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.
I’m a film maker; flying a drone in a cave sounds a little risky. Take it from me. But if you are going to do it, why not choose some of the largest caves in the world? Check out this video and get a new perspective caving.
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.
Earlier this year White Nose was discovered for the first time in the Pacific North-west. This is disheartening news.
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.
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!