Photo of a terrestrial isopod.
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.

Last updated: December 17, 2017

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