Chypre/Cyprus, Monastery of Panayias Amasgous,'Annonce', 2006 - © Photo : Patricia Cardet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book of Abstracts

 

 

The abstracts are listed in alphabetical order according to the name of their first author.

 

 
BLAKEMORE, Robert J. :
 A supplement to "Cosmopolitan Earthworms — an Eco-Taxonomic Guide to the Peregrine Species of the World - 2nd Edition 2006"  … abstract
 
BLAKEMORE, Robert J.:
 Phylogeny of Acanthodrilidae, Octochaetidae, Exxidae, and Megascolecidae revisited with recourse to non-molecular means … abstract
 
BLAKEMORE, Robert J.:
 Review of Oriental pheretimoid (Pheretima auct. family Megascolecidae) taxa … abstract
 
BLAKEMORE, Robert J.:
 A mystery worm from Tasmania … abstract
 
BLAKEMORE, Robert J.:
 Seeking agreement on main categories of ecological strategies of earthworms … abstract
 
BLAKEMORE, Robert J. , CSUZDI, Csaba , ITO, Masamichi T. , KANEKO, Nobuhiro , PAOLETTI, Maurizio G. , SPIRIDONOV, Sergei E. , UCHIDA, Tomoko and VAN PRAAGH, Beverley D. :
 Megascolex (Promegascolex) mekongianus Cognetti, 1922: its extent, ecology and allocation to Amynthas (Oligochaeta: Megascolecidae) … abstract
 
BLAKEMORE, Robert J. , ITO, M. T. and KANEKO, N. :
 "Wikiworm" — a universal matrix of Earthworms x Region x Ecology … abstract
 
BORGES S. , MORENO, A. G. :
 New earthworm records for Vieques, Puerto Rico … abstract
 
CHANG, Chih-Han, CHEN, Jiun-Hong :
 Molecular systematics and phylogeography of the gigantic earthworms in the Metaphire formosae species group (Oligochaeta: Megascolecidae) … abstract
 
CSUZDI, Csaba and POP, Victor V. :
 Taxonomic and biogeographical analysis of the Allolobophora sturanyi species group (Oligochaeta, Lumbricidae) … abstract
 
DÓZSA–FARKAS, Klára:
 Taxonomical importance of spermathecae (receptacula seminis) with special attention to Enchytraeidae (Annelida: Oligochaeta) … abstract
 
HONG, Yong:
 Composition of the family Megascolecidae (Oligochaeta) from Korea … abstract
 
HONG, Yong and INKHAVILAY, Khamla :
 A long earthworm of the genus Amynthas (Megascolecidae) from Laos and DNA Barcoding Data … abstract
 
HONG, Yong , JAMES, Samuel W. , AHN, Chi Hyun, , PARK, Soon Cheol , KIM, Tae Heung:
 Analysis of phylogenetic relationships among Amynthas corticis (Oligochaeta: Megascolecidae) using mtDNA partial sequences … abstract
 
JAMES, Sam:
 Transpacific relationships within the genera Dichogaster and Eutrigaster … abstract
 
KÜHLE, Jürgen C.:
 The development of earthworm populations on selected floodplain sites of river Elbe and river Mulde after the Great ("century") Flooding in 2002 … abstract
 
KATHIRESWARI, P. and JULKA, J.M. :
 Taxonomy of Native Earthworms of Coimbatore Forest Division, The Western Ghats, India — a Biodiversity Hotspot … abstract
 
LOWE, C.N., BUTT, K.R.:
 Preliminary evidence for the adoption of Allolobophora virescens (Savigny, 1826) … abstract
 
MALEK, Masoumeh:
 Preliminary study of earthworm taxonomy from Tehran province … abstract
 
MEZHZHERIN, S.V. , GARBAR, A. V. , VLASENKO, R. P. :
 Genetic structure and morphological peculiarities of Aporrectodea (superspecies) caliginosa (Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae) on the territory of Ukraine … abstract
 
MORENO, Ana G. , BORGES, Sonia , TEISAIRE, Ernestina S. :
 The family Acantodrilidae in South America … abstract
 
