London: Researchers from two Spanish universities have discovered a new species of beetle in the depths of the Krubera cave, the deepest cave known to man, 2,140 metres deep in the Western Caucasus.
Cave beetles are one of the most iconic species found in subterranean habitats. They were historically the first living organisms described by science that are adapted to the conditions of hypogean or subterranean life.
"The new species of cave beetle is called Duvalius abyssimus. We only have two specimens, a male and a female," said Vicente OrtuAo from the University of AlcalAi in Spain.
"Although they were captured in the world`s deepest cave, they were not found at the deepest point," OrtuAo added.
The Duvalius genus is a successful coloniser of the earth`s depths. The majority of species have a hypogean lifestyle and live in caves or the superficial underground compartment.
"The new species` characteristics indicate that it is moderately adapted to life underground. Proof of this is that they still have eyes, which are absent in the highly specialised cave species," OrtuAo noted.
The findings appeared in the journal Zootaxa.