The subterranean fauna of twelve Istrian caves, six in Slovenia and six in Croatia, is presented in this paper. Caves in the carbonate region of White Istria (Čičarija) host the richest troglobiotic fauna in comparison to caves in the carbonate littoral region of Red Istria and the intermediate flysh region of Grey Istria. Caves in the contact zone of limestone and flysch situated in Grey Istria are inhabited by a surprisingly high number of troglobiotic taxa as well. Some subterranean taxa were found relatively far from their known distributional areas. In addition, several new taxa have been discovered for science. A brief general description of the ecological conditions within the caves and estimation of potential threats to their faunas is given. Istrian caves are inhabited by numerous endemic troglobiotic species, in this respect ranking this region close to the most diverse Dinaric region.
Research was was carried out in the scope of the Karst Underground Protection (KUP) project, funded by the Slovenia-Croatia Operational Program-me 2007-2013 (IPA).
Polak, S., Bedek, J., Ozimec, R., & Zakšek, V. (2012): Subterranean fauna of twelve istrian caves. Annales: Series Historia Naturalis, 22, 1, 7-24.