In Jan/Feb 2009 I was caving in south Myanmar, in Kayin and Mon states. All the caves were dry, and we saw no river caves. Some of the caves had bats and invertebrates. The most common invertebrates seemed to be the crickets, though some caves had some very large spiders. Most of the caves we visited were temple caves, and some have been described since the 1880s, especially the Farm Caves. Some specimens were collected for identification as it is interesting to compare species from neighbouring southeast Asian countries. Unfortunately we saw no bats close up, and also there were no cave racers.
The first 12 photos were taken in Saddan and Haisin Caves, near Hpa An (Kayin state).
catching to ID
The above Heteropoda are interesting. Similiar spiders collected from caves in Laos have been described by Dr. Peter Jäger of Senckenberg Museum, Germany, as having the longest leg span of any spider, even longer than tarantulas. These Laos spiders are Heteropoda maxima, and one male has a 28.6 cm leg span. A WWF report described it as the "most remarkable" of 88 new species of spider located in Laos, Thailand and the Yunnan province of China". They are bigger than the huntsmen spiders seen in Malaysian caves.
gecko (Cyrtodactylus sp)
lots of crickets in this chamber
whip spider (Stygophrynus cf. cerberus)
The following were seen in Farm Caves, (Kayone Gu, Ka-yon or Payon Caves), This cave has been reported as having many fruit bats. We saw and heard them but found no skulls for identification.
long legged centipede
© Liz Price 2009
Page last updated 13 May 2009