Biospeleology of the Piemonte
(North-western Italy)

Systematic Photographic

Web page created and updated by Enrico LANA


For the search to choose the first letter of the wished term:

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

Acari (Order): Arthropods Arachnids generally with small or smallest dimensions; commonly called "mites", they are more known as parasites of the plants and the animals, but the greater part of these Arachnids colonizes the most various environments enclosed the caves where some species show a remarkable degree of specialization.

Altitude: in geography, vertical height (in m or feet) of a point above the marine medium level.

Amphibia (Class): Chordates that are able to lead subaerian life, but are still linked to the aquatic environment, in particular for the reproduction. They are subdivided in two main orders: Anura (frogs) and Caudata (salamanders). The third order, the Apoda, includes blind like-worms subterranean Amphibians that lives in the tropical forests of South-America.

Amphipoda (Order): aquatic Crustaceans that are for the greater part marine, but they have also sweet water representatives. The body is compressed laterally and it's endowed of long antennas and legs of various shapes.

Anemocorous: transport of substances through the air; through the airflows enter in the caves bacteria, spore of fungi, pollens, etc.

Anophthalmy: loss of the eyes and the luminous receivers; it is one among the more important evolutionary consequences of the light absence.

Arachnida (Class): Belonging to the phylum Arthropoda like the Classes Crustacea, Chilopoda (millipedes), Diplopoda (centipedes) and the immense Class of Insecta. The Arachnids are an Arthropods group very well definite, also if it groups different forms: the Scorpiones are well-known from the antiquity, the Pseudoscorpiones are less known because of its little dimensions and its particular habitat, the Opiliones carry characteristic lengthened legs and a subspherical body, the Araneae (true spiders) are definitely the more known Order, diffuse in every environment, and the Acari (mites) are known as parasites of plants and animals. Together the Diplopoda, the Aracnida have been the first Arthropods that colonized the terrestrial environment from the Silurian, over 450 million years ago.
The main anatomical characteristics of this Class are:
- the body divided in two parts, with fusion of head and thorax in the prosome, covered by a chitinous shield (carapax) and the opistosome in the hind part of the body (abdomen).
-  to the prosome are articulated 6 pair of appendix; the first pair are the chelicera, very developed in Scorpions and Pseudoscorpions, with prehensile function; the second are the pedipalps with prehensil, tactile or sexual functions; the other four pair of appendix are true legs with various shapes that make its to tactile function, to dig, to swim, to catch preys, to spin (like in the spiders), etc.
Almost all the orders of Arachnida belong representatives specialized to the cavernicole environment in which generally are predators of other Artropods (particularly Insects) and have an important ecological function. Particularly the spiders, with its cobwebs, and the Opiliones, with its lengthened legs and the bent to hunt actively the preys, belong eutroglophile and troglobite species very adapted to live in the dark where explore the environment searching its victims. The Scorpions are mainly trogloxenes that exploit the ecological features of the cavernicole environment both for escape to the bad climate and for hunt other invertebrates that live in the zones of the caves near the entrances. Pseudoscorpiones and Acari have developed true troglobite species with remarkable morphological adaptations.

Araneae (order): Arthropods Arachnids commonly known as "spiders"; they are known from the remotest times and are predators that hunt other Arthropods, actively or by means of cobwebs that they woven with the spinnerets placed under the abdomen. They have troglophile and troglobite representatives that are at the apex of the food chain in the cavernicole environment.

Arthropoda (Phylum): Type (or Phylum) of organisms characterized by a body protected by means of a stiff cuticle, made largely of chitin and proteins; generally their body is divided in segments that carry appendices articulated and constituted by one succession of articulated parts, from which their name derive. The Arthropods are the animal group richest of species (million) and have colonized all the available environments in which they constitute great part of the populations. Important Classes of invertebrates are comprised in the Arthropods Phylum: the Crustaceans, the Arachnids, the Insects, etc of which it has been given one definition in other items of the glossary.

Asellidae (Family): are Crustaceans, sweet water Isopods that often live in freshwater basements.

