Biospeleology of the Piemonte
(North-western Italy)

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Arthropoda, Insecta, Orthoptera

Insecta, Orthoptera, Rhaphidophoridae, Dolichopoda ligustica (Baccetti e Capra, 1959) - Eutroglophile insect with wide diffusion. The genus is widespreade in most of the italian peninsula in mountain and premountain environments; The Dolichopoda have night habits and are grasshoppers that typically live on the cave walls during the light hours and winter in these environments. In some caves the density of these insects is very high and the walls are full of thin and lengthened legs and antennas. We are accustomed to see the grasshoppers that jump in our meadows and the locust that devour whole harvests, and it is difficult to imagine that, in order to adapt to the cavernicole environment, these Orthoptera became omnivore and leave their shelters only at night for made incursions outside, when the temperature and dampness are suited for them. Their eyes are more reduced than they of the similar epigean species, and they are well adapted to live in the dark having developed most lengthened antennas (until to 8-10 cm) and proportionally lengthened legs. The author extended the knowledge of the diffusion area of this insect in Piemonte finding specimens in the left side of the Ala Valley (Lanzo Valley) and a higher station at about 1800 m above the sea level. (Maira Valley). (Real size of the body: 20-25 mm).



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