Rhodacaridae - Rhodacarella cavernicola
Group Guild Status
Eutroglophile Predator Rare
Rhodacarid mites are predators of small invertebrates, primarily other arthropods and nematodes, in a variety of habitats including soil, plant litter, ocean beach debris, and small mammal nests (Moraza 2004; Silva et al. 2004). A few individuals of this mite were found on older bat guano deposits in the Big Room during the initial study. At the time the species was placed as an unidentified species of Rhodacarus (Welbourn 1999). The materials sampled and prepared by Welbourn in 1990 were subsequently described as a new genus and species, Rhodacarella cavernicola (Moraza 2004). The species has not been recorded elsewhere, and as far as is known is an endemic limited to Kartchner Caverns. We did not relocate this species during the recent study, probably due to the limited sampling efforts conducted at the older bat guano deposits.
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