MORENO, Ana G. , TEISAIRE, Ernestina S. :
 Geographic distribution of Glossoscolecidae … abstract
 
MORENO, Ana G. , TEISAIRE, Ernestina S. , BORGES, Sonia :
 Earthworms data base … abstract
 
MORENO, Ana G. , TEISAIRE, Ernestina S. , BORGES, Sonia :
 One study about the relative distance between setae … abstract
 
NORGROVE, L. , FUAMBENG, P. Y. , CSUZDI, C. :
 Earthworm densities, diversity and relationships with vegetation and soil properties in land invaded by Imperata cylindrica and Chromolaena odorata in Littoral and North West Provinces of Cameroon … abstract
 
NORGROVE, L. , CSUZDI, C. , HAUSER, S. :
 Earthworm species diversity in timber-plantain agroforestry systems in southern Cameroon … abstract
 
OUAHRANI, G. , AOULMI-GHERIBI, Z. and QIU J.P. :
 Settlement of the Lumbricidae in the semi-arid region of Constantine (eastern Algeria)  … abstract
 
PAVLÍČEK, Tomáš , CSUZDI, Csaba :
 Has Cyprus autochthonous earthworm fauna immigrated from the Levantine coast to the island? … abstract
 
PLISKO, J.D.:
 Remarks on the endemic South African Tritogenia zuluensis species–group (Oligochaeta: Microchaetidae) … abstract
 
POP, Adriana Antonia , CSUZDI, Csaba , WINK, Michael and POP, Victor V. :
 Molecular taxonomy and phylogeny of the genera Octolasion Örley, 1885, Octodrilus Omodeo, 1956 and Octodriloides Zicsi, 1986 (Oligochaeta, Lumbricidae) based on 16S and COI DNA sequences … abstract
 
POP, Adriana Antonia , WINK, Michael and CSUZDI, Csaba :
 Achievements in terrestrial oligochaeta systematics by using molecular methods … abstract
 
ROZEN A. , MYSLAJEK, R. :
 Earthworm communities along altidunal gradient in Silesian Beskid Mountains (southern Poland) … abstract
 
SARI, A. , ASHJA-ARDALAN, A. and MOORAKI, N. :
 Crab associate oligochaete from Jajroud River, Tehran province, Iran … abstract
 
SHERLOCK, Emma and JONES, David T. :
 Developing a field guide to British earthworms … abstract
 
SHWETA, Shweta and SHARMA, Deepika :
 Earthworms — The significant contributors to organic farming and sustainable agriculture … abstract
 
TEISAIRE, Ernestina S. , MORENO, Ana G. :
 The family Ocnerodrilidae in South America … abstract


 
1

A supplement to "Cosmopolitan Earthworms — an Eco-Taxonomic Guide to the Peregrine Species of the World - 2nd Edition 2006"

BLAKEMORE, Robert J.


COE Soil Ecology Group, Yokohama National University, Japan. e–mail: robblakemore@bigpond.com

""The importance of taxonomy is clearly recognized by the majority of scientists and without reliable taxonomy, ecological studies are irrelevant." Dominguez, et al. (2005 Pedobiologia Vol. 49: 82).
An updated and enhanced version of Cosmopolitan Earthworms is presented. This complete guide to the biology, ecology, and identification of 120+ exotic species found most commonly around the Globe is in searchable CD format and follows International Code (ICZN, 1999). All World families are reviewed and regional faunae summarized; examples are: Australia's 715 species with 65 exotics (or about 9% and just 3% Lumbricidae); the Indian region has 505 taxa (10% exotic, 3% Lumbricidae); North America has 182 species (33% exotic and, of these, about half non-native Lumbricidae); in east Asia, new species lists for, China, Myanmar, Korea, Japan (including Ryukus), and Taiwan show 243, 187, 93, 80, and 71 taxa, with the majority of their 20-50% exotics due mainly to exchanges of Oriental pheretimoids.

