Entomobryidae - Coecobrya tenebricosa
Size: 2.0 mm
Group Guild Status
Eutroglophile Fungivore Common
This species is the second most common springtail in the cave. C. tenebricosa is a very common springtail species and is the most widely distributed species in the genus in the world (Zhang et al. 2009). It is one of the few species of Coecobrya found outside of the Oriental region, and may be the only one found in North America (Soto-Adames 2011). This pure white, blind species is apparently primarily a cave-inhabiting animal, but also occurs in similar habitats, and in greenhouses (Christiansen and Bellinger 1998). Because it also occurs in non-cave environments we consider it a troglophile in the cave. This species is probably not the springtail species recorded in the initial study, and is considered a new record for the cave. The species was probably introduced to the cave.
There is apparently much interspecies competition among the collembola, involving both physical and chemical interactions. Many species have very short generation times, which allows for rapid expansion in populations when adequate resources are available (Christiansen 1992). Because of these factors there is potential for introduced collembola having negative effects on populations of endemic cave species and the macro-invertebrate ecology in caves.
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