Naumova M.

Biospeleological notes on fauna in an artificial cave in Përmet (Albania) importance of former military installations for biodiversity

Abstract The subterranean fauna of both natural and artificial caves in Albania remains poorly studied. Cave colonisation can be clarified by investigating the same process in artificial underground sites. The existence of such a process can be judged by the composition of specific vertebrate and invertebrate species in every site. The biospeleological study carried out in an artificial cave in Përmet in June 2019 provided the following results: two bat species, i.e. Greater horseshoe bat Rhinolophus ferrumequinum (Schreber, 1774) and Mouse-eared bat Myotis myotis species group, probably M. blythii (Tomes, 1857) were observed, a specimen of the Balkan stream frog Rana graeca Boulenger, 1891, representing the first amphibian record for the Albanian cave, was discovered deep inside the cave, nine invertebrate species were found (7 spiders, 1 harvestman and 1 moth), with three of the spider species, i.e. Ceratinella brevis (Wider, 1834), Hogna radiata (Latreille, 1817) and Trachyzelotes barbatus (L. Koch, 1866), being the first records for Balkan caves. All recorded species, except Myotis blythii/myotis (both were previously known), are new to the study area. The total number of species recorded in this site, including the data available in literature, has increased to 29. This high number of species shows that artificial caves, including military installations, represent biodiversity hotspots, comparable to natural underground sites and demand much more attention and further investigations.


Keywords bats; biodiversity hotspots; amphibians; spiders

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