The original (Blakemore, 2002) is a recommended text for ISO 23611-1:2006 "Soil sampling"". Starting with an introduction to the basics of study and ecological sampling methods, taxonomic keys ultimately lead to detailed Family/Genera/Species descriptions, distributions, and illustrations. Included are culturable, vermicomposting, and bait spp. such as Eisenia fetida / andrei, Perionyx excavatus, Eudrilus eugeniae, Dichogaster spp., Dendrobaena / Dendrodrilus, and various pheretimoids.

The Guide provides a useful tool for soil ecologists, conservation managers, and students of soil biodiversity. Identification is a first step to understanding and, once the exotics are recognized, global distribution and rates of spread can be plotted, and studies on relationships or symbioses with natives affecting soil processes can progress.

References
Blakemore, R.J. (2002). Cosmopolitan Earthworms — an Eco-Taxonomic Guide to the Peregrine Species of the World. VermEcology, Kippax, Australia. Pp. 426 + 80 figs.
Blakemore, R.J. (2006). Cosmopolitan Earthworms — an Eco-Taxonomic Guide to the Peregrine Species of the World. 2nd Edn. VermEcology, Japan. Pp. 600 + 150 figs.
ISO 23611-1 (2006). Soil quality -- Sampling of soil invertebrates -- Part 1: Hand-sorting and formalin extraction of earthworms [http://www.iso.org/iso/en/].
ICZN (1999). International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. [iczn.org/iczn/index.jsp].
[presentation]

 

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2

Phylogeny of Acanthodrilidae, Octochaetidae, Exxidae, and Megascolecidae revisited with recourse to non-molecular means

BLAKEMORE, Robert J.


COE Soil Ecology Group, Yokohama National University, Japan. e–mail: robblakemore@bigpond.com

"A Darwinian classification, by using two criteria, similarity and common descent, leads to the recognition of classes (taxa) of similar entities" …almost any method of weighing is preferable to using unweighed characters… "morphological characters, the product of large numbers of genes, are usually quite reliable" — Ernst Mayr & W.J. Bock (2002: http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/servlet).
Key morphological characters - the product of ecological interactions and evolutionary time and expressed by combinations of genes, as found in type-species of type-genera of the families in the title are compared via weighting on basic characters in the more 'primitive' Ocnerodrilidae. Phylogenic position is attributed to similarity (or rather dissimilarity) and descent (or rather ascent), regardless of geographical proximity. Re-analysis again shows the Megascolecidae diagnosed only by its derived, non-acanthodriline male field, irrespective of any other character. Moreover, it is newly resolved into a sub-family with tubular prostates (and holoic nephridia), as found in tribe Argilophilini, (type American Argilophilus marmoratus ornatus Eisen, 1893) proposed (including meroic Driloleirus) by Fender & McKey-Fender (1990) - although this name competes for priority with Vejdovsky's (1884: 63) Pontodrilidae and Plutellidae (types Indo-australasian Pontodrilus litoralis Perrier, 1874 and Australian Plutellus heteroporus Perrier, 1873). The residue of megascolecid species comply with sub-family Megascolecinae having derived non-tubular prostates (as for the Indian type Megascolex caeruleus Templeton, 1844). Further, secondary and subordinate division may be "convenient" within these two sub-families on basis of such features as holoic vs. non-holoic nephridia or lumbricine vs. non-lumbricine setae. Due possibly to the "well known dependence of the conformation of the alimentary tract on food and environment" (Stephenson, 1930: 720), the position within Octochaetidae [type N.Z. Octochaetus multiporus (Beddard, 1885)] of sub-family Benhamiinae, currently defined by its arrangement of calciferous glands, is not fully resolved; and neither is the status, validity nor extent of the polygiceriate Diplocardiinae sub-family of Acanthodrilidae (type New Caledonian Acanthodrilus ungulatus Perrier, 1872). Support for the current phylogeny, using weighted morphology, is that the resulting tree is an almost perfect fit for that pertaining to molecular analyses, as presented at IOTM2 in Romania (Blakemore, 2005: Fig. 1), with addition of the Exxidae (type Exxus wyensis Gates, 1959). Strict comparisons yet require DNA testing, ideally from (type-specimens of) the type-species.
[oral presentation]

 

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3

Review of Oriental pheretimoid (Pheretima auct. family Megascolecidae) taxa

BLAKEMORE, Robert J.