Baits: they are constituted by organic matter in decomposition generally of animal, but also of vegetable origin. Generally the cavernicole organisms are saprophage and developed chemical receivers and they are attracted by the strong smells diffuse from the baits.

Bathysciinae (Subfamily): (see "Leptodirinae")

Biocenosis: is the integration of several collectivities of species (animals and vegetables) with the environmental space in which they lives (biotop). Biocenosis and biotop form an ecosystem.

Biogeography: science that studies the distribution of the living beings on the surface of the Earth.

Biome: it is a geographic belt characterized by a certain predominant vegetation that influences also the animal life; every biome has, consequently, its characteristic species.

Biosphere: it's the whole of geographic areas adapted to the life of the organisms; it is constituted by the atmosphere, the waters and the ground.

Biospeleology: the "Biospeleology" or "Biospeology", in the opinion of other authors, is the science that studies the several biocenosis of the underground environments and in particular of the karstic environment, hypogean and endogean, and its limitrofe zones; by extension we can also to ascribe in this study those species who show adaptations to the subterranean life, like certain crustaceans and other invertebrates that live under sands in coastal marine environment. The Biospeleology is not only the search in the caves of species adapted to this environment, sometimes new for the Science, but also all those information of ecological, biological and ethological character and about the physiology and the geographic distribution of the species and on the interrelations among the same ones; naturally the systematic has an important part in this studies, with the techniques for the identification and taxonomic and evolutionary classification of the biological entities.

Biotop: the biotop it the territory in which lives a biocenosis and the biocenosis is the whole of organisms that lives in the biotop. The biotopo is therefore the environmental and topographical fundamental unit and it is characterized by the biocenosis that lives in it.

Buddelundiellidae (Family): Family of land Crustaceans Isopods dedicated to the celebrate specialist Budde-Lund; they lives frequently in endogean and hypogean environments and have characteristic fairings on the back. Like some species of epigeans isopods, they maintain the defensive attitude of to roll their bodies into a ball.

Cacuminale: referred to the glaciacions, it is the term that identifies the glacial caps, that covered the tops of mountains.

Carabidae (Family): Insects Coleopters predators to which belong some of the species more adapted to the cavernicole life.

Caudata (Order): They are one of the three Orders of Amphybians actually living on the Earth; the other two Orders are the Anura and the Gymnophiona. The Caudata are commonly called "Salamanders" and "Newts" and belong Amphibians with primitive features on respect to the other two Orders. The family Plethodontidae belong eutroglophile Salamanders living both in Europe and in northern America with well adapted cave-dwelling species.

Chilopoda (Class): land Arthropods, commonly known like "millipedes", with body depressed, always much longer than wide, and formed sometimes by hundred of segments; every segment carries a single pair of legs all subequal. They have nocturnal habits, generally, and some species have been adapted to the cavernicole life.

Chiroptera (Order): they are Mammalian generally insectivore with remarkable adaptations to the flight in the dark and to the nocturnal hunting of bugs that they capture in the air by means of an ecolocation system. Some species have troglophile habits and pass the diurnal hours and the winter period in cave.

Cholevidae (Family): already called in past "Catopidae", are a family of Insects Coleopters that numbers some of the more specialized cavernicole organisms. In particular the subfamily of the Leptodirinae numbers the more remarkably troglobite species.

Chordata (Phylum): it is the Type that groups the more evolued organisms. In particular, the subphylum of the Vertebrates, in agreement with the classic theories, is divided in five classes of organisms endowed of a vertebrale column: Fish, Amphibians, Reptiles, Birds and Mammals.

Chordeumatida (Order): Order belonging to the Class Diplopoda that groups families with lengthened body with circular section; they are commonly called "Julus" or "Centipedes" and are generally saprophage. Some species belonging to this order shows a remarkable specialisation to the subterranean life.

Class: rank of the Taxonomy inferior to the Type or Phylum. The Phyla (plural of Phylum) are subdivided in Classes and the Classes in Orders.

