Bulletin of the National Speleological Society - ISSN 0146-9517
Volume 23 Part 2: 59-63 - July 1961

A publication of the National Speleological Society

The Collembola of Hunters Cave
Kenneth A. Christiansen


Two new species of Collembola have been described from Hunters Cave, northeastern Iowa. The new species Onychiurus reluctus and Oncopodura iowae also occur in other caves in the Maquoketa region of Iowa.

In Hunters Cave collembolan fauna is sharply affected by linear distance from the cave mouth, and the fauna is apparently divided into two groups. Within the cave, distribution of both categories and of all cave microarthropods is widespread but spotty and sparse. The distribution of forms appears to be unaffected by air moisture or temperature variations within the cave, but is greatly affected by, but not entirely limited nor determined by, a conjucntion of at least 3 optimal conditions of soil moisture, particale size, and organic content. Of these the last appears to be most restrictive since it is found in optimal concentration very rarely in the cave, while the others are normally in acceptable conditions; however, suitable organic content is totally ineffective by itself. The number of exceptions found indicate that additional factors exert some influences in distribution and abundance of these animals, but the number of these exceptions is so small that it is likely that only a few additonal factors play any significant role.

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