COE Soil Ecology Group, Yokohama National University, Japan. e–mail: robblakemore@bigpond.com

This 'housekeeping' revision checklists ca. 920 (sub)species from a total of >1,300 taxa, including numerous synonyms, invalid names and lapsae of all known pheretimoids. The Pheretima–group, currently of 12 genera, had previously consisted of about 800 nominal species for which Sims & Easton (1972) and Easton (1979) thought about half were valid. Species similar to Metaphire schmardae (Horst, 1883) having large eversible and duplicated pairs of male intromittant organs or pseudo-penes (and manicate intestinal caeca) may merit placement in a new genus. Replacement names, provided under ICZN (1999 Art. 57) for primary homonyms were: anagrammatic Pheretima asurgo Blakemore, 2006b for Ph. rugosa James, 2004 (non Ph. houlleti rugosa Gates, 1926); patronymic Amynthas gegatesi Blakemore, 2006a for Ph. dolosa Gates, 1932: 443 (non Ph. doliaria dolosa Gates, 1932: 416); Amynthas papilio vespertilio Blakemore, 2006a for Ph. papilio insignis Gates, 1932 (non Ph. insignis Michaelsen, 1921); Ph. (Parapheretima) barbara barbigua Blakemore, 2004: 129 for Ph. (Parapheretima) barbara ambigua Cognetti, 1913: 302 (non Ph. ambigua Cognetti, 1906); and Pheretima? palarva Blakemore, 2003 for Ph. parvula Ishizuka et al., 2000 [non Ph. parvula Ohfuchi, 1956 (= Metaphire parvula) nec Perichaeta parvula Goto & Hatai, 1889 (= A. gracilis)]. A secondary homonym replacement was Amynthas andersoni doettrani Blakemore, 2006a for Ph. andersoni minima Do & Tran, 1995 in Do, Tran & Le, 1995 [non Perichaeta minima Horst, 1893 (= Amynthas minimus)]. The permanently invalid primary homonym Pheretima montana Ishizuka, 1999 of Ph. montana Kinberg, 1867, the type species of the genus, is not replaced as, under ICZN (1999: Art. 60), its valid synonym is considered to exist in Japan as Amynthas fuscatus (Goto & Hatai, 1898). Other new combinations and new synonyms are noted whereas numerous species inquirendae / incertae sedis and nomina nuda remain unresolved.

Funding is sought to complete compilation of a searchable and key-able database of morphological characters plus distributional data for each taxon, while full taxonomic resolution probably requires DNA 'fingerprinting', preferably of (neo)types, especially for the numerous parthenogenetically degraded polymorphs.
[presentation]

 

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4

A mystery worm from Tasmania

BLAKEMORE, Robert J.


COE Soil Ecology Group, Yokohama National University, Japan. e–mail: robblakemore@bigpond.com

A decade ago I came across some apparently unique and unusual specimens unearthed in a Tasmanian forest that appear intermediate between several families, such as the Criodrilidae and Lumbricidae. Closest relationship is perhaps to Criodrilus Hoffmeister, Helodrilus Hoffmeister or, possibly, Drilocrius Michaelsen, 1917. A description will be given at the IOTM3 meeting in the hope that some light can be cast as to its identity. Is it a new species, genus, or family?
[presentation]

 

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5

Seeking agreement on main categories of ecological strategies of earthworms

BLAKEMORE, Robert J.


COE Soil Ecology Group, Yokohama National University, Japan, e–mail: robblakemore@bigpond.com

Earthworms' ecological strategies are functions of their behaviour, morphology, physiology, phenology, demography, and habitat, and have been categorized by various authors, eg. Gates (1961) and Perel (1977), but most notably by Lee (1959, 1985, 1987) and, subsequently and independently, for French Lumbricidae by Bouché (1971, 1972, 1977) as extended to tropical species by Lavelle (1979, 1983). Lee categorized a dozen habitats as aquatic, arboreal or terrestrial, with special emphasis on those in the soil that he divided into: Litter, Topsoil or Subsoil. Bouché's equivalent categories were: Épigées, Anéciques (from Greek "reaching up), and Endogées.

