Biospeleology of the Piemonte
(North-western Italy)

Systematic Photographic
Atlas

   
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Grotta di Bossea (108 Pi/CN)
(Bossea Cave)

TECHNICAL CARD

Commune:

Frabosa Soprana

Valley:

Corsaglia

Mons:

Merdenzone

Map I.G.M.:

91 I SE Valcasotto

Coordinates:

long.: 4░36'47"

lat.: 44░14'28"

Quota:

836 m a.s.l.

Length:

2800 m

Difference in level:

-15 +184 m

Lithotype:

Jurassic limestone of Bossea

Topography

It is a historical cave of the Piemonte, that has been open to the tourist exploitation already from the secon half of the nineteenth century. Into it flows an active stream that drain the waters of the Prato Nevoso zone and of the Cima Artesinera; this hypogean river dug during millions of years very wide halls like the "Sala dell'Orso" (Bear Hall) and the "Sala Garelli" (Garelli Hall). The dripstone formations are very fascinating and it's possible both a tourist visit, paying a ticket, and to book speleological visits beyond the tourist path visiting attracting places like the "Galleria delle Meraviglie" (Marvels gallery) and the "Ramo di Babbo Natale" (Santa Klaus Branch).

This cave between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has been defined, together to the Bandits Cave, as "ossifera" for the great quantity of Ursus spelaeus bones that has been found into them.

From about thirty years works in the cave a Scientific Station that made important hydrogeological works monitoring completely the flow and the phisical-chemical parameters of the inner river under the direction of Guido Peano and in collaboration with the Technical University of Turin and the Environmental Agency of Cuneo. In the high branches have been prepared some equipments among which a hydrometrographe that record the level and the flow of the inner Loser Lake. From about ten years the author take care of the biological laboratory of this station, that has been prepared in a little hall near the "Salone dellĺOrso" (Bear Hall) called "La Sacrestia" (The Sacristy). Here has been perfomed some of the photos published in this site, since the troglophile and troglobite Arthropods find here the temperature and dampness conditions suited for their survival. In this laboratory the author followed the biological cycle of Leptodirinae Insects of the Piemonte like Dellabeffaella roccai and Parabathyscia dematteisi, performing photo of their eggs and larvas. The Scientific Station began in the last years collaborations with the Regional Natural Science Museum of Turin. Particularly, Elena Gavetti recently studied the biology of Gasteropoda Zonitidae like Oxychilus draparnaudi.

The biological population of this cave is particular also if it don't number troglobite insects, (besides those "of importation" - see Parabathyscia dematteisi-), there are some endemic species like Plectogona sanfilippoi bosseae, Troglohyphantes pedemontanus and the Palpigrade Eukoenenia strinatii. Moreover it is locus typicus of Polydesmus troglobius and there are particular species like Atrioplanaria morisii, Proasellus franciscoloi, Buddelundiella zimmeri, Trichoniscus voltai and Lithobius scotophilus. In the latter dozen of years has been reported sporadic sighting of bats like Rhinolophus ferrumequinum.

The author continue methodical search in this cave, both for the study of the aquatic microfauna, and for the list and documentation of the already known entities and of possible new species, like a troglobite mite of the genus Rhagidia, discover in the winter 1998. More recently (July 2000), during a visit together to Claudio Arn˛, the author found, on the vault of the tunnel near the entrance, some specimens of the Araneae Nesticus eremita. In January 2001 the author found a specimen of the troglophile cricket Petaloptila andreinii never citated in literature, also if many searchers carried out biospeleological inspections during all the twentieth century.

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