June 28, 2014 · Uncategorized

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Got to hit a few more Chinese caves in 2014. Great fun and good times with my collaborator, Dr. Yahui Zhao. I also had Daphne Soares and Andy Gluesenkamp caving with me over there. They were a blast. The focus of the work in China is to document the ranges of endangered groundwater fishes as well as to make bioinventories of cave life in southern China. So far, I have loved every minute of it.

Guangxi is loaded with beautiful karst landscapes.  This is Cone Karst.

Guangxi is loaded with beautiful karst landscapes. This is Cone Karst.

So many stunning vistas in China

So many stunning vistas in China

Daphne trying to net a cavefish.

Daphne trying to net a cavefish.

This is the kind of cavefish Daphne was after (Sinocyclocheilus)

This is the kind of cavefish Daphne was after (Sinocyclocheilus)

Andy & Yahui prepare a fish trap

Andy & Yahui prepare a fish trap

After hours of soaking, the net is brought up and Andy has his first blind Chinese Cave fish.

After hours of soaking, the net is brought up and Andy has his first blind Chinese Cave fish.

A new species of Cave Loach (Oreonectes)...stoaked!

A new species of Cave Loach (Oreonectes)!

Lots of time spent swimming in subterranean rivers and lakes

Lots of time spent swimming in subterranean rivers and lakes

We found quite a few spectacular species (Sinocyclocheilus angularis)

We found quite a few spectacular species (Sinocyclocheilus angularis)

A beautiful karst river.  The color of the water is caused by aluminum sulphate that dissolved out of the limestone.

A beautiful karst river. The color of the water is caused by aluminum sulphate that dissolved out of the limestone.

Lots of time was spent photographing cavefish in-situ

Lots of time was spent photographing cavefish in-situ

Another find during the trip, the Double Horned Golden Line Barbel (Sinocyclocheilus bicornutus)

Another find during the trip, the Double Horned Golden Line Barbel (Sinocyclocheilus bicornutus)

Found some of these species at a pumping station located deep beneath a mountain (Triplophysa macrocephala)

Found some of these species at a pumping station located deep beneath a mountain (Triplophysa macrocephala)

Daph and Yahui after a long day of caving

Daph and Yahui after a long day of caving

Lots of good invertebrates like this giant House Centipede

Lots of good invertebrates like this giant House Centipede

A sleeping bat hanging from the cave ceiling

A sleeping bat hanging from the cave ceiling

Blind cave snail from an unnamed cave near Mulun, Guangxi, China

Blind cave snail from an unnamed cave near Mulun, Guangxi, China

First time a live Chinese Blindcat has ever been photographed (Xiurenbagrus dorsalis) - second specimen ever found.

First time a live Chinese Blindcat has ever been photographed (Xiurenbagrus dorsalis) - second specimen ever found.

These guys are beautiful

These guys are beautiful

We all had a great time caving for almost 5 weeks

We all had a great time caving for almost 5 weeks

First time for everything...a cave river whirlpool

First time for everything...a cave river whirlpool

Daph tries to hold the mountain of gear in the back of the car

Daph tries to hold the mountain of gear in the back of the car

I think that we all challenged the dress codes of the hotels and restaurants...

I think that we all challenged the dress codes of the hotels and restaurants...

More soon

Written by Dante


2 comments on “Caving in China, 2014”

  1. Gurudeo:

    05 Jul 2006 10:09:25 AM EDTI have only been three times and it’s been so much fun this past monday I was there (3 july 06) and there were two large gruops of cavers. one from a church in Florida, and the other a boy scout troop from north GA. one or both of the gruops completely trashed the place inside and out. There was trash from outside the entrance all the way beyond the pancake squeeze. when my brother and I were exiting the cave, someone had freshly urinated on the slide and we had no choice but to climb up through it. I have been an outdoors person all 31 years that I’ve been alive, and I know how to clean up after myself and not leave it for someone else to do. I am from Gwinnett county GA, and it’s about a 2.5 to 3 hour drive to get to Pigeon mountain. So to drive that far and have to deal with gruops of people that have no respect for the outdoors is painfully disturbing. Other than that I’ve enjoyed my caving experience and would like to continue finding new and exciting routes inside Pettijohn Cave. Are there anymore caves nearby that are about the same level of difficulty as Pettijohn? I have heard of Hurricane Cave do you know where I can find a map of Hurricane cave?


  2. Dante:

    Hi Gurudeo,

    I’m sorry you had a bad caving experience. I would blame the kids but would focus on the adults with them who must not have been imparting appropriate behavior. There are a number of caving clubs in your area. You can find contact info via the link below. Gaining access to systems via the clubs and organized trips is your best bet.

    http://caves.org/region/sera/SERAOrg.htm#GA

    Good luck!


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