Ian MacKenzie sent us samples taken from strange ball formations in a Canada cave. The collection was one of the cleanest I've worked with and the initial results are here: raw data   grid file   HTML output with best matches 

raw data
grid file

Subaqueous cave hairs are now under investigation in the lab. Tom Gilleland sent a small stone and water sample for a pool found in an Arizona cave. The pool walls were festooned with "hairs" that appeared to be of biological origin. Heterotrophic organisms have been cultured from both the rock and water sample and the raw data, grid, and html file are here to look over...as for the hairs, I already know what they are and have cultures of them taken directly from the small hairs on the stone, as well as "baited" cultures directly from the water.
raw data

I have a ream of data from the 1990 NSS Costa Rica Expedition which you might find interesting. Here are the raw notes from the expedition that I typed on a small portable while camping in the rain forest.  
"Moonmilk" Sample from Switzerland is plated on malt agar and now growing colonies. Several mucoid colonies heave appeared, likely bacteria. Some fungi have appeared, and possibly one dark Nocardia or Actinomyces. Odor of all plates is mild. Some subcultures have been made, especially one white fungus with moderately fast growing Cephalosporium as of May 1997. Thin Layer Chromatography will be attempted on extracts from dried mycelia.


The "data reduction" programs and other support files will be here for you to play with. This listing includes cave microorganisms. The GWBASIC programs use generic code. Grid.bas grids data stored in tagged or header style into a uniform header format for further analysis and comparison. I will have more to post on this later or call me and I can walk you thru the maze. grid.bas has been updated. Biodiversity index can now be calculated. data reduction



I did a short exploration in the Old Newgate Prison, in Simsbury CT. These are actually old copper mines that were uses to keep prisoners many years ago. A section of old tunnel which was underwater for many years dried out enough to allow exploration for about 50 feet. I collected a sample of rusticle from an old wooden artifact and tried to make some cultures in the lab. Also, I attempted to dissolve out the metals in the specimen with oxalic acid, and now have a petri dish of orange rust to explore!

Colorado cave water sample results are here. These are the aerobic and microaerophilic heterotrophs that came up early on carbon-rich media. The data is in the raw entry format using tagged fields. The GRID program above can use this data. Colorado cave water

Exploration in Mexico has turned up an interesting cave life form - possible related to that from Movile: USNews Article

Bacteria data from Lechuguilla cave, NM is here. You can read these files with "Notepad" or any text editor.

Movile cave 1992
tagged fields format
Movile cave

Speleology--Caves and the Cave Environment(1977) by George W. Moore and Nicholas Sullivan has now been printed and is available from Cave Books, 4700 Amberwood Drive, Dayton, OH 45424 . Prices are hardback $21.95, paperback $15.95, plus shipping and handling as follows: North America $2.50; elsewhere, surface mail $3.50