Sims & Gerard (1985; 1999: 29-30) and Coleman & Crossley (1996; 2003: 104, Tab. 4.6) list Lee's terms (with Bouché's equivalents appended). More recently, Kladivko (1997) followed Lee (1985) by dividing worms into three major behavioral classes: "litter-dwellers", "shallow soil dwellers" and the "deep-burrowers".

For practical purposes and reasons of priority, I prefer to support Lee's (1959) ecological categories based on their soil horizon habitat, combined with Bouché's single term "anécique" for the relatively few species that maintain (sem-?)permanent vertical or U–shaped burrows allowing them to feed on litter at the surface. Thus, in summary:

1. Litter species, including "composting worms", such as Eisenia fetida.
2. Topsoil species, often the "fieldworking worms", such as A. caliginosa.
3. Subsoil species living and feeding mainly in the deeper mineral layers of soil that are more difficult to sample, eg. in Australia Megascolides australis, Vesiculodrilus tasmanianus and Notoscolex grandis.
4. Anecic species such as Lumbricus terrestris, L. polyphemus (Fitzinger, 1833) or Okinawan Amynthas yambaruensis.

A summary of the characteristics and behaviours of the various groups will be presented in order to stimulate discussion on the most practical and acceptable of habitat templets.
[oral presentation]

 

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6

Megascolex (Promegascolex) mekongianus Cognetti, 1922: its extent, ecology and allocation to Amynthas (Oligochaeta: Megascolecidae)

BLAKEMORE, Robert J.1, CSUZDI, Csaba2, ITO, Masamichi T.1, KANEKO, Nobuhiro1, PAOLETTI, Maurizio G.3, SPIRIDONOV, Sergei E.4, UCHIDA, Tomoko5 and VAN PRAAGH, Beverley D.6


1COE Soil Ecology Research Group, Graduate School of Environment & Information Sciences, Yokohama National University, 79-7 Tokiwadai, Yokohama 240-8501, Japan.
2 Soil Zoology, Dept. Zoology, Hungarian Natural History Museum 1088 Budapest, Hungary.
3Department of Biology, University of Padova, Via. U. Bassi, 58/b, Padova 35121, Italy.
4Institute of Parasitology, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninskii pr., 33, Moscow, Russia.
5Department of Upland Farming National Agricultural Research center for Tohoku, 50 Harajuku-minami, Arai, Fukushima-city 960-2156, Japan.
6c/o Invertebrate Section, Museum of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia.
e–mail (first author): robblakemore@bigpond.com


Cognetti (1922) miscounted segments of his Megascolex (Promegascolex) mekongianus and, believing the gizzard in "7" was intermediate between Megascolex, with gizzard in 5, and Pheretima, with gizzard after 7/8, he proposed the subgenus Promegascolex. Next, Gates (1934: 260) redescribed the immature, poorly preserved and abnormal type as Pheretima mekongiana. However, Sims & Easton (1972: 223) listed it as species incertae sedis, excluded it from their Pheretima-group of genera and postulated its gizzard was "clearly in segment 5". The latter authors also mistook the River Mekong, "Annam" type locality as "Vietnam".

Recently collected material from the River Mekong in Laos is herein described that complies with the corrected type description allowing new designation as Amynthas mekongianus comb. nov. Moreover, A. fluvialis (Gates, 1939) from the Mekong in Thailand is found to be a synonym, although Metaphire fluvialoides (Huynh Thi Kim Hoi, 1998) comb. nov. from Central Highlands of Vietnam remains separate. Reallocation of the type species adds Promegascolex as syn. nov. to Amynthas and its generic diagnosis is amended from Sims & Easton (1972: 211) to permit: "Clitellum annular, 14-16, rarely beginning on 13, sometimes extending into 17 (e.g. in A. mekongianus)".

