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AnimalsScience

Cave-Dwelling Arachnids — Two New Species Found In Brazil

Researchers recently discovered two new species of cave-dwelling arachnids in northeastern Brazil — Rowlandius ubajara and Rowlandius potiguara. The arachnids are both a type of short-tailed whipscorpion.

Image Credit: Santos AJ, Ferreira RL, Buzatto BA (2013)
Image Credit: Santos AJ, Ferreira RL, Buzatto BA (2013)

The arachnids are a reddish-brown color, and were discovered inhabiting the cool, humid limestone caves present in the otherwise arid northeastern Brazil region. They were both discovered deep inside of these limestone caves. The Arachnids likely prey on the small insects that live in the cave feeding on Bat guano and seed deposits.


“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 researchers, from the Federal University of Minas Gerais, have concluded that the species’ may be present outside of the caves as well. They are next planning to explore the areas outside of the caves to “confirm the extent to which these new species may have adapted to become exclusive cave dwellers.”

The new findings were just published in the journal PLOS ONE.




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