Newly discovered insect found in B.C. caves could be a survivor from ice age

Scientists say a newly discovered cave-dwelling species of insect found in British Columbia could be a survivor from the last ice age.   

Named Haplocampa Wagnelli, the arthropod found in a cave near Port Alberni on Vancouver Island is about three to four millimetres long, with six legs and no eyes.  

A study published in journal Subterranean Biology on Tuesday says it may represent one of the most northerly cave-dwelling species.  

Lead author Alberto Sendra says it may have adapted to surviving under the ice sheet to avoid the harsh cold during the ice age, or it could have migrated up north from the United States.   

He says the little insect is an example of adaptation, and its existence opens up possibilities of how species survive in different climates and conditions.  

The insect's name pays tribute to a caver and co-author of the paper, Craig Wagnell, who has spent years exploring caves on Vancouver Island.