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Texas, United States

Disney R.H.L.,University of Cambridge | Taylor S.J.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Slay M.E.,University of Arkansas at Little Rock | Krejca J.K.,Zara Environmental LLC
Subterranean Biology | Year: 2011

Five new species of scuttle fly are reported from caves in Nevada, USA, namely Aenigmatias bakerae Disney, Megaselia excuniculus Disney, M. krejcae Disney, M. folliculorum Disney, M. necpleuralis Disney and a female Megaselia that can not be named until linked to its male.

Suarez-Morales E.,Colegio de Mexico | Mercado-Salas N.F.,Colegio de Mexico | Barlow R.,Zara Environmental LLC
Crustaceana | Year: 2013

A new species of the freshwater cyclopine copepod genus Diacyclops is described from a North American cave system in SE New Mexico, U.S.A. The new species, D. nikolasarburni n. sp., differs from its congeners by its having of a unique combination of characters including: 17-segmented antennules, three-segmented rami in legs 1-4, a basic 2333 spinal formula with a highly variable pattern, naked inner margin of caudal rami, but dorsal surface with spinules, subequal terminal spines of leg 4 endopod, and inner spine of fifth leg about as long as bearing segment. This species has also a variable length/width ratio of the caudal ramus (4.6-6.0, average 5.0); the lateral caudal seta is inserted on the distal one-quarter of ramus. The 2333 spinal formula was dominant (55%) in the population but other patterns were also present. The new species belongs to Group 1 species of Diacyclops (sensu Reid & Strayer, 1994). The local population of this stygobiotic species probably resulted from radiation-stranding processes of epigean forms of widely distributed Diacyclops and is probably endemic to this cave system. © 2013 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands.

Cowan B.D.,Zara Environmental LLC | Osborne M.C.,Stanford University | Banner J.L.,University of Texas at Austin
Journal of Cave and Karst Studies | Year: 2013

The growth rate and composition of cave calcite deposits (speleothems) are often used as proxies for past environmental change. There is, however, the potential for bias in the speleothem record due to seasonal fluctuations in calcite growth and dripwater chemistry. It has been proposed that the growth rate of speleothem calcite in Texas caves varies seasonally in response to density-driven fluctuations in cave-air CO2, with lower growth rates in the warmer months when cave-air CO2 is highest. We monitored CO2 in three undeveloped caves and three tourist caves spread over 130 km in central Texas to determine whether seasonal CO2 fluctuations are confined to tourist caves, which have been modified from their natural states, and the extent to which cave-air CO2 is controlled by variations in cave geometry, host rocks, cave volume, and soils. Nearly 150 lateral transects into six caves over three years show that CO2 concentrations vary seasonally in five of the caves monitored, with peak concentrations in the warmer months and lower concentrations in the cooler months. The caves occur in six stratigraphic units of lower Cretaceous marine platform carbonate rocks and vary in volume (from 100 to>100,000 m3) and geometry. Seasonal CO2 fluctuations are regional in extent and unlikely due to human activity. Seasonal fluctuations are independent of cave geometry, volume, depth, soil thickness, and the hosting stratigraphic unit. Our findings indicate that seasonal variations in calcite deposition may introduce bias in the speleothem record, and should be considered when reconstructing paleoclimate using speleothem proxies.

During surveys of cave life in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks and Yosemite National Park, Taiyutyla loftinae, a new species of conotylid milliped, was collected and is described below. The new species occurs in eleven marble caves distributed throughout Sequoia National Park (Tulare County, California), two granite talus caves, and a single surface locality in Yosemite National Park (Mariposa County, California) and is best considered troglophilic, not troglobitic.

Zahniser J.N.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Taylor S.J.,University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign | Krejca J.K.,Zara Environmental LLC
Entomological News | Year: 2010

The invasive leafhopper Balclutha rubrostriata (Melichar) was found in abundance in Bexar County, Texas. An arthropod diversity study along highway right-of-way in September and October, 2008 identified B. rubrostriata as the single most abundant species. This is the first peerreviewed published record of this invasive species in the mainland United States. Other records of this species in the U.S. are discussed. Diagnostic characters of the adults are provided and illustrated, and the nymph is described and illustrated for the first time. Genomic DNA was extracted from one adult and one nymph specimen, and the mitochondrial COI gene was sequenced for each and yielded identical sequences, thus confirming the association of the nymph and adult. Sequences are deposited in GenBank for future use in diagnostic or other studies.

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