Statistics

The Cave Fauna of Greece database currently holds data on more than 880 species and more than 540 caves from all 14 administrative regions. It also holds 110 taxa identified to generic level but these are visible only in the species lists for each cave. The census includes a total number of nearly 3,000 records.

Kriti (Crete) is the most studied Region of Greece (34% of the caves). Insular Regions (N & S Aegean, Ionian Islands, and Crete) are hosting a remarkable percentage of endemic and troglobiont species. 

 

  

The diversity of the cave fauna of Greece

There are 883 species in 442 genera, 194 families, 64 orders, 20 classes, and 6 phyla. The most diverse Classes are Arachnida (29,7%) [Araneae 16.5%] and Insecta (Ectognatha) (29.2%)

TAXA Orders Families Genera Species
Phylum Arthropoda        
Arachnida 12 57 120 262
Amblypygi   1 1 1
Araneae   26 71 146
Ixodida   1 2 3
Mesostigmata   2 4 4
Opiliones   4 13 17
Oribatida   3 3 3
Palpigradi   1 1 3
Prostigmata   1 1 2
Pseudoscorpionida   7 11 61
Sarcoptiformes   6 6 6
Scorpiones   3 3 8
Trombidiformes   2 4 8
Branchiopoda 1 1 1 1
Anomopoda   1 1 1
Chilopoda 4 5 7 22
Geophilomorpha   1 1 1
Lithobiomorpha   1 3 15
Scolopendromorpha   2 2 5
Scutigeromorpha   1 1 1
Diplopoda 4 7 25 43
Callipodida   1 5 13
Glomerida   2 2 6
Julida   2 13 17
Polydesmida   2 5 7
Entognatha 3 7 16 29
Diplura   2 6 18
Entomobryomorpha   1 1 1
Poduromorpha   4 9 10
Hexanauplia 2 4 17 33
Cyclopoida   1 8 16
Harpacticoida   3 9 17
Insecta 12 46 128 258
Archaeognatha   1 3 3
Blattodea   1 1 1
Coleoptera   14 73 146
Diptera   9 17 24
Hemiptera   2 3 3
Hymenoptera   1 3 5
Lepidoptera   7 11 12
Orthoptera   2 5 46
Psocoptera   4 4 5
Siphonaptera   1 1 1
Trichoptera   2 5 10
Zygentoma   2 2 2
Malacostraca 4 23 40 92
Amphipoda   4 6 9
Decapoda   1 2 2
Isopoda   17 31 80
Thermosbaenacea   1 1 1
Maxillopoda 1 1 1 1
Calanoida   1 1 1
Ostracoda 1 1 3 3
Podocopida   1 3 3
Symphyla 1 2 3 3
    2 3 3
Phylum Chordata        
Actinopterygii 1 1 2 2
Cypriniformes   1 2 2
Amphibia 2 2 2 2
Anura   1 1 1
Caudata   1 1 1
Aves 2 2 2 2
Passeriformes   1 1 1
Strigiformes   1 1 1
Mammalia 3 7 16 34
Carnivora   2 3 3
Chiroptera   3 10 28
Rodentia   2 3 3
Phylum Annelida        
Clitellata 3 4 13 17
Branchiobdellida   1 1 1
Crassiclitellata   2 9 13
Enchytraeida   1 3 3
Phylum Nematoda        
Enoplea 3 7 9 9
Dorylaimida   4 4 4
Mononchida   1 3 3
Triplonchida   2 2 2
Secernentea 1 1 3 3
Rhabditida   1 3 3
Phylum Platyhelminthes        
Rhabditophora 2 2 2 2
Lecithoepitheliata   1 1 1
Tricladida   1 1 1
Phylum Mollusca        
Gastropoda 2 15 32 65
Littorinimorpha   2 2 2
Stylommatophora   13 30 63
         
TOTAL 64 194 442 883

 

 

Discovery rate

Korykeio Antro (Parnassos Mt.) is the cave from where the first cave animals of Greece have been recorded. From the samples collected by Theobald Johannes Krüper (1829–1917), Brunner Von Wattenwyl (1861) identified the cave cricket Rhaphidophora cavicola -a record assigned recently to Troglophilus zoia (Di Russo et al. 2014)- and Schaum (1962) described a new ground-beetle species (Anophthalmus Krueperi = Duvalius krueperi), the first obligate cave-dwelling species recorded in Greece. Since then, the speleobiological research in Greece revealed an interesting fauna of more than 880 species from more than 540 caves. More than 335 of them were described for the first time. 

 

Species ecological classification

Nearly half of the species of the cave fauna of Greece are Greek endemics. Obligate cavernicolous species (troglobionts/stygobionts) represent 22.3% of the cave fauna and the vast majority are steno-endemic. Only 12 species are not endemic to Greece

 

Species conservation status

The majority of the species found in the caves of Greece have not been evaluated either for the IUCN Red List (84.9%) or the GR Red Data Book (85.9%). The adequately evaluated groups are bats, orthopterans, and mollusks. Only 9 out of the 192 obligate cavernicolous species have been evaluated.

 

 

Species protection status

Only 7.0% of the cavernicolous species (mostly Dolichopoda cave crickets and Bats) is protected according to the European and the National legal framework! No obligate cavernicolous species are legally protected.

 

Cave protection status

According to the Greek Archaeological Law, all caves associated with ancient human uses are considered protected.

Only 20 caves are namely protected under the Greek environmental legislation. About 305 (55.2%) of the caves cited in the CFG database are situated within Natura 2000 sites (Sci’s and/or SPA’s). In addition, 69 caves (12.3 %) are situated within Wildlife Refuges.

For more insights and the code behind the analysis visit our GitHub Page:

Paragamian, K. and Paragkamian, S. Cave fauna of Greece database analysis (CFG Analysis) - Hellenic Institute of Speleological Research. Available at https://inspee-hisr.github.io/CFG_analysis/