The slender length and annulations of current specimens: measuring up to 2,900mm with more than 500 segments, are near the maxima recorded for any earthworm; comparisons are given with "giants" in various families from other regions of the World.

Brief comments are made on diversity and ecology of the River Mekong locality.
[poster or oral presentation]

 

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7

"Wikiworm" — a universal matrix of Earthworms x Region x Ecology

BLAKEMORE, Robert J.1, ITO, M. T.2 and KANEKO, N.2


1COE Fellow, 2Soil Ecology Research Group, Graduate School of Environment & Information Sciences, YNU, Tokiwadai, Yokohama 240-8501, Japan,
e–mail (first author): robblakemore@bigpond.com


This presentation proposes extension of an existing program in order to fill gaps in knowledge and to present online bioinformatics about ecology and taxonomy of megadrile earthworms, information that is currently scattered, outdated, or otherwise unavailable. Responding to the "Taxonomic Impediment" and the "Biodiversity Crisis", this project complements stated aims of groups such as CBD/GTI, Diversitas, GBIF, BioNet and IUCN/SSG to provide nomenclators/lists such as NomenclatorZoologicus, ION, GBIF, Species 2000, Tree-of-Life and Taxonomicon. Providing basic information offsets an initiative under auspices of ICZN to develop ZooBank by 2008. A longer-term objective is collaboration between earthworm workers to collate and maintain a single database of distribution maps and eco-taxonomic data for all 5,550+ names [listed on an unpublished database by Dr Cs. Csuzdi (pers. comm.)], possibly using tools facilitated by 'Wikispecies' [http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Main_Page].

Currently, about 3,600 taxa (ca. 65% of totals) are compiled on the YNU-COE website as a series of discrete datasets for selected regions or natural taxonomic groups (current version: bio-eco.eis.ynu.ac.jp/eng/database/earthworm/ links to Wikipedia). These partially annotated checklists provide a resource for researchers and government agencies needing faunal lists, or for scientists wishing to research simple answers to:
"What is the correct and current name of this species"
"To what family does this species belong"
"How's our regional biodiversity"
Most of central Africa is uncatalogued. Other omissions are the balance of the ca. 830 known + 150 new Latin America taxa, obtainable from ELAETAO — the Latin-American Meetings on Oligochaeta Ecology & Taxonomy (by Drs G. Brown and C. Fragoso), plus all the Ocnerodrilidae being presented in this meeting by Dr Ana Moreno. Additional lists are for the Levant and Maghreb [see Pavlicek et al, (2003); Omodeo et al. (2003), Csuzdi & Pavlicek (1999; 2005)], plus Danuta Plisko's lists of 103 Microchaetidae and 102 Acanthodrilidae from South Africa. This presentation aims to open discussion on possible funding sources, responsibilities and collaboration partners for collation of a single reliable, current and complete eco-taxonomic database.
[oral presentation]

 

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8

New earthworm records for Vieques, Puerto Rico

BORGES S.1, MORENO, A. G.2


1University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, e–mail: sborges@prtc.net
2Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Madrid, Spain, e–mail: agmoreno@bio.ucm.es


The first survey of the earthworms of Vieques provided a list of nine species among which two Dichogaster spp. were included. Identification of these species has been completed. They have not been found in the Puerto Rican mainland and elevate to 66% the exotic earthworms of Vieques.
[poster]

 

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9

Molecular systematics and phylogeography of the gigantic earthworms in the Metaphire formosae species group (Oligochaeta: Megascolecidae)

CHANG, Chih-Han, CHEN, Jiun-Hong


Department of Life Science, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Roosevelt Road, Section 4, Taipei 106, Taiwan, e–mail (first author): r91225025@ntu.edu.tw

The Metaphire formosae species group endemic to Taiwan is a member of pheretimoid earthworms within the Megascolecidae. Most members of this species group were discovered in the past decade. However, a revision has never been made, and the evolution of this endemic species group is not well understood.

