• Photo of the steep natural entrance of Carlsbad Caverns

    Carlsbad Caverns

    National Park New Mexico

There are park alerts in effect.
hide Alerts »
  • 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.


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?

The Hall of Giants in Carlsbad Cavern.

The 119 caves of Carlsbad Caverns National Park were carved out not by running water and streams like many limestone caves in the world, rather these caves were dissolved by very aggressive sulfuric acid.