Coleoptera (Order): this Order groups the most adaptable among the Insects, able of live in prohibitive conditions. Their main characteristic is the presence of a pair of hard sheaths, or elytra, that cover frequently a pair of delicate hind wings. The Coleopters number the Insects more adapted to the hypogean life, belonging to the families of the Carabidae and the Cholevidae.

Collembola (Order): are very primitive Insects, wingless (without wings), of small dimensions and often endowed of an apparatus (furca) that allows them to carry out very remarkable jumps regarding their dimensions. They live habitually in the ground and only few species have specific adaptations to the cavernicole life.

Competition: it is the struggle between individuals or species for the conquest of the necessary elements to their survival and in particular for the alimentary resources; more the ecological niches of two species are overlapped, more the competition is strong.

Coprophage: animals that eat escrements of other organisms.

Crustacea (Class): are aquatic Arthropods mostly with body divided in variable number of segments that constitute two main regions: the head and the trunk. In cave they live in the freshwaters of the subterranean rivers and lakes, but there is also an Order of land Crustaceans (Isopods) that live in subaerian environment in presence of strong humidity.

Depigmentation: loss of pigments, substances that give dark colors to the epigean Arthropods; in cavernicole organisms it is one of the consequences of the light absence.

Detritivore: organism that obtains most of its nutrients form debris of organic substances of vegetable or animal origin.

Diptera (Order): are Insects known in the the daily life (are the common flies and mosquitos) that have troglofile representatives that spend the winter season in the caves.

Diplopoda (Class): are Artropods with lengthened body, commonly known as "centipedes", because of the remarkable number of legs; particularly, every segment of the body carried two pair of subequal legs and from this derive its name ("diplóos" in ancient Greek means "double" and "podòs", means "foot"). This last characteristic distinguish these Arthropods form the Class Chilopoda, wich name means literally "millipedes" and that in the past belong together to the Diplopoda to the superclass "Myriapoda". Some Diplopoda show remarkable adaptations to the cavernicole life, as a total depigmentation, the reduction or lack of the eyes (anophthalmy) and a certain lengthening of antennas and legs. The food regime is as saprophite, and they feed any substance in decomposition that is available in the cavernicole environment.

Distrophics: is the definition of the caves characterized by massive accumulates of vegetable detritus and scarse quantity of guano or other resources of animal nature.

Ecological niche: it is the complex of the relationships between an organism belonging to a certain species and the environment in which it lives, it's the ideal place of life of an individual or a species.

Ecosystem: it is an bioenvironmental unit, constituted by living beings that interact between themselves and with the physical environment. The ecosystem constitutes the integration of several collectivity of species (animals and vegetables), called biocenosis, with the environmental space in which they lives (biotop).

Epigean (environment): it is the habitat of the living organisms over the surface of the ground. The separation between underground and superficial environment is not clear both from a morphologic and an ecological point of view. We can think for es. to the bottom of a canyon, the bottom of an embedded little valley or to the bottom of one deep doline: there is little light, stabler temperature than to the outside and probably strong humidity; in this environments the conditions are similar to those that characterized the liminar zones, near the openings of the caves.

Endemism: limited presence in a circumscribed territory of races (subspecies) or species that are called "endemic".

Endemite: organisms object of endemism; we can distinguish some categories of endemites: stenoendemites and euriendemites with various ability of recolonisation of the territory (see the text)

Endogean environment (endogeum): it represents the portion of ground comprised between the inferior limit of the vegetable detritus and the inferior limit of the roots of the arboreal plants and for this it is also called rhizosphere; it is the more superficial part of the ground in contact with the epigean environment. Its aspect can be full of rocks, friabile, gravelly, argillaceous, often mixed, according to the geologic nature of the land, the morphology, the altitude, the vegetation and other factors; it can have thickness of little decimeters, like in the alpine pastures, or of some meters, like in the wooded valleys. This environment has similar characteristics of the cavernicole environment, like the temperature, the humidity, the absence of light and it represents an ideal habitat for the fauna being rich of humus and of many organic substances. Here lives the greater number of interesting species from the biospeleological point of view.

Eutrophics: are the caves characterized by the abundant presence of organic substances of animal origin and in particular of guano of bats.