In this study, the systematics and phylogeography of this species group were investigated using DNA sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI), 16S rRNA, and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 (ND1). The results indicated that the M. formosae species group is a monophyletic group composed of 11 species, including a cryptic species discovered in this study, and Amynthas hengchunensis James et al. 2005 is a subspecies of M. paiwanna Tsai et al. 2000b, while M. bununa glareosa Tsai et al. 2000b should be elevated to specific status. Phylogeographic inferences indicated that speciation of members of this species group took place during the rapid uplift of Taiwan between 5.0 and 2.5 MYA. The evolution of testis conditions in these species suggested that Sims and Easton's sub-grouping within a genus of pheretimoid earthworms may be inconsistent with the phylogeny.

Further revision of the pheretimoid earthworms should be based on molecular systematic approaches, which will be useful in revising the generic division of this speciose earthworm group.
[oral presentation and poster]

 

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10

Taxonomic and biogeographical analysis of the Allolobophora sturanyi species group (Oligochaeta, Lumbricidae)

CSUZDI, Csaba1 and POP, Victor V.2


1Systematic Zoology Research Group of HAS & Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest, Hungary, e–mail: csuzdi01@elte.hu
2Institute of Biological Research, Cluj, Romania, e–mail: vvpop2001@yahoo.com


The Allolobophora sturanyi species group originally consisted of several Central-European earthworm species which were regarded by Pop (1949) as subspecies or variety of the Franco-Iberian Allolobophora dugesi (Rosa, 1886). These were the following: Allolobophora dacica (Pop, 1938), Allolobophora getica (Pop, 1947), Allolobophora opisthocystis Rosa, 1895, Allolobophora sturanyi Rosa, 1895 and Allolobophora sturanyi dacidoides Bouché, 1973.

Zicsi (1995) examining the type specimens of A. opysthocystis revealed that their male pores are situated near to the clitellum and consequently this species belongs in the genus Cernosvitovia.

Due to the high variability of their morphological characters the other species/subspecies were treated taxonomically quite differently by different authors (Cernosvitov, 1935, Perel 1979, Mrsic 1991). The most extreme view was proposed by Perel (1979) who regarded all of them as synonyms of Allolobophora sturanyi.

The goal of the present study was to clarify the status of these species/subspecies by thoroughly investigating collections in the Hungarian Natural History Museum, in the Institute of Biological Research, Cluj and the earthworm collection of the Zoological Museum, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj (Pop collection). In addition, new materials collected in various regions of Romania (Maramures Mts., Cerna valley, etc.) were also examined.

Revising the Pop collection we have found the holotype and paratype of A. getica. An examination of the type specimens revealed that their male pores are near to the clitellum. This species belongs therefore also to the genus Cernosvitovia.

The sturanyi species group was mophometrically analysed with PCA and cluster analysis using six somatic characters. The PCA (and also the CA) resulted in three well differentiated groupings of the specimens which are geographically separated as well.

The first group comprises specimens distributed in the Transylvanian basin and the Apuseni Mts. Specimens collected in Hungary also belong to this group. The second group contains the specimens occurring in the Dinara and Kozara Mts., whereas the third group consists of specimens from the Northern Carpathians.

Taxonomically the first group corresponds with the taxon Allolobophora dacica, the second with Allolobophora sturanyi and the third with Allolobophora dacidoides, therefore the synonymy proposed by Perel (1979) should be rejected. Nevertheless due to the morphological proximity of these taxa their independent specific statuses are not justified. Actually they represent 3 subspecies of A. sturanyi: A. sturanyi sturanyi Rosa, 1895, A. sturanyi dacica (Pop, 1938) and A. sturanyi dacidoides Bouché, 1973.

*This study was supported by the Hungarian Scientific Research Fund No. T42745, the National Office for Research and Technology, Hungary (grants No. 3B/023/04) and by the Romanian Scientific Grant CEEx No. 05-D11-82.
[oral presentation]

 

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11

Taxonomical importance of spermathecae (receptacula seminis) with special attention to Enchytraeidae (Annelida: Oligochaeta)

DÓZSA–FARKAS, Klára


Dept. Systematic Zoology and Ecology, Inst. Biology, Eötvös Lor´nd University, Budapest, e–mail: dfk66@freemail.hu

Spermatheca is of utmost importance in the reproduction of hermaphroditic oligochaetes as they store the sperm of their mates in this organ, which, in case of anphimictic reproduction, fertilise the eggs in the cocoon. Up-to-date information on the position and structural variability of the spermatheca and its usefulness in determining different oligochaete taxa is discussed in the presentation.

