Celebrating 20 years as a Texas caving organization in 2006! The Maverick Grotto is the local caving club of
Fort Worth and
Tarrant County Texas. We are dedicated to promoting safe, fun, and environmentally conscious caving. Our grotto is an internal organization of the
National Speleological Society.
The Maverick Grotto is inactive effective November 2009!
Photos from Phantom
Courtesy of Bill Tucker.
Bill, his wife Francie, son Todd, and other divers have been
exploring this cave for years.
Located in West Texas,
Phantom Springs Cave is currently listed at 2529 meters (8297
Almost all of the explored cave is underwater without air space.
on thumbnail below for a larger Picture
photo at cave entrance, taken before irrigation canals were built…
most likely before about 1940
was left of Phantom Lake in 1997.The cave entrance is in the cliff face behind walkway.Walkway was built as observation area for Federally listed
endangered Commanche Springs Pupfish, and the Pecos Gambusia.
Todd and Bill Tucker looking for caves in west Texas.
entrance was gated in about 1960.Lori Bell and Bruce Tipps prepare for a survey dive.
inside the cave entrance.
cross, making a 4-way intersection about 120’ into the cave.
Tucker in a window between two parallel passages in downstream Phantom
Tucker in the upper part of a 70’
tall room about 900’ upstream
formations occur in many places upstream
inspects roots which extend though 25’ of rock.
The Phantom Cave Isopod (Lirceolus
cocytus)lives in these roots.
passages merge into one downstream conduit.Divers Bruce Tipps and Lori Bell.
new species of isopod was discovered in 1995 living underwater in
Phantom Cave.The Lirceolus
cocytus grows to about 4mm in length, and is found on roots
extending into the water.A
small snail, about 0.5 mm in diameter, can be seen on the rock below
the isopod.It is likely
a new genus as well as species.
Tucker swims upstream with collecting equipment.Cave fauna specimens are forwarded to the Texas Memorial Museum
for study.Several unique
species are found in Phantom.
blocks of breakdown have tumbled from the ceiling in several parts of
Campsite beside Phantom Lake, adjacent to the cave