Beetle in the cave

As a macro-photographer, I have a wishlist what I would like to see and shoot from the world of arthropods. One of the targets was the endemic ground beetle Duvalius gebhardti found only in a small mountain range in Hungary. Its way of life is still unclear. All we know that adults live in narrow caves and crevices in the karst.
I visited one of the known habitats, a cave in the Bükk Mountains with young biologists and a caver, and luckily, we found a few living individuals. Now let’s see the pictures of the short excursion. Some of the photos were taken by a member of the team, Márton Szabolcs.

Weird company walking to the cave.


Before disappearing in the dark.


Ouch, this is really strait! Claustrophobics turn back!


A lesser horseshoe bat (Rhinolophus hipposideros) spending the winter deep in the cave.


On the walls we could see large parasites of the bats. These ticks (Ixodes vespertilionis) differ from the common ones in their long legs.


Another one, looking to be starving:


A young fire salamander found almost 300 m from the entrance.


The highlight of this trip – the tiny, 4 mm long Gebhardt’s blind ground beetle (Duvalius gebhardti):


Improvised field-studio with helping hands:



4 thoughts on “Beetle in the cave

  1. michaelmarlow

    Your website is off to a great start, Nikola! (Glad you picked; makes it very easy to follow!) Very good shots too, as usual, even if some were ticks (ha!)…very intriguing beetle …and nice photos by Márton too…


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