The Wasatch Grotto is a chapter of the National Speleological Society, a national organization with over 12,000 members that encourages the study, exploration, and conservation of cave and karst resources. The NSS and member Grottos work to protect access to caves, encourage responsible cave management, and promote responsible caving.

Everyone is welcome to our meetings and to come cave with us!

Upcoming Grotto meeting:

Date: February 13th, Monday.
Time: 7pm
Location: Bountiful Library, @ 725 S Main St, Bountiful, UT 84010 | # (801) 295-8732.
Presentation: TBD

New Very Leggy Millipede Found in California

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Getting a leg up on its competitors, a new millipede has been discovered in a cave in California. Researchers also found several other new insects.

“I never would have expected that a second species of the leggiest animal on the planet would be discovered in a cave 150 miles away,” says Paul Marek, Assistant Professor in the Entomology Department at Virginia Tech. It’s closest relative lives under giant sandstone boulders outside of San Juan Bautista, California.

In addition to the new millipede’s legginess, it also has bizarre-looking mouthparts of a mysterious function, four legs that are modified into penises, a body covered in long silk-secreting hairs, and paired nozzles on each of its over 100 segments that squirt a defense chemical of an unknown nature.

This is quite the millipede! Read the press release here.  And the full research article can be read over on Pensoft.net.

First Bats Successfully Treated for White Nose!

Perk up your ears, boys, girls, and bats because Cool Green Science posted an article about the first successful treatment of White Nose Syndrome.

An estimated 5.7 million bats have died, but finally a handful have been cured and returned to the wild successfully. This is big news in a battle that so far has been nothing but tragic.

Oddly enough, this small victory was brought to us by bananas.

Yep. Seriously.

Read the full report over at CTS.com.

They also posted this great video with another good article. Take a look!

Goshute Cave Trip Nov 26

From Joe,
Last minute trip to goshute next saturday (11/26) – a friend and her two sons want to go.   If anybody is interested, will be leaving saturday morning at 0600 from west point, probably getting to cave parking lot about 1030 and heading up.

If you are interested in going,  contact Joe via cell at 801-651-4992.

White Nose Washington

Earlier this year White Nose was discovered for the first time in the Pacific North-west. This is disheartening news.

White Nose Syndrome
Generalized spatiotemporal spread of Pseudogymnoascus destructans across North America since the initial detection of white-nose syndrome (WNS) in New York in 2006. Map from http://msphere.asm.org.

The question begs: what can we do more to prevent this spread? Obviously we can stop visiting caves. But are there steps we can take before we reach that conclusion? What do you think?

From the article:

On 11 March 2016, a moribund little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) was found in King County, WA (United States), and submitted to a local wildlife rehabilitation center. The animal presented with dried and contracted areas of crusted skin on the wings and died 2 days later. Swab samples of the wings were positive for P. destructans by real-time PCR (8), and the bat was confirmed to have WNS in accordance with defined histopathologic criteria (9). An isolate of P. destructanswas obtained by culturing a portion of wing skin on Sabouraud dextrose agar containing chloramphenicol and gentamicin at 13°C.

In eastern North America, P. destructans appears to be spreading clonally, with all isolates exhibiting no genetic diversity at the markers examined (10). However, isolates of the fungus from Europe display significant genetic variation (11). To determine whether the isolate of P. destructans from Washington matched the clonal lineage from eastern North America, we conducted whole-genome sequencing using the Ion Torrent Personal Genome Machine (PGM) on the Washington isolate (NWHC#27099-001), as well as on three additional isolates of P. destructans from eastern North America. These isolates originated from M. lucifugus bats collected in Albany County, NY, in 2008 (NWHC#20631-008) and in Iowa County, WI, in 2016 (NWHC#26994-002) and a tri-colored bat (Perimyotis subflavus) in Jackson County, AL, in 2015 (NWHC#44797-145).

Please read the full report at msphere.org, the online journal for the American Society of microbiology.

 

Salt Lake Grotto Wins Speleo-Millionaire

We had an awesome night, Nov 2nd, eating mexican food and answering caving trivia. It was a close match between the two grottos, who each selected four champions to represent them. But when the dust settled, and the food was gone, Salt Lake emerged victorious!

Wasatch gave a good showing, and promised a rematch next year. Until then, everyone keep reading and studying. Especially brush up on your local grotto history!