Journal of Cave and Karst Studies - ISSN 1090-6924
Volume 68 Number 1: 22-26 - April 2006

A publication of the National Speleological Society

Dictyostelid cellular slime molds from caves
John C. Landolt, Steven L. Stephenson, and Michael E. Slay


Dictyostelid cellular slime molds associated with caves in Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Missouri, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Puerto Rico, and San Salvador in the Bahamas were investigated during the period of 1990–2005. Samples of soil material collected from more than 100 caves were examined using standard methods for isolating dictyostelids. At least 17 species were recovered, along with a number of isolates that could not be identified completely. Four cosmopolitan species (Dictyostelium sphaerocephalum, D. mucoroides, D. giganteum and Polysphondylium violaceum) and one species (D. rosarium) with a more restricted distribution were each recorded from greater than 25 different caves, but three other species were present in greater than 20 caves. The data generated in the present study were supplemented with all known published and unpublished records of dictyostelids from caves in an effort to summarize what is known about their occurrence in this habitat.

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