It’s brown, eyeless and lives in a cave.
Though this creature may sound like a fairytale villain, it’s actually an endangered ground beetle — Rhadine exilis — whose habitat is threatened by Bexar County’s urbanization and population growth, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Black Cat Cave, which lies under Bulverde Road south of Evans Road, is one of the few caves in the world thought to be the home to the tiny invertebrate. It’s close to the 81-acre site of a proposed middle school that North East Independent School District plans to build if voters approve a $399.4 million bond proposition on Nov. 8.
The school district and a real estate development company with property nearby have asked the government to remove Black Cat Cave from the beetle’s critical habitat list, claiming the beetle does not live in the cave and possibly never did.
USFWS officials said they’ll consider that information before issuing a ruling in February.