List of troglobites

A troglobite is an animal that lives entirely in the dark parts of caves. (Not to be confused with troglodyte.) Roughly speaking, troglobites may be classed as troglofauna (the land-dwelling species) and stygofauna (the aquatic species).

Troglobites typically have evolutionary adaptations to cave life. Examples of such adaptations include slow metabolism, loss of sight, and loss of skin pigment. Conversely, as opposed to lost or reduced functions, many species have extreme sensory adaptations for sense of touch or other stimuli that do not depend on light. Such adaptations may take the form of long antennae or sensory hairs, and other types of sensors, particularly chemosensory and auditory organs. Troglobites commonly do not survive well outside caves and therefore cannot travel between separate cave systems. As a result many species are endemic to a single cave or system of caves.

Strictly speaking, in contrast to troglobites, creatures that shelter in caves but go out to feed, are trogloxenes. Examples of trogloxenes include both nocturnal species such as cave-dwelling bats, and diurnal animals such as cave swallows.


Velvet worms







See Cave insects


Main article: Cavefish



There are no known mammals that live exclusively in caves. Most bats sleep in caves during the day and hunt at night, but they are considered troglophiles or trogloxenes. However some fossorials which spend their whole lives underground might be considered subterranean fauna, although they are not true troglofauna as they do not live in caves.



There are no known birds that live exclusively in caves.

See also


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