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?
Most of the formations—or speleothems—found inside Carlsbad Cavern today were active and growing during the last ice age when instead of having a desert above the cave, there were pine forests.