Scientists describe the deepest terrestrial arthropod ever found

Feb 22, 2012

Scientists have recently described the deepest terrestrial animal ever found, together with 4 new species for science. These animals are springtails (Arthropoda, Insecta, Collembola), a minute primitive wingless insect with six-legs and without eyes that live in total darkness.

Described by Rafael Jordana and Enrique Baquero from University of Navarra (Spain), they are known for science as: Anurida stereoodorata, Deuteraphorura kruberaensis, Schaefferia profundissima and Plutomurus ortobalaganensis. The last one is the deepest arthropod ever found, at the remarkable depth of 1.980 meters (2,165 yards) below ground surface.

These were collected during the biospeleological works of Sofia Reboleira, from the University of Aveiro (Portugal) and Alberto Sendra, from the Valencian Museum of Natural History (Spain), both who were members of the Ibero-Russian CaveX Team Expedition to the World's deepest , during the summer of 2010.

The World's deepest cave, Krubera-Voronja, reaching nowadays the remarkable depth of -2.191 meters below ground level, is located in Abkhazia, a remote area near the Black Sea in the mountains of Western Caucasus, being the only cave in the World with more than 2 kilometres of depth.

The discovery of life in such deep systems launches new insights about the way we look at . In total absence of light and extreme low food resources, cave-dwelling animals have unique adaptations to subterranean life. They lack body pigmentation, they have no eyes and have been developing morpho-physological strategies for survival at such depth, during millions of years. One of the species has, for example, a spectacular chemoreceptor, a highly specialised type of the habitual post-antennal organ of the springtails.

Explore further: Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

More information: Reviews of the genera Schaefferia Absolon, 1900, Deuteraphorura Absolon, 1901, Plutomurus Yosii, 1956 and the Anurida Laboulbène, 1865 species group without eyes, with the description of four new species of cave springtails (Collembola) from Krubera-Voronya cave, Arabika Massif, Abkhazi, Terrestrial Arthropod Reviews, volume 5 (2012) pp. 1-51

Provided by University of Navarra

4 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Life photographed at Europe's deepest point

Apr 14, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- Aberdeen scientists have photographed for the first time fish and shrimps at Europe’s deepest point -- 5111 meters or 3.2 miles deep below the surface of the Mediterranean Sea.

Earliest evidence of our cave-dwelling human ancestors

Dec 19, 2008

A research team led by Professor Michael Chazan, director of the University of Toronto's Archaeology Centre, has discovered the earliest evidence of our cave-dwelling human ancestors at the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa.

Recommended for you

Male monkey filmed caring for dying mate (w/ Video)

Apr 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —The incident was captured by Dr Bruna Bezerra and colleagues in the Atlantic Forest in the Northeast of Brazil.  Dr Bezerra is a Research Associate at the University of Bristol and a Professor ...

Orchid named after UC Riverside researcher

Apr 17, 2014

One day about eight years ago, Katia Silvera, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Riverside, and her father were on a field trip in a mountainous area in central Panama when they stumbled ...

In sex-reversed cave insects, females have the penises

Apr 17, 2014

Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on April 17 have discovered little-known cave insects with rather novel sex lives. The Brazilian insects, which represent four distinct but re ...

Fear of the cuckoo mafia

Apr 17, 2014

If a restaurant owner fails to pay the protection money demanded of him, he can expect his premises to be trashed. Warnings like these are seldom required, however, as fear of the consequences is enough to ...

User comments : 0

More news stories

Cancer stem cells linked to drug resistance

Most drugs used to treat lung, breast and pancreatic cancers also promote drug-resistance and ultimately spur tumor growth. Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered ...