Other Free Encyclopedias » Animal Life Resource » Mollusks, Crustaceans, and Related Species » Spelaeogriphaceans: Spelaeogriphacea - Physical Characteristics, Spelaeogriphaceans And People, No Common Name (spelaeogriphus Lepidops): Species Account - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, BEHAVIOR AND REPRODUCTION, CONSERVATION STATUS

Spelaeogriphaceans: Spelaeogriphacea - No Common Name (spelaeogriphus Lepidops): Species Account

cave table mountain lives

Physical characteristics: This species is white, or transparent, with food clearly visible in the gut. Adults range in length from 0.22 to 0.28 inches (5.6 to 7.2 millimeters).

Geographic range: Spelaeogriphus lepidops lives only in one stream and pool in the Bat Cave system in Table Mountain, near Cape Town, South Africa.

Habitat: Spelaeogriphus lepidops lives in a freshwater stream and pool in a cave.

Spelaeogriphaceans are of special interest to scientists studying the lives and evolution of crustaceans. Evolution is how organisms slowly change and adjust to their environments over millions of years. (Illustration by Dan Erickson. Reproduced by permission.)

Diet: This species probably eats bits of plants that wash down into the cave from bogs on top of Table Mountain.

Behavior and reproduction: Spelaeogriphus lepidops use their mouthparts like brushes to sweep up bits of plant materials into their mouths. Males and females are known, but mating has never been observed. Observations of animals in captivity suggest that they hatch with the full number of thoracic segments.

Spelaeogriphus lepidops and people: This is one of many unique kinds of animals that are found only on Table Mountain.

Conservation status: The Bat Cave system and its unique animals are all protected. Special collecting permits are required even for scientists. ∎



Schram, F. R. Crustacea. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 1986.


Gordon, I. "On Spelaeogriphus, a New Cavernicolous Crustacean from South Africa." Zoology 5 (1957): 31-47.

Poore, G. B., and W. F. Humphreys. "First Record of Spelaeogriphacea (Crustacea) from Australia; A New Genus and Species from an Aquifer in the Arid Pilbara of Western Australia." Crustaceana 71 (1998): 721-742.

Web sites:

Profile/General Info [Table Mountain National Park] http://www.cpnp.co.za/main.html (accessed on March 14, 2005).

Spelaeogriphacea (Pericarida, Malacostraca). http://www.crustacea.net/crustace/www/spelaeog.htm (accesssed on March 14, 2005).

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