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Krka NP endemic species

Every new discovery is of immeasurable value for the biodiversity of an area.

Every newly discovered species is of the utmost importance, especially those that are stenoendemic (meaning that it lives in only one place on Earth). The troglophile cave centipede Eupolybothrus cavernicolus Komerički & Stoev, 2013 was discovered in Krka National Park, in the Miljacka II cave and the Cave behind the mill (Miljacka IV). These are currently the only known localities of this species. Centipedes are among the largest cave invertebrates. This stenoendemic centipede is yellowish-brown to chestnut brown in color, measures about 30 mm in length with its hind legs and antennae that are more than 20 mm long.

In Krka NP a new springtail species has also been described – Lepidocyrtus chorus Mateos & Lukic, 2019. All specimens of the new species were collected on the old stone steps around the Miljacka Hydroelectric plant.

The name refers to its specific behaviour (Latin chorus – dancer), which is associated with its dance-like movements while seeking food and feeding.

Analysis has confirmed that there are two behavioural patterns. In the first pattern, specimens keep the head and mouth in one place which making circular motions with the abdomen, to rotate around the head in both directions. In the second pattern, after time spent feeding in one place, they begin to move in a certain direction, while simultaneously continuing with the abdominal rotations, and they do not change this behaviour as something else approaches.

The holotype has a body length of 1.7 mm, without the head and furcula. Live specimens are silver in colour due to the scales covering the entire body. One dark purple spot is found laterally on each side of the fourth abdominal segment, and a purple triangular mark is found on the head between the antennae.

(photo 1: Lepidocyrtus chorus, photo 2: Eupolybothrus cavernicolus)