Fauna of the Geopark
there are many animals in leye, including 28 orders, 61 families, 267 species, of them 59 species are national protected animals. also many cave animals are discovered as well as the sign animal of tiankeng group, the fly cat.
the flycat (xanthipes) is the national second protected animal, it can glide by its wide webbed wing between its front and rear legs, it looks lovely and is thought to be the sign animal of tiankeng group for its appearance in tiankeng area.
shenmu tiankeng is the paradise of birds for its lush forests and good ecological environment, there are many species of birds, mainly including aigrette, black-necked long-tailed pheasant, accipiter nisus, common cockoo, accipiter fasciatus brown goshawk, woodpecker, orioluschinensis and wood thrush.
accipiter fasciatus brown goshawk
black-necked long-tailed pheasant
troglobite means cave dweller. troglobites are the permanent residents of the cave. most of these animals are albinos (white-colored or without any pigment) and blind. they often have well-developed antennae and feelers. some blind fish, blind shrimp, cave spider, diplopods, and crickets are troglobites.
cave fungus gnats are ‘firefly’ larvae. some species of fungus gnats produce a weak light. each gnat can spit out dozens of sticky, wet transparent silk threads which are 3-20 cm long. it uses these threads to trap prey which are attracted to the weak light.
cave crickets are similar to house crickets. they are commonly found in caves. cave crickets are short and not capable of making sounds. many types of cave crickets have degenerated eyes, or are eyeless. however, they often have large hind legs and long antennae, which they use to find their way through the dark cave environment. cave crickets eat beetles as their main food, and cave spiders in turn eat the cave crickets.
cave cricket in heidong
cave spiders are the biggest carnivore found inside the cave. they can prey almost all of the land-dwelling cave animals, even bats. cave spiders are usually light-colored. some cave spiders are eyeless, but they can have legs up to 25 cm long!
bats are probably the most well known trogloxene or cave guest. bats generally sleep during the day and hunt for food at night. cave bats generally eat large insects, and their guano provides food for lots of other cave animals.
bat in jiangzhou cave
all food for cave animals must come from outside on the surface, i.e., organic debris. these foods feed cave dwellers and cave lovers, reproducing massive microorganisms such as fungi, bacterium, actinomycetes, which feed other cave animals. i.e, these microorganisms become the first level of cave food chain. the second level of cave food chain are isopods, millipedes and planarian; the third level of cave food chain are crickets, beetles; the top level of cave food chain are cave spiders, shrimps and salamander, cave crayfish.
cave food pyramid