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New Species Identified in PA Caves

PostPosted: Jan 11, 2008 7:47 am
by graytail
This past summer, there was a drought in Pennsylvania, which allowed cavers access to normally flooded portions of caves in Nippenose Valley, about 12 miles southwest of Williamsport. At that time, specimens of biota were collected in 2 caves, which were studied by Dr Luis Espinasa, of Marist College of Science, Poughkeepsie, NY. From these specimens, several were found to be previously undescribed species, including 4 types of crustaceans (1 copepod, 1 isopod, and 2 amphipods), 1 type of flatworm (platyhelminthes), and 1 worm (annelida). Also, more specimens of the previously described sculpins (see Journal of Cave & Karst Studies, Vol. 65 #2, Aug 2003) were collected, giving more DNA of both the surface and underground varieties, identifying further distinctions between them.

Dr. Espinasa will be presenting his findings on January 25, 2008, at the Nippenose Valley Elementary School, beginning at 7 pm. All cavers and biologists in the area are invited and encouraged to attend. For more info, email me at

Re: New Species Identified in PA Caves

PostPosted: Jan 22, 2008 8:38 pm
by cavercrew
That is pretty cool. I went to college in Williamsport back in 86-88. Are there many caves around there?
We used to do quite a bit of hiking and hanging out by the river but never did get into any caving.

Mike Hopkins

Re: New Species Identified in PA Caves

PostPosted: Jan 23, 2008 1:25 pm
by graytail
For anyone wishing to attend this presentation, the school is at 7190 State Route 44, about 3/4 of a mile west of the intersection of Routes 44 and 654. This is about 5 - 6 miles east of the town of Jersey Shore, or 12 miles southwest of Williamsport. Hope to see the local caving community well represented at this event - we don't often get new critters in Pennsylvania caves, and finding several at once is really unusual. Dave

Re: New Species Identified in PA Caves

PostPosted: Jan 27, 2008 7:34 pm
by Lost
Are there any diveable sumps in the area or could a bunch of PA cavedivers pitch inin any way? :scuba: :scuba: :scuba:

Re: New Species Identified in PA Caves

PostPosted: Jan 28, 2008 6:41 am
by graytail
Lost - now that water levels are back to normal, diving is the only way to get specimens in Loose Tooth Cave. It is not a pleasant trip to the water table, and getting gear to the dive site would be a major undertaking, but of course almost anything is possible. Please contact Bald Eagle Grotto - if you're a qualified sump diver, we could use some help.

Just for the record, the presentation on Jan 25 went well. Nippenose Valley is host to 9 species of troglomorphic critters, and we're just getting started.