Eutroglophiles: (see "Troglophiles")

Environment: we define with this term the totality of the external abiotic factors that form the space in which the organisms move and live. The environment, in fact, cannot be conceived without the living beings that populate and that, in greater or smaller measure, modify it: tightened relations and strong infuences exist between the abiotic environmental factors and the biotic ones.

Environmental factors: the whole of the factors that act on the individuals of a population and can be abiotic, as the air, the rock, the water (under liquid form or as relative humidity in the air), their chemical composition and temperature; in the cavernicole environment the light absence is important. Biotic environmental factors are the presence of individuals of the same or other species and the relationships among them as the predation or the competition in the exploitation of the trophic resources.

Family: rank of the Taxonomy inferior to the Order; an Order is subdivided in Families that are subdivided in Genus.

Gammaridae (Family): Crustaceans Amphipoda with representatives in marine and sweet waters; among these last ones, the Niphargus Genus is diffuse in the europeans freshwaters.

Gastropoda (Class): Mollusca generally endowed of one calcareous shell; they live in marine and in sweet waters. They have colonized also with success the terrestrial environment to adapt to the subaerian respiration (Subclass Pulmonata).

Genus: rank of the Taxonomy inferior to the Family; the Families are subdivided in Genus and the Genus in Species.

Glacialism: the whole of the glacial phenomena happened in the Quaternary, considered as modifiers agents of the land surface. Similar periods have happened in several geologic ages with wide intervals. The period of advance of the ice is called "glacial", while with "interglacial" is define the phase of withdrawal of the ice.

Guanobite: organisms that obtain nourishing from the nitrogenous compounds contained in the guano of bats.

Habitat: it is the physical place in which the biotic and abiotic environmental factors are right for the life of an organism: only part of the ecosystem is right for the survival of the species which it belongs.

Habitus: the whole of the external morphologic characteristics of an organism.

Holotypus: in the description of an animal or vegetable species new for the Science, this term identifies the specimen (sometimes unique) on which the description has been made.

Hydrocorous: transport of substances through the water.

Hypogean environment (Hypogeum): term that refers to the cavernicole environment with particular reference to the cavities practicable by the man; a satisfactory definition of the hypogean environment could be gained from the confluence of elements linked to the environment, but important from the ecological point of view like the trofic situation, the hypogean meteorology, the stratigraphy, etc, without to omit the morphology of the environment, even if we must remember that for an Arthropod a cavity of 5 or 50 cm is not determining, while for a speleologist the issue of the dimensions is essential.

Insecta (Class): are the Arthropods more known in the everyday life having an remarkable impact in human activities both as parasites of cultivated plants and domestic animals. Its body is divided in three parts (head, thorax and abdomen) and carry three pair of legs articulated under the thorax. In the subterranean environments they have colonized all the available ecological niches and particularly they number a group of predators (mainly Coleoptera Carabidae) and of saprophage (mainly Coleoptera Cholevidae). In the piemontese region both the groups have representatives with remarkable degree of specialisation to the cavernicole life; particularly among the Carabidae, the subfamily Trechinae and the tribe Sphodrina belong some Genus and Species endemics of the western Alps, and also among the Cholevidae of the Leptodirinae Subfamily there are endemites with very narrow distribution areas. Among the Insects we must remenber the cave's grasshoppers (Genus Dolichopoda) that live in a lot of natural and artificial cavities of the middle and southern Piemonte and other Orders with troglophile representatives, as the Tricoptera, the Lepidoptera (butterflies) and the Diptera (flies and mosquitos).

Interstitial (land or terrestrial): it is the labyrinthic whole of microfissures that operates as natural filter of the exogenous contribution and is a shelter for several delicate forms of life; it prevents to violent air exchanges between outside and inside. The species found in cave don't lives generally in the cavernicole environment, but they live often in the neighbouring interstizial environment, from which irregularly enter in cave. For this many Arthropods of the hypogean fauna are considered rare. But the speleologist also enters very rarely in cave like this animals, and this remarkably lowers the possibility of a contact.

Isopoda (Order): Crustaceans with marine, of sweet water and terrestrial representatives; they have an depressed body and subequal legs.

