Cave fauna

In Jan/Feb 2009 I was caving in south Myanmar, in Kayin and Mon states. All the caves were dry, and we saw no river caves. Some of the caves had bats and invertebrates. The most common invertebrates seemed to be the crickets, though some caves had some very large spiders. Most of the caves we visited were temple caves, and some have been described since the 1880s, especially the Farm Caves. Some specimens were collected for identification. These specimens were sent off to the relevant specialists. It is interesting to compare species from neighbouring southeast Asian countries.

Results so far -

bat - Rousettus leschenaulti
gecko - belongs to Cyrtodactylus irregularis group
spiders - Heteropoda sp.
whip spider - Stygophrynus cf. cerberus

Unfortunately we saw no bats close up, and also there were no cave racers. The huntsman spiders were interesting as they have not really been studied before from Myanmar.

These Heteropoda were seen in Saddan and Haisin Caves, near Hpa An (Kayin state) :

Heteropoda%20Myanmar_129.JPG Heteropoda%20Myanmar_131.jpg Heteropoda%20Myanmar_132.JPG spider%20Myanmar_192.JPG

The above Heteropoda are interesting. Similar spiders collected from caves in Laos have been described by Dr. Peter Jäger of Senckenberg Museum, Germany, as having the longest leg span of any spider, even longer than tarantulas. These Laos spiders are Heteropoda maxima, and one male has a 28.6 cm leg span. A WWF report described it as the "most remarkable" of 88 new species of spider located in Laos, Thailand and the Yunnan province of China". They are bigger than the huntsmen spiders seen in Malaysian caves.

A gecko, (Cyrtodactylus sp) in Haisin Cave :

gecko%20Myanmar_141.jpg gecko%20Myanmar_142.jpg

Crickets in Saddan and Haisin Caves :

cricket%20Myanmar_134.JPG cricket%20Myanmar_146.jpg cricket%20Myanmar_174.JPG


Whip spiders, the first from Saddan Cave, the second from Farm Caves, (Kayone Gu, Ka-yon or Payon Caves) :

whip%20spider%20Myanmar_182.jpg whip%20spider%20Myanmar_701.jpg

Frog in Nat Ye Kan :

frog%20Myanmar_329.JPG frog%20Myanmar_331.JPG

The following were seen in Farm Caves, (Kayone Gu, Ka-yon or Payon Caves), This cave has been reported as having many fruit bats. We saw and heard them but found no skulls for identification.

Crickets :

cricket%20Myanmar_690.JPG cricket%20Myanmar_692.JPG

Rock thrush :


Long legged centipede :

An article on harvesting of guano from Myanmar caves and whether it is sustainable, 'Harvesting the guano of insectivorous bats: is it sustainable?' by Thet Thet & Khin Mya Mya, see Journal of Threatened Taxa, May 2015.

An article on guano collection, "Voyaging deep into Myanmar’s caves" by Jeremy Holden, see Flora & Fauna Int., May 2017.

Article on gastropods - Gastropoda, Pulmonata, Plectopylidae - including some snails from Myanmar, published Aug 2018 in European Journal of Taxonomy.

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