New cave-dwelling arachnids discovered in Brazil

May 22, 2013
This image shows Rowlandius ubajara sp.nov., female from Ubajara, Ceara, Brazil. Credit: PLoS ONE 8(5): e63616. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063616

Two new species of cave-dwelling short-tailed whipscorpions have been discovered in northeastern Brazil, and are described in research published May 22 in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Adalberto Santos, from the Federal University of Minas Gerais (Brazil) and colleagues.

The reddish-brown short-tailed whipscorpions inhabit cool, humid limestone caves in an otherwise arid region. Both new species, Rowlandius ubajara and Rowlandius potiguara, were found deep within the , which are also home to bats. Bat guano and seed deposits harbor springtails and other small insects which are likely to serve as prey to these arachnids.

Both species were found only within the caves but there is little indication that they have adapted exclusively to life in darkness. Though specimens of both species lack eye spots, the authors clarify that this is a common trait in short-tailed whipscorpions, since the group does not rely heavily on visual information to survive. The authors conclude that it may not be uncommon to find them outside caves, and only further studies outside these caves will confirm the extent to which these new species may have adapted to become exclusive .

Explore further: East African honeybees are safe from invasive pests... for now

More information: Santos AJ, Ferreira RL, Buzatto BA (2013) Two New Cave-Dwelling Species of the Short-Tailed Whipscorpion Genus Rowlandius (Arachnida: Schizomida: Hubbardiidae) from Northeastern Brazil, with Comments on Male Dimorphism. PLOS ONE 8(5): e63616. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063616

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cave dwelling nettle discovered in China

Dec 28, 2012

South West China, Myanmar and Northern Vietnam contain one of the oldest exposed outcrops of limestone in the world. Within this area are thousands of caves and gorges. It is only recently that botanists ...

World's first eyeless huntsman spider discovered

Aug 09, 2012

A scientist from the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt has discovered the first eyeless huntsman spider in the world. The accompanying study has been published by the scientific journal Zootaxa.

Delving into darkness to discover new species

Jul 30, 2012

(Phys.org) -- Deep in the recesses of a northwestern Arizona cave, a beetle scuttles along the floor, navigating its way with its long antennae as hair-like tufts on its slender legs drag across the rocks.

Recommended for you

Orchid named after UC Riverside researcher

5 hours ago

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

7 hours ago

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

7 hours ago

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

Deadly human pathogen Cryptococcus fully sequenced

Within each strand of DNA lies the blueprint for building an organism, along with the keys to its evolution and survival. These genetic instructions can give valuable insight into why pathogens like Cryptococcus ne ...

Hackathon team's GoogolPlex gives Siri extra powers

(Phys.org) —Four freshmen at the University of Pennsylvania have taken Apple's personal assistant Siri to behave as a graduate-level executive assistant which, when asked, is capable of adjusting the temperature ...

Better thermal-imaging lens from waste sulfur

Sulfur left over from refining fossil fuels can be transformed into cheap, lightweight, plastic lenses for infrared devices, including night-vision goggles, a University of Arizona-led international team ...

Researchers discover target for treating dengue fever

Two recent papers by a University of Colorado School of Medicine researcher and colleagues may help scientists develop treatments or vaccines for Dengue fever, West Nile virus, Yellow fever, Japanese encephalitis and other ...