Assoc. Prof. Nikolay Simov and Stanimira Deleva, an associated researcher at the National Museum of Natural History, Sofia, together with their colleagues from Costa Rica, summarise all data on the underground fauna of this “hotspot” for global biodiversity in a publication for the prestigious scientific journal Subterranean Biology.
Their new article, “The cave fauna of Costa Rica: current state of knowledge and future research perspectives”, demonstrates how much we (don’t) know about the subterranean fauna in the country. Besides creating the first comprehensive literature review of existing information, the authors present a considerable number of new findings from their field surveys conducted between 2015 and 2018.
Among the most interesting findings reported in the study is the first observation of the true bug Amnestus subferrugineus (Westwood 1837) in the caves of Costa Rica, which adds to the country’s faunal inventory. Additionally, pale-bodied catfish (Rhamdia guatemalensis) were reported in the caves of Costa Rica and await further study.
This article highlights the gaps in knowledge about the underground fauna and will serve as a basis for planning future research projects. It will also play an important role in conservation efforts for the underground environment and caves in Costa Rica.
Stanimira Deleva, an associated researcher at the museum, a young scientist, and the lead author of the paper, has led numerous expeditions in Costa Rica in search of new caves and the study of their inhabitants. This is the second publication from her long-term research work in the country, following a pilot study on cave-dwelling bats in the Puntarenas province. Through her expeditions in Costa Rica, Stanimira continues the tradition of pioneering research at the National Museum of Natural History, Sofia in remote and unexplored caves in Bulgaria and around the world.