as reproduction and early life stages of Rhadine spp. ...
... Most troglobitic Rhadine spp. are geographically separated and known from only one or few localities (Barr and Kuehne 1971;Reddell 1994), which has led to federal listing for some species (Reddell 1994). Life history traits, such as reproduction and early life stages of Rhadine spp. ...
... Three additional subterranean-adapted species occurred in multiple caves with maximum distances ranging from 81.27 and 137.6 km ( Table 3). As many troglomorphic arthropods are identified as short-range endemic species, occurring in a single cave or geological formation (Reddell 1994, Culver et al. 2000, Christman et al. 2005, Deharveng et al. 2008, Tian 2011, Harvey and Wynne 2014, Gao et al. 2018, Nitzu et al. 2018 and that rivers and valleys/ lowland areas often result in vicariance (Barr 1985, Faille et al. 2015, Katz et al. 2018, the genetic relatedness of at least these three species should be further examined using genetic techniques. While these species may be morphological similar, we suggest they may be genetically distinct -potentially representing different subspecies or lineages. ...
Article
Full-text available
We synthesized the current knowledge of cave-dwelling millipede diversity from Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (Guangxi), South China Karst, China and described six new millipede species from four caves from the Guilin area, northeastern Guangxi. Fifty-two cave-dwelling millipedes are known for the region consisting of 38 troglobionts and 14 troglophiles. Of the troglobionts, 24 are presently considered single-cave endemics. New species described here include Hyleoglomerisrukouqu sp. nov. and Hyleoglomerisxuxiakei sp. nov. (Family Glomeridae), Hylomusyuani sp. nov. (Family Paradoxosomatidae), Eutrichodesmusjianjia sp. nov. (Family Haplodesmidae), Trichopeltisliangfengdong sp. nov. (Family Cryptodesmidae), and Glyphiulusmaocun sp. nov. (Family Cambalopsidae). Our work also resulted in range expansions of Pacidesmustrifidus Golovatch & Geoffroy, 2014, Blingulussinicus Zhang & Li, 1981 and Glyphiulusmelanoporus Mauriès & Nguyen Duy-Jacquemin, 1997. As with many hypogean animals in Southeast Asia, intensive human activities threaten the persistence of both cave habitats and species. We provide both assessments on the newly described species’ distributions and recommendations for future research and conservation efforts.
... Regarding the restriction to the subterranean environment, there is no known species of the family that is restricted to these environments, although the spirostreptidan suborder Cambalidea has at least three troglobite species in the New World: Cambala speobia Chamberlin, 1953 and Cambala reddeli inornatus Causey, 1964 both from gypsite caves in Texas (USA) and Mexicambala russelli Causey, 1964 found in caves in Mexico (Causey 1964;Reddell 1994, White & Culver 2012. Depigmentation, reduced number of ocelli (Cambala speobia and Mexicambala russeli are anophthalmic) and increased body size have been considered as troglomorphic characters in these species (Causey 1964). ...
Article
Pseudonannolene spelaea n. sp. is the first strictly cave-dwelling species described for the family Pseudonannolenidae. It is found in iron ore caves in the Brazilian Amazon. The family Pseudonannolenidae is exclusively Neotropical and frequently found in caves of Brazil, from which 20 species are known. The new species is compared with its congeners and with related cave-dwelling species. The family Pseudonannolenidae is discussed, and comments are presented on the conservation status of the caves where the species is found, which potentially may be the target of anthropogenic impacts resulting from iron ore extraction.
... Three additional subterranean-adapted species occurred in multiple caves with maximum distances ranging from 81.27 and 137.6 km ( Table 3). As many troglomorphic arthropods are identified as short-range endemic species, occurring in a single cave or geological formation (Reddell 1994, Culver et al. 2000, Christman et al. 2005, Deharveng et al. 2008, Tian 2011, Harvey and Wynne 2014, Gao et al. 2018, Nitzu et al. 2018 and that rivers and valleys/ lowland areas often result in vicariance (Barr 1985, Faille et al. 2015, Katz et al. 2018, the genetic relatedness of at least these three species should be further examined using genetic techniques. While these species may be morphological similar, we suggest they may be genetically distinct -potentially representing different subspecies or lineages. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
We synthesized the current knowledge of cave-dwelling millipede diversity from Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region (Guangxi), South China Karst, China and described six new millipede species from four caves from the Guilin area, northeastern Guangxi. Fifty-two cave-dwelling millipedes are known for the region consisting of 38 troglobionts and 14 troglophiles. Of the troglobionts, 24 are presently considered single-cave endemics. New species described here include Hyleoglomeris rukouqu sp. nov. and Hyleoglomeris xuxiakei sp. nov. (Family Glomeridae), Hylomus yuani sp. nov. (Family Paradoxosomatidae), Eutrichodesmus jianjia sp. nov. (Family Haplodesmidae), Trichopeltis liangfengdong sp. nov. (Family Cryptodesmidae), and Glyphiulus maocun sp. nov. (Family Cambalopsidae). Our work also resulted in range expansions of Pacidesmus trifidus Golovatch & Geoffroy, 2014, Blingulus sinicus Zhang & Li, 1981 and Glyphiulus melanoporus Mauriès & Nguyen Duy-Jacquemin, 1997. As with many hypogean animals in Southeast Asia, intensive human activities threaten the persistence of both cave habitats and species. We provide both assessments on the newly described species’ distributions and recommendations for future research and conservation efforts.
