Oppiidae - Multioppia sp.
Size: 0.33 mm
Group Guild Status
Eutroglophile Scavenger Uncommon
Many oribatid mites are either saprophytic (feeders on dead or decaying organic matter) or fungivorous (fungus-eating) in their habit (Norton et al. 1988), and we suspect the species in the cave are likely all fungivores. Welbourn (1999) listed four species of oribatid mites taken from the cave, but did not elaborate on their taxonomy or provide any ecological discussion, so we do not know if they occurred on fresh, older, or all bat guano deposits (or in other situations). He listed the group as rare in the cave, which may explain why we encountered only two species. If some were associated with older guano deposits, which were minimally sampled for the recent study, we may have missed them. The single Multioppia species we found was from Berlese samples taken from fresh bat guano at both the Maternity Roost and Lunch Spot sites.
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