Staphylinidae - Stamnoderus sp. - undescribed species
Stamnoderus sp. - undescribed species
Size: 4.46 mm (adult); 3.64 mm (larva [mature?])
Group Guild Status
Eutroglophile Predator Common
The Staphylinidae (rove beetles) is a very large family of beetles and is worldwide in its distribution (the second highest number of species for a beetle family in the world). Many species of staphylinids live in habitats, including the epikarst, where they are naturally present in areas where caves develop. Because of this, they are relatively common in caves, particularly in entrance areas, where most are trogloxenes. Cave adapted species are concentrated in the Mediterranean and North African regions, and cavernicolous species are generally poorly represented in other areas (Bordoni and Oromi 1998).
The mostly neotropical genus Stamnoderus is currently represented by about 15 known species (Newton et al. 2005). Three species occur in the southeastern U.S. (Arnett 1971), one from Rucker Canyon in the Chiricahua Mountains in southeast Arizona, and the remaining species from the Caribbean and Central and South America. Most rove beetles, both adults and larvae, are predators of small arthropods. A literature review revealed only a single record of Stamnoderus from a cave. This was an undetermined species from Cebada Cave in Belize (Reddell and Veni 1996).
The first known record of this animal in the cave is from June of 2001, where it was observed during algae cleaning efforts around lights in the Throne Tunnel. This rove beetle is known to be an undescribed species. The animal was not recorded in the cave during the initial study, but is currently well-established in the cave in the Rotunda and Throne Rooms, where it is a breeding eutroglophile. We have only one record of the beetle outside of these areas of the cave, from the portion of the Big Room nearest the Throne Room.
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