Scientists describe the deepest terrestrial arthropod ever found

February 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: Researchers chirping over discovery of new cricket genus

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

Related Stories

Earliest evidence of our cave-dwelling human ancestors

December 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.

Life photographed at Europe's deepest point

April 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.

Recommended for you

Researchers design first artificial ribosome

July 29, 2015

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Northwestern University have engineered a tethered ribosome that works nearly as well as the authentic cellular component, or organelle, that produces all the proteins ...

Studies reveal details of error correction in cell division

July 29, 2015

Cell biologists led by Thomas Maresca at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with collaborators elsewhere, report an advance in understanding the workings of an error correction mechanism that helps cells detect and ...

Researchers discover new type of mycovirus

July 29, 2015

Researchers, led by Dr Robert Coutts, Leverhulme Research Fellow from the School of Life and Medical Sciences at the University of Hertfordshire, and Dr Ioly Kotta-Loizou, Research Associate at Imperial College, have discovered ...

Stressed out plants send animal-like signals

July 29, 2015

University of Adelaide research has shown for the first time that, despite not having a nervous system, plants use signals normally associated with animals when they encounter stress.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.