Cave Wildlife
Extremely Rare and Interesting Subterranean Species: Understanding Troglobites

Extremely Rare and Interesting Subterranean Species: Understanding Troglobites

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Today, troglobites are a hotly debated topic. Many people want to know more about them and their mysterious lives below the surface of our world. Troglobites are fascinating creatures that live in caves or other subterranean environments for part or all of their life cycles, due to environmental conditions such as lack of light (troglo) and extreme heat (batesian).

Extremely Rare and Interesting Subterranean Species: Understanding Troglobites

It is not known how many troglobites exist today because they are so rare, but it is estimated that there may be around 10,000 troglobite species worldwide!

What IS a troglobite?


A troglobite is a species of arthropod, which are invertebrate animals with an exoskeleton and segmented body that live in the dark below ground. Troglobites have adapted to living without natural light for their entire lives, so they are nocturnal creatures who inhabit cave systems or other subterranean environments.

Troglobites are creatures that live in caves. There are many different adaptations for cave life and they include slow metabolism, reduced energy consumption, better food usage efficiency, and decreased or lost eyesight. One adaptation is longer appendages to help them move around the cave. The troglobites also lose their color (such as their skin) because of their environment.

Some animals, like insects, have an antenna that is long. This helps them move around and respond to environmental changes.

These troglobites have a few traits that are common to all, such as reduced eyes and no pigmentation in order to absorb less light.

Troglobites can be found on every continent except Antarctica. Most troglobite species live underground near water sources or in wet caves with high humidity levels, like troglobites in the tepuys of South America. However, troglobite species can be found all over the world and are not limited to caves!

The most common troglobite is the stygofauna that lives in limestone cave systems, but troglobites can also be found in mines, under the sea, or at the bottom of a lake.

What IS a troglobite?

Kinds of troblobites

Stygofauna: These animals live below ground for their entire lives and are not found anywhere else on the planet. These troglobites live in limestone caves where there is plenty of water, oxygen, and food sources for them to survive.

Other kinds of troglobite?

Flatworms: Flatworms troglobites live in soil and are found all over the world, but they only have one kind of troglobitic species.

Mollusca: These troglobites live in wet caves where the water is not very deep, and they can be found throughout Europe, Asia, Africa, and South America. They are basically cave snails.

Velvet worms: Velvet worms troglobites are not exclusively subterranean and can be found in moist habitats or on the surface of the ground. They live in Asia, Africa, Central America, South America, Europe, and North America.

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Arachnida: There are troglobites in the order of Arachnida, which is a large group that includes spiders and scorpions.

Millipedes: There is one troglobitic millipede species known as the troglomorph, which lives in caves throughout Thailand and Japan.

Centipedes: There are troglobitic species in the order of centipedes, which live in caves and water-filled caverns.

Crustacea: These troglobites live in water-filled caves such as crabs, lobsters, crayfish, and shrimp.

kinds of troblobites

Echinodermata: Echinoderms troglobites are aquatic animals that only inhabit the deepest parts of our world’s oceans.

Cave insects: There are troglobites in the order of insects, such as cave beetles.

Cave crickets: These troglobites are found all over the world, but they only have one troglobitic species that lives underground near water sources and wet environments.

Cave spiders: These troglobites can be found all over the world and include species like the tetragnathid! They live in caves or other subterranean habitats with high humidity levels.

Cave fish: These troglobites can be found in regions such as limestone caves, mud caves, and water-filled caverns.

Cave salamanders: These troglobites live exclusively in caves or other subterranean habitats.

Cave crickets: These troglobites are found all over the world, but they only have one troglobitic species that lives underground near water sources and wet environments.

kinds of troblobites

What do troglobites eat?

When living below ground in dark environments for long periods of time without natural light sources like plants or sun rays- troglobites have adapted to survive without sight, and troglobites consume whatever food sources are available in their specific habitat.

Some troglobites eat small bits of organic matter that they find on the ground while others will feed off larger organisms like earthworms or other invertebrates as a part of their diet.

The troglobites that feed off larger organisms will do so either by hunting them or waiting for prey to come close enough.

How do troglobites avoid being eaten alive?

For troglobites who live in areas that do not receive light, they have developed many adaptations to avoid being eaten alive; troglobites living underground or underwater are able to defend themselves through chemicals that deter predators such as the tetragnathid’s venomous bite from its fangs and millipede troglomorph’s poisonous fluid from the pores on its skin.

What do troglobites eat?

Chemical defenses: Troglobite species can often produce toxic substances that will ward off predators or other animals which would otherwise prey on them.

Camouflage: troglobites can blend into their surroundings and hide from predators by using the colors of their environment, for example blending in with rocks or other vegetation

Mimicry: troglo-bioes use camouflage to lure prey. They mimic what they see around them as a survival technique!

Hiding: troglobites can take shelter in rocks or other dark hiding places to avoid being seen

Trogloxenes can be found on all continents except Antarctica and troglophiles are only found in Europe. Troglo-bioes that live below ground have adapted to living without light for their entire life cycles, troglobites who live near water have not.

How do troglobites avoid being eaten alive?

To sum it all up:

Troglobites are underground or underwater troglo-bioes that live in caves, caverns, water-filled regions, and other dark environments.

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