Thursday, July 2, 2009

Cave Harvestman

I've been looking for the original site where the cave harvestman, Crosbyella distincta, was discovered. Back in the 1930's, a couple of guys visited a cave and collected a small (about the size of a US quarter) orange colored harvestman (or daddy-long-legs). These specimens, when looked at by a specialist, turned about to be a new species, and it was officially recognized as such in 1942. Unfortunately, it is unclear in the species description what cave the guys visited, so we've been unable to revisit the site. However, in the late 1980s, some cavers working in the Buffalo National River collected what might be this same species from Fitton Cave, Arkansas' longest cave. More recently, I've seen specimens from Fitton Cave, and two other caves in the area. These latest specimens I've sent to the current expert, and hopefully I'll have a answer soon. Below, is a picture of what is probably C. distincta from one of the caves I've been visiting.

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