• Photo of the steep natural entrance of Carlsbad Caverns

    Carlsbad Caverns

    National Park New Mexico

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  • Cave Lighting Project

    We are undergoing a year-long lighting project in the cavern. Please be aware of caution tape along pathways inside the cave and use due care.

  • Scenic Loop Road Closed

    The 9-mile scenic Loop Road (Desert Drive) is closed due to weather damage. The road will reopen as soon as repairs are done. This scenic road does not affect road access to the visitor center or the cave.

Crustaceans

A terrestrial isopod, in the family Trichoniscidae from near the lunchroom in Carlsbad Cavern. It's probably a Brackenridgia sp.
This crustacean, a terrestrial isopod in the family Trichoniscidae, was photographed near the underground lunchroom in Carlsbad Cavern.
Photo courtesy of Zara Environmental LLC
 

Most of the known crustaceans in Carlsbad Caverns National Park are cave-dwelling creatures. These include intriguing animals such as copepods called Cyclops vernalis and branchiopods called water fleas (Holopedium amazonicum).

Also among the crustaceans are the group called isopods, including groups such as sowbugs, pillbugs and woodlice. The park has several species both below and above ground. Unfortunately, the above-ground pillbugs are probably not native.

Crayfish are the best-known crustaceans, and they have been found at Rattlesnake Springs. Identified as the red swamp or Louisiana Crayfish, they also are not native to New Mexico.

Did You Know?

Permian ocean bottom.

The limestone rock that holds Carlsbad Cavern is full of ocean fossil plants and animals from a time before the dinosaurs when the southeastern corner of New Mexico was a coastline similar to the Florida Keys.