Karstification: the whole of the epigean and hypogean phenomena, due to the chemical action of waters on limestone rocks.

Latitude: in geophysics, the angular distance, on the Earth surface, of a point from the Equator, measured in degrees and fractions of degree on the arc of meridian passing for that point.

Lepidoptera (Order): are insects well-known (the common butterflies) that have troglophile representatives that spend the diurnal hours and winter on the walls of the caves.

Leptodirinae (Subfamily): already called in past "Bathysciinae", are a subfamily of Insecta Coleoptera Cholevidae that numbers the more adapted species to the cavernicole life. While other epigeans Cholevidae are winged, the Leptodirinae are wingless and anophthalmous and have legs and antennas that in some species are very lengthened. They are saprophage and feed organic subtances in decomposition of animal or vegetable origin.

Liminar (zone): it is the zone of transition in the caves between external and inner environment, where the influence of the external environmental factors is still perceptible. The light weakens gradually from the zones next to the entrance towards the inner part and this determine the progressive disappearance of the green plants. In these zones of the caves often stand the trogloxene and troglophile species.

Limivore: organisms that feed clay and mud and absorb the organic substances that find in these substratum.

Locus typicus: it is the locality from which come the specimens (holotypus and paratypi) on which it has been made the description of a species new for the Science.

Mammalia (Class): they are the Chordata more evolued that have developed a viviparous reproduction system and give birth to littles already perfectly developed which they dedicate assiduous cares feeding them through mammary glands in the first period of their development.

Mollusca (Phylum): are organisms characterized by a soft body, without segmentation and with different appearance in the different groups belonging it. The internal organs are wrapped in a membrane, the mantle, that in several groups can secrete a calcareous shell. They are linked essentially to the water for its metabolism and reproduction. The terrestrial forms too need humidity for its survival; the ecological characteristic of the cavernicole environment, whith its high dampness, are suited for these animals, but normally they enter in the caves only for to escape to the epigean adverse meteorological conditions and it's easy to find terrestrial Gastropoda (subclass Pulmonata) in the liminar zone, near the entrances of the caves. Only certain representatives of the Mollusca show remarkable adaptations to the subterranean environments, particularly in the food regime.

Monophage: organism that feed a single kind of food.

Niche (ecological): it is the complex of the relations between an organism belonging to one certain species and the environment in which it lives, it's the ideal place of life of an individual or one species.

Oligotrophics: is the definition of the caves characterized by an insufficient availability of organic substances.

Opiliones (Order): are Artropods Arachnids; they have a small body concentrated in one single subspherical mass formed by prosome and opistosome closely connected; the legs are generally very lengthened and some species have pedipalps transformed in strong pincer.

Order: rank of the Taxonomy inferior to the Class; the Classes are subdivided in Orders and the Orders in Families.

Orthoptera (Order): they are insects with troglophile representatives similar to the common cricket and grasshoppers that lives in our fiels.

Parasites: are organisms that feed the tissues of other animals or plants while these are still alive.

Phreatic: is the zone that is below the Water table where voids or tubes in the rock are completely saturated with water; often this zone is subject to seasonal variations of level or as a result of meteorological contributions and it interests mainly the aquatic fauna. The rains in particular exercise a remarkable action of water connection between several epigean and hypogean systems and determine one greater hygrometric uniformity favoring these contacts.

Phylogeny: the evolutionary relationships among the living organisms and the search of the true evolutionary history of the living beings.

Phylum (pl. Phyla): (see "Type")

Plathelmintes (Phylum Plathelmintes vel Platyhelminthes): they are well-known as "flat worms" for the crushed shape of the body. They are lacking of a circolatory apparatus and of respiratory organs and the exchanges happen through the surface of the body. Generally they are exclusively ermaphrodite and are divided in three classes: Turbellaria, Trematoda and Cestoda. While the Turbellaria are nearer the ancestral forms, the representatives of the others two classes are parasites of other organisms. These worms can riproduce both sexually, through eggs, and asexually for fragmentation of their body.

