Statistics

The Cave Fauna of Greece database currently holds data on more than 850 species and more than 460 caves from all 14 administrative regions. It also holds 100 taxa identified to generic level but these are visible only in the species lists for each cave. The census includes a total number of 2,585 records.

Kriti (Crete) is the most studied Region of Greece (35% 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 more than 850 species from 432 genera, 191 families, 64 orders, 20 classes, and 6 phyla.

TAXA
Orders
Families
Genera
Species
Phylum Platyhelminthes        
Rhabditophora 2 2 2 2
Lecithoepitheliata   1 1 1
Tricladida   1 1 1
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 Mollusca        
Gastropoda 2 14 32 65
Littorinimorpha   1 2 2
Stylommatophora   13 30 63
Phylum Annelida        
Clitellata 3 4 13 17
Branchiobdellida   1 1 1
Crassiclitellata   2 9 13
Enchytraeida   1 3 3
Phylum Arthropoda        
Arachnida 12 56 118 260
Amblypygi   1 1 1
Araneae   25 69 143
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 23
Geophilomorpha   1 1 1
Lithobiomorpha   1 3 16
Scolopendromorpha   2 2 5
Scutigeromorpha   1 1 1
Diplopoda 4 7 24 43
Callipodida   1 5 13
Glomerida   2 2 6
Julida   2 12 16
Polydesmida   2 5 8
Entognatha 4 7 13 21
Collembola   1 1 1
Diplura   2 5 12
Entomobryomorpha   1 1 1
Poduromorpha   4 6 7
Hexanauplia 2 3 16 31
Cyclopoida   1 8 15
Harpacticoida   2 8 16
Insecta 12 47 127 246
Archaeognatha   1 3 3
Blattodea   1 1 1
Coleoptera   15 74 144
Diptera   9 17 23
Hemiptera   2 3 3
Hymenoptera   1 1 1
Lepidoptera   7 11 12
Orthoptera   2 5 41
Psocoptera   4 4 5
Siphonaptera   1 1 1
Trichoptera   2 5 10
Zygentoma   2 2 2
Malacostraca 4 23 40 88
Amphipoda   4 6 6
Decapoda   1 2 2
Isopoda   17 31 79
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
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 6 14 32
Carnivora   2 3 3
Chiroptera   3 9 27
Rodentia   1 2 2
       
TOTAL 64 191 432 853

 

The most diverse Classes are Arachnida (31%) [Araneae 17%] and Insecta  (28%)

 

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 850 species from more than 460 caves. Approximately 330 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 the 22% 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 (85.8%) or the GR Red Data Book (86.4%). The adequate evaluated groups are bats, orthopterans, and mollusks. Only 9 out of the 188 obligate cavernicolous species have been evaluated.

 

 

Species protection status

Only 6.6% 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 is 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 265 (57%) of the caves cited in the CFG database are situated within Natura 2000 sites (SPA’s and/or Sci’s). In addition, 59 caves (12.7 %) are situated within Wildlife Refuges.