Psyllipsocidae - Psyllipsocus ramburii
Size: 1.38 mm
Group Guild Status
Eutroglophile Scavenger Common
This barklouse (psocid) is a cosmopolitan species that occurs in caves, cellars and many epigean, often dry, habitats throughout the United States and much of Europe. The species has been moved to many far places of the globe by the activities of man (Mockford 1993). The species is commonly found in caves in southern Arizona, but their populations never seem substantial. Interestingly, even though there is plentiful habitat for the species in Kartchner Caverns, the species is not common. Welbourn (1999) considered the species common in the cave, but stated that he usually saw only 1 or 2 animals at a given time. So, while they are apparently regularly present, they are dispersed in their distribution within the cave, and almost always occur in small numbers in a given area. They are primary consumers and in the cave they are likely detritivores where they occur in association with organic materials. They may be preyed upon by small invertebrate predators in the cave including any of the spider species, the pseudoscorpion (Dinocheirus [arizonensis?]), and the larger of the two resident army ants (Neivamyrmex graciellae). Another potential predator would be the rove beetle (Stamnoderus sp.), except that the range of these two species apparently do not overlap within the cave.
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