... Because of their restricted distributions and life history traits, many populations of troglomorphic (subterranean-adapted) species are considered highly sensitive or imperiled and thus high priority targets for protective management (Culver et al., 2000;Niemiller & Zigler, 2013;Niemiller et al., 2017). Troglomorphic species are often endemic to a single cave or region (Reddell, 1994 small populations (Mitchell, 1970). Thus, effectively sampling caves to detect troglobionts should be a priority of cave biological inventories. ...
Article
Full-text available
Ever-increasing human pressures on cave biodiversity have amplified the need for systematic, repeatable, and intensive surveys of cave-dwelling arthropods to formulate evidence-based management decisions. We examined 110 papers (from 1967 to 2018) to: (i) understand how cave-dwelling invertebrates have been sampled; (ii) provide a summary of techniques most commonly applied and appropriateness of these techniques, and; (iii) make recommendations for sampling design improvement. Of the studies reviewed, over half (56) were biological inventories, 43 ecologically focused, seven were techniques papers, and four were conservation studies. Nearly one-half (48) of the papers applied systematic techniques. Few papers (24) provided enough information to repeat the study; of these, only 11 studies included cave maps. Most studies (56) used two or more techniques for sampling cave-dwelling invertebrates. Ten studies conducted ≥10 site visits per cave. The use of quantitative techniques was applied in 43 of the studies assessed. More than one-third (42) included some level of discussion on management. Future studies should employ a systematic study design, describe their methods in sufficient detail as to be repeatable, and apply multiple techniques and site visits. This level of effort and detail is required to obtain the most complete inventories, facilitate monitoring of sensitive cave arthropod populations, and make informed decisions regarding the management of cave habitats. We also identified naming inconsistencies of sampling techniques and provide recommendations towards standardization.
Article
Ostracods of the family Entocytheridae are obligate ectosymbionts of other crustaceans, including crayfishes, isopods, amphipods, and a species of freshwater crab. Entocytheridae, with five subfamilies, 35 genera, and 213 currently accepted species, represents one the most diverse groups of extant freshwater ostracods. Here, we present the results of an extensive literature review, documenting the often complex historical taxonomic activity and resulting classification of Entocytheridae. This overview highlights inconsistencies, errors, and additional sources of confusion that have been inadvertently introduced into the literature, a number of which have remained uncorrected for decades. Also provided is a comprehensive checklist of taxonomic nomenclature and a list of currently accepted names in Entocytheridae.
Book
Full-text available
NOUVELLE MONOGRAPHIE DES TRECHINAE
Article
Intracave distribution and dispersion patterns within a population of the troglobitic carabid beetle Rhadine subterranea were studied. Distribution was markedly heterogeneous, the beetles being almost entirely restricted to substrata of deep, uncompacted silt. Dispersion of the beetles on the silt substrata did not depart from random expectation. It is shown, however, that this is a functionally emergent pattern resulting from an intrasex repulsion related to feeding which tends to produce regularity counterbalanced by an intersex attraction related to reproduction which tends to produce contagion.
Article
Unusual levels of individual and populational variation and character discordance in three samples of troglobitic Eurycea from the Edwards Plateau of central Texas indicate hybridization between Eurycea neotenes and E. tridentifera. The two species are microsympatric but exhibit habitat segregation in one case, are contiguously allopatric in the same cave system in another, and appear to interact as vagrants in the third. E. neotenes and E. tridentifera seem to be evolving reproductive isolation at Honey Creek Cave, where hybrids are uncommon. Eurycea troglodytes and E. latitans are shown to be invalid taxa, the former consisting of a hybrid swarm of temporally variable composition and the latter being a troglobitic population of E. neotenes which episodically incorporates individuals of E. tridentifera. Variation in the interactions of the parental species on contact is ascribed to differences in the opportunity for ecological segregation permitted, the relative frequencies of incursion of the parental taxa through time, and differences in the escape behavior of intermediate and advanced troglobites in cave systems which periodically receive influxes of flood-borne epigean fish.