NEMATODES - Thabditidae - Rhabditis
Rhabditis spp. 1 and 2
Group Guild Status
Eutroglophile Fungivore Common?
Two species of nematodes (Rhabditis) were identified from samples taken from the Big Room by the U. of A. Microbial Team in 2009; one from a fresh bat guano deposit of the resident cave myotis maternity colony and the other from clay soil floor deposits. Based on their buccal morphology both species of Rhabditis from the cave are bacterial feeders (Holohan and Stock 2009). They are likely prey for small predators in the guano, primarily mite species. The species from the guano deposit is considered a bacteriovore-guanophile in the cave. Nematodes were recorded in the initial study from fresh bat guano in the Big Room (Welbourn 1999). However, none were retrieved from numerous bat guano samples taken during the recent study. Their apparent absence in these samples is attributed to excessive heat generated by the incandescent light used in the berlese apparatus in the laboratory. This is suspected to have killed the animals before they could migrate through the matrix to the collecting apparatus.
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