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  • POPA, Radu; SARBU, Serban M. (1991) : Trophic structure in an aquatic troglobiotic community based upon chemoautotrophic carbon fixation. - Travaux Institut Spéol. Emile Racovitza, tome 30: 51-58 (2 fig.)
  • SARBU, Serban (1993) : A unique chemoautotrophically based cave ecosystem. - Abstract Proceedings NSS Annual Meeting 1992, Salem, Indiana; in: National Speleological Society Bulletin vol.54 nr.2 / Dec 1992: 85. (abstract only).
  • MALLORY, Larry (1993) : The microbial world of caves. - Abstract Proceedings NSS Annual Meeting 1992, Salem, Indiana; in: National Speleological Society Bulletin vol.54 nr. 2 / Dec 1992: 83. (abstract only). Bacterial studies in Ten- Mile- Creek Cave, Tennessee and Mammoth Cave, Kentucky. (RM).
  • DRUET, Yann (1993) : Patines et dépôts géomicrobiens. - Spéléos, n°89 : 47-50. Présentation de bactéries qui ne vivent que grâce à l'atmosphère souterraine et au support calcaire et d'une nouvelle méthode de datation de patines, par l'orientation de colonies bactériennes du cycle du fer. Reproduction d'un article de "Pour la science" sur les bactéries qui fabriquent les roches calcaires. (IO).
  • GOUNOT, Anne-Monique (1994) : Bacteria. - Encyclopaedia Biospeologica, tome 1, C. Juberthie et V. Decu eds, Société de Biospéologie, ISSN 0398 - 7973: 359-370. Généralités sur les bactéries. Les bactéries des cavernes: inventaire systématique. Adaptation des bactéries au milieu souterrain: ressources nutritivess, aérations, température, absence de lumière. (JM).
  • SOUTHWARD, Alan J.; SOUTHWARD, Eve (1994) : Animals that live on sulphur. - Atti Convegno Speleomar 91, in: Memorie Istituto Italiano Speleologia, serie 2, vol. 6, 1994: 83-84 (riass. ital.). Vengono presentate le piú recenti scoperte concernenti i batteri marini autolitotrofici, provenienti sia dalle profondità oceaniche che di alcune cavità naturali, segnatamente quelle di Capo Palinuro. (RB).
  • PAPATETROPOULOU, M.; ILIOPOULOU - GEORGUDAKI, J. (1991) : Bacterial flora isolated from a cave environment (Limnon cave, Peloponnesus, Greece). - Mém. Biospéol., vol. 18: 89-91 (2 tab.) In order to examine the presence of enteropathogenic and opportunistic pathogen flora, a total of 40 samples consisting of soil, water, mud and bat guano taken from a cave that is open to public were processed during a 5 months period using standard methods techniques (JM).
  • SARBU, S. M. and POPA, R. 1992. A unique chemoautotrophically based cave ecosystem. In: The Natural History of Biospeleology, (edit.) Camacho, A.I., Monogr. Mus. Nac. Cienc. Natur. Madrid. pp:637-666.
  • SARBU, Serban M.; POPA, Radu; GOLIAT, Ioana (1991) : Chemoautotrophic production in a thermomineral sulfurous cave. - Travaux Institut Spéol. Emile Racovitza, tome 30: 59-61 (1 fig.) Samples from the microbiota living in the Pestera la Movile, Dobrogea, Romania, were incubated with 14C labeled CO2. The presence of chemoautotrophic microbes using probably H2S as a source of energy has been detected. (RB)
  • ELLIS, Elizabeth; CHARD, Jane (1989) : Here be fungi. - Grampian speleol. Group Bull. vol.1 (nr.2) : 13-14. Preliminar investigation into the fungi which live in two caves of Scotland : Penicillium and Cladosporium are the commonest species. (RB)
  • Ramioul. - Bull. Chercheurs de la Wallonie 28 : 189-197 (9 fig., bibliogr.) (en anglais, rés. français). Plusieurs espèces de microfongidés ont été isolés. Ils proviennent du sol de l'étage inférieur de la grotte de Ramioul (province de Liège, Belgique). Taxonomie et écologie. (DU)
  • MERLIN, Victor; RODRIGUEZ DE KOPP, Norma (1988) : Estudio de hongos microscopicos ambientales en una caverna del Sistema de Cuchillo Cura, Neuquén. - Salamanca 4 (N.° 4) : 43-48 (Engl. summ.; rés. franç.) (fig.) Investigation mycologique de l´air de la Cueva del Arenal. Les nombres de colonies et de genres diminuent de l´entrée (7 genres) vers la partie obscure (3 genres : Aspergillus; Alternaria; Nigrospora). (RB)
  • VOLZ, Paul A.; YAO, Ji Ping (1991) : Micro- fungi of the Hendrie River Water Cave, Mackinac County, Michigan. - NSS Bull. Vol.53 Nr.2: 104-106 (area map) 100 soil samples collected in the beech-maple forest and 25 soil samples within the cave of the Fiborn Karst Preserve were examined. The micro- fungal isolates were in a greater abundance in soil outside the cave. Keratinophilic fungi were more commonly isolated from cave soil than from surface soil surrounding the cave. (RB)
  • FEBBRIORELLO, Pete (1994) : Mycology Studies in the Rio Corredor Basin. - National Speleological Society Bulletin vol.55 nr.1-2 / June-Dec 1993: 9.1-9.5. During the 1989 field season several of the projects personnel were stricken with a respiratory illness later identified as Blastomycosis. The fungus was believed to have been encountered in the caves of the Rio Corredor Basin. As part of the study undertaken during the 1990 season limited mycologic investigations were begun. While much of the data is preliminary and inconclusive it is useful in understanding the ecologic processes occurring in the caves within the study area. (RM).
  • Camassa M.M., Febbroriello P.  (2003): Le Foval della Grotta Zinzulusa  (Puglia, Italia), Thalassia Salentina #26 Supplemento: Il  Carsismo Nell'area Mediterranea.  The FOVAL formation is found to be most likely a result of microparticulate material adhering to the mucus-like substance produced by a fungus, Geotrichum candidum, which was cultured from several formation areas within the cave.