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Cave Dwellers

ENTRANCE DARK ZONE No trace of sunlight. All life is dependent on indirect contact with other organisms. TWILIGHT Extends as far as there is a trace of sunlight. Arthropods: Wolf spider, fishing spider, cave spider Isopods: Fern cave isopod, Frost cave isopod, aquatic sowbug • Crayfish: Appalachian brook crayfish Crustaceans: amphi- pods (shrimp-like creatures) Snails Cave life zones Life in the caves is dependent on sunlight. Light brings nutrients into the cave through organic matter that indirectly feeds all the organisms that inhabit it. A look at life in each of the zones: Cave dwellers Spider: Meta ovalis Earthworms Extends 6 to 8 feet into cave, where there is direct sunlight at times. Plants: Wild columbine, Sullvantia, jewelweed Wall Algae Microbes Beetles: Potato beetle, dung beetle, staphylinid beetle Arthropods: Wolf spider, fishing spider, cave spider Isopods: Terrestrial pill bugs, woodlice and aquatic Wittenberg professor and cave expert Horton Hobbs will probably find a few new species during his two-year census of cavernicoles- animals that live in one of three zones inside Ohio caverns. This illustration shows some of the life found in Ohio caves. Not every cave is home to the same animals. • Bats: Big brown bat (winter) Moths: Herald moth (winter) •Almost anything else that would normally inhabit the forest floor sowbug • Crayfish: Appalachian brook crayfish • Spiders Flying insects: Fungus gnats, red-eyed flies EYED AQUATIC PILLBUG CAVE SCUD • Crickets: Camel cricket DADDY LONGLEGS • Crickets: Camel cricket Snails Beetles: Ohio cave beetle, staphylinid beetle Cave visitors Must have periodic contact with the surface. For an interactive look at cave dwellers, go to • Harvestmen Bats: Little brown bat, Eastern pipistrelle O TROGOXENE | Terrestrial O STYGOXENE Aquatic Spiders • Crickets: Camel cricket • Bats: Eastern pipistrelle, little brown bat (winter) • Harvestmen (daddy longlegs) Cave lovers Can spend most or all of their lives within caves but are not ORB-WEAVER CAVE SPIDER STALACTITES Formed from deposits of dissolved calcium physically adapted to cave environment. RED-EYED FLY O TROGOPHILE Terrestrial O STYGOPHILE Aquatic SUNLIGHT carbonate in BLIND CAVE BEETLE Cave dwellers Stay inside caves and usually are blind, have reduced pigment, long antennae, low metabolisms, low reproductive rates and long life spans. groundwater I TROGOBIONT Terrestrial STYGOBIONT | Aquatic ENTRANCE Some direct sunlight, organic material TWILIGHT ZONE No direct sunlight; life indirectly affected by light DARK ZONE No light; very little life possible BLIND AQUATIC PILLBUG SCALE: 1 inch equals approximately 2 feet - ALGAE/ MOSS STREAM Groundwater LEAF OITTER stream carves out the cave over time. PICKEREL FROG TERRESTRIAL PILLBUG LONG-TAILED SALAMANDER CAMEL CRICKET "HUNDRED LEGGER" CENTIPEDE CRANE FLY SOLITARY BAT FALSE SCORPION PLANT LIFE

Cave Dwellers

shared by timmeko on Feb 21
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Some animals have evolved to live in a wold without light. This infographic was the result of crawling on my belly through the muck and mud of a Southwestern-Ohio cave with a researcher who was docume...


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