Despite the name associated with cave inhabitation, this amphipod named after Stewart B. Peck lives in and out of the bubbling, boiling spring openings found in the headwaters of the Comal Spring complex and Hueco Springs fed by the Edwards Balcones Fault Zone Aquifer groundwater. This species was listed as endangered in 1997, because threats of groundwater overconsumption and contamination. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service works with our partners to ensure the springs continue to provide clean and healthy freshwater to their microhabitats and important life history and biological research to address the needs for the species.
Ezell's cave amphipod, Stygobromus flagellatus, co-occurs at and outside of Peck's cave amphipod habitats and will need observation under a microscope for identification. If found in Travis County, Texas, it is not a Peck's cave amphipod.
Stygobromus russelli co-occurs in the same habitats at the Peck's cave amphipod and will need observation under a microscope for identification. The most anterior leg of Stygobromus russelli has a lobe on the lower hamstring portion of the leg and the Peck' cave amphipod does not.
Areas where ground water meets the surface.
This subterranean crustacean does not have eyes or pigment, but can appear orange in color. This color comes from the carotenoids found in the food that they eat; a similar effect seen in pink flamingos.
With their five pairs of legs, the Peck's cave amphipod can swim very fast and burrows itself in the sediment and likely lives under the surface in the aquifer.
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