Polydesmida (Order): Order belonging to the Class Diplopoda that groups families with flattened body with squared section; they are generally phytophage or phytosaprophage. Some species belonging to this order shows a remarkable specialisation to the subterranean life.

Population: the whole of individuals belonging to a biological species that occupy the same ecological niche or the same territory and are more or little isolated from neighbouring populations of the same species.

Predation: it is the more direct form of relation between animal species and consists in the hunting and killing of some organisms by other that feed their bodies.

Pseudoscorpiones (Order): are Arthropods Arachnids apparently similar to the scorpions for their more remarkable characteristic: large pedipalds that ends with strong pincers; but they don't have the tail of the scorpions. In Piemonte they have troglobites representatives very specialized.

Quaternary (or Neozoic): the most recent of the chronological subdivisions of the history of the Earth; it is subdivided in the Pleistocene and Olocene periods. This geologic age, extended from 1.8 millions years ago to the present, is characterized from the glaciations separated by interglacial phases and from the appearance of the man, as animal species, for which it is also called "Anthropozoic Era".

Relationships: (see "Synecological relationships")

Resources: (see "Trophic resources")

Rhizosphere: (see "Endogean environment")

Saprophage: organisms that feed organic matter in decomposition both of animal and vegetable origin.

Scorpiones (Order): are Arthropods Arachnids well-known since the antiquity and phylogenetically very ancient; their main characteristics are a pair of large pedipalps with strong pincers and a long tail ending with a venomous sting at the apex. In Piemonte they don't have true cavernicole representatives.

Speciation: the genetic mutations and the pressure of the natural selection, acting on the natural populations during the millenia, select the biological systems genetically adapted to particular ecological niches. This, joined to natural barriers that isolate the populations, produce genetic divergences among the individuals that compose the several populations. Individuals of different populations that have lived separately for a long time can not be able to reproduce among themselves: they have formed two new species.

Species (evolutionary definition): the species concept has been long discussed in the latter two centuries; in the past the systematics were usual to characterize with some morphologic features the keys for distinguish a species from another. The modern biologists are aware of the fact that the differences between the species are not only morphologic, but also anatomic, physiological, cellular, biochemical, of behavior and ecological. A modern definition of species is: "a group of natural populations that really or potentially are interfecund (able to reproduce) between themselves and are isolated from other groups with regard to the reproduction".

Species (taxonomic definition): rank of the Taxonomy inferior to the Genus. Genus and Species together constitute the "Specific name" that identify every living or extinct organism.

Sphodrini or Sphodrina (tribe): Insects Coleoptera Carabidae that number species of predators that have troglophile representatives in North-western Italy.

Subspecies: subdivision of an animal or vegetable species; the individuals belonging of it show morphologic or anatomical differences, but are still interfecund (able of reproduction) with those of another subspecies belonging to the same species.

Subtroglophile: (see "Troglophile")

Synecological (relationships): relationships among the representatives of species linked by phenomena of predation, competition, parasitism or symbiosis.

Systematic: classification on scientific basis of the living organisms. The modern taxonomical classifications are based on natural criteria of morphologic likeness and phylogenetic affinity between the species, and use the binomial nomenclature system introduced by the Swedish botanist Carl von Linné in 1758. Precious information for one corrected classification of the living organisms come also from the acquaintances of the genetics and molecular Biology in this century. There are seven main ranks in the classification of the living organism; from higest to lowest: Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus and Species; Genus and Species together constitute the "Specific name" that identify every living or extinct organism.

Taxon (pl. taxa): with this term is defined the taxonomic subdivision generally of the rank of species, even if often this term is used also for the other taxonomic ranks (Genus, Family, Order, Class, etc).

Taxonomy: method of classification of the living organisms based on criteria of various nature, processed and studied by the Systematic.

Tectonic: referred to the origin of a cave, it means that the cavity has been generated for sliding and superimposition of blocks of rock generally not karstic.

Thysanura (Order): Are primitive, wingless insects (Apterygota) which name in Greek means "Insects with fringed tail". The Suborder Machiloidea groups species that generally live in fresh and damp environments and frequently we can found them near the entrances of subterranean cavities.

