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Comparative study of the invertebrate cave faunas of Southeast Asia and New Guinea

Petar Beron

29 July 2015 · volume 21 · pp. 169–210 · PDF [full text]

Abstract: An attempt is made to compare the available data on the cave fauna of SE Asia with the cave fauna of New Guinea and the Bismarck Archipelago. The information is very uneven, with many hundreds of caves and cave animals known from SE Asia and almost the only results on the cave fauna of New Guinea obtained during the British Expedition to PNG in 1975. The present analysis outlines the existence of more than 209 troglobites and 42 stygobites in the caves of SE Asia and 18 troglobites and 10 stygobites in the caves of New Guinea and New Ireland. Many of these species are to some extent “troglomorphes”, but their belonging to the caterories of troglobites or stygobites is disputable, as nothing is known in details concerning their biology. The richest groups in troglobites are Isopoda Oniscidea (13 sp. in SE Asia, 1 in New Guinea), Araneae (46 sp. in SE Asia, unfinished study of PNG collection), Pseudoscorpiones (11 sp. in SE Asia, 1 in New Guinea), Diplopoda (30 sp. in SE Asia, 1 in New Guinea), Collembola (28 sp. in SE Asia, 4 in New Guinea), Coleoptera Carabidae (56 sp. in SE Asia, 3 in New Guinea and New Ireland). Particularly interesting is the discovery of a rich cave fauna in the highlands of New Guinea (above 2200 m), where the air temperature in the caves is ca. 13 0C, comparable to the temperature in the South European caves. Another interesting fact from the expedition in PNG in 1975 was the discovery of several marine relicts (Nereididae worms, Hydrobiidae Gastropods, Anthuridae Isopods) high in the mountains and very far from the nearest sea. Another marine relict, Theosbaena cambodjana Cals et Boutin), was described from Cambodia.

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