Traps: they can be of different building and dimensions and with various purposes; the traps to fall are containers generally by plastic material or glass that attracts with a smelling bait the Arthropods (Insects, Diplopoda, Chilopoda, Aracnida, etc.) and that kill and conserve them with suited liquid solutions. This kind of traps can be dangerous and the conscientious biospeleologist use it with extreme parsimony and for limited periods of time; unfortunately, often we found tens of this devices in the same cavity left by collectors animated by aims not closely scientific. A kind of trap used by the author is the "vital" fall trap, that doesn't kill the preys, in order that it's possible to choose the specimens (for to collect or to photograph them) and to release the others. In any case, is preferable to use the simple baits (see the item)
that attract the animals in a limited space where they can be observed and documented in easy way.

Trechinae (Subfamily): are Insects Coleoptera Carabidae that number some among the organisms more adapted to the cavernicole life. They particularly show lengthened antennas and total depigmentation. They are generally anophthalmous or keep cicatritial traces of the eyes. Predators, like all the Carabidae, they occupy one ecological niche at the apex of the food chain.

Tricladida (order Tricladida or Tricladia): are Plathelmintes Turbellaria (flat worms) well-known with the name of "Planarias"; usually they live in sweet waters and they can reproduce for spontaneous fragmentation of the body whose fragments reconstitute complete exemplaries.

Trichoniscidae (Family): are land Crustaceans Isopods with specialized troglobite representatives; their ecological requirements oblige them to live in humid environments rich of organic detritus of vegetable origin.

Trichoptera (Order): are winged Insects with some troglophile species that winter on the walls of the caves.

Troglobites: are organisms that for all the duration of their life need the hypogean environment; they are species that, in the succession of thousand and thousand of generations, have achieved such a degree of specialization and physiological modifications, that they are able to live exclusively in hypogean environment.

Troglophiles: To this category belonging those entities that need the hypogean environment for a certain period of their life; the troglophiles are subdivided in two groups: the subtroglophiles, (bats, spiders, Tricoptera, some butterflies, several Opiliones, foxes, rats, badgers etc), that prefer the cave for to winter, to reproduce, for shelter from the summery heat, for shelter from adverse meteorological situations, for to search food; the second group are the eutroglophiles (some coleopters, spiders, Orthoptera, Diplopoda, amphibians, etc.) that, although they don't have a high specialization for the hypogean environment, they find in such environment the optimal living conditions, but they aren't completely linked to it and they can therefore abandone it for external excursions, but always in environmental conditions suitable to their biological necessities, like happens for the cavernicole grasshoppers, that in the humid nights come outside.

Trogloxenes: the species belonging to this category normally live in the epigean environment and they enter in cave casually, for to escape to the predators, for accidental fall, because transported by waters, for to find coolness in the summery periods, or because they hate the light or need humidity. Usually they are found in the liminar zone of the caves or on the cones of detritus under the initial wells; they can't to reproduce and are destined to succumb because they don't find the right food, or because in the dark they aren't able to find nutrients.

Trophic resources: organic substances that serve as nutrient for the cavernicole organisms; they generally come from the outside transported by air, water or for fall. Troglophile animals as the bats carry remarkable resources from the outside with their escrements, the rests of the bugs that they feed or with their same bodies when they die.

Turbellaria (Class): are Plathelmintes that, with rarest exceptions, leads free life and aren't parasites like the other classes of flat worms. In the Turbellaria the asexual reproduction is common: the body narrows in the medium zone and form two complete individuals that subsequently separate themselves.

Type (or Phylum): rank of the Taxonomy inferior to the Kingdom. The Phylum is subdivided in Classes.

Würmian: term referred to the last of the four main glacial ages occurred during the Quaternary in the Alps; the quaternary alpine glaciations are called in the succession order: Günz, Mindel, Riss and Würm. The würmian glaciation ended about 10,000 years ago.


Systematic index




Initial page HOME

  Some embellishments, Javascript, etc. have been modified from them situated on the site
"A SBAFO! All for the WEB gratis and in Italian... "; the author advise you to visit it.