As the Enchytraeidae family shows the most diverse spermatheca structure, the different usefulness of this organ in identifying species within given genuses are presented within that group together with those anatomical characteristics that are also needed to be taken into consideration to make correct species determination.
[oral presentation]

 

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12

Composition of the family Megascolecidae (Oligochaeta) from Korea

HONG, Yong


Institute of Agricultural Science, College of Agriculture, Sangju National University, Sangju, Republic of Korea, e–mail: geoworm@hanmail.net

Most Korean earthworm species within the Megascolecidae belong to the genus Amynthas. The Amynthas has been long known to have more species than any other genus of the Pheretima-complex (Sims et Easton 1972). This group is diverse and abundant in litter layers and soils in natural forests. Many new Korean Amynthas species have been described recently further expanding this large genus (Hong et James 2001ab, Hong et Lee 2001, Hong et al., 2001, Hong et Kim, 2002ab, Hong et Kim, 2005).

The intestinal caeca are of especial interest to the systematist for providing potentially useful characters for the discrimination of sub-genera of the genus Amynthas. In Amynthas the intestinal caeca are of three types, simple, manicate, and pinnate. Sims and Easton's (1972) tentative species groups within Amynthas were based mainly on the spermathecal battery. It is proposed here that Amynthas should be first divided according to the caecal morphology (AmynthasSinamynthasPinamynthas ???), and next by other characters, including spermathecae and genital marking glands for example.

The composition of Pheretima-complex earthworm in the Korea was assessed on the basis of three genera, Amynthas, Metaphire, and Pithemera. The simple vs. manicate ratio of the Amynthas earthworm was approximately 1.5 : 1.0. Among Korean Amynthas, 22 species have simple caeca and two pairs of spermathecae in VI and VII. Korean Amynthas have no pinnate caecum type.
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13

A long earthworm of the genus Amynthas (Megascolecidae) from Laos and DNA Barcoding Data

HONG, Yong1 and INKHAVILAY, Khamla2


1Institute of Agricultural Science, College of Agriculture, Sangju National University, Sangju 742-711, Republic of Korea; e–mail: geoworm@hanmail.net
2Biology Department, Faculty of Science, National University of Laos, Vientiane, Lao PDR


During the expedition of Phou Dendin National Biodiversity Conservation Area (NBCA) in northern Lao PDR during August 2006, we collected one species of long earthworm at Phousoum village on the bank of the Nam Ou river. It is 45 km from provincial capital Phongsali. This region comprises the upper Nam Ou River and its catchment, within Phou Dendin NBCA in northern Lao PDR. The topography of the Phou Dendin NBCA is mountainous, with the highest elevations being in the north-east, along the international border with Vietnam.

Amynthas sp. has paired secondary male pores opening transversely onto the surface of xviii, a hand-shaped epidermal elevated lateral wall, 2.1-3.5 mm distance between male pores. The spermathecal pores are paired in 5/6-8/9, and genital markings are lacking. Comparison to Amynthas mekongianus (Cognetti, 1922), formerly Megascolex mekongianus shows that this is similar to several morphology characters.

DNA barcoding is a technique for identifying and discovering species using a short DNA sequence from a standardized position in the genome. The cytochrome C oxidase subunit 1 mitochondrial region (COI) is emerging as the standard barcode region. DNA barcodes vary among individuals of the same species, but only to very minor degree. The sequence was revealed Amynthas sp. voucher COI has 658 bp, partial cds, mitochondrial region. A BLAST search on GenBank shows that this sequence is most similar to Amynthas cortices.
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14

Analysis of phylogenetic relationships among Amynthas corticis (Oligochaeta: Megascolecidae) using mtDNA partial sequences

HONG, Yong1, JAMES, Samuel W.2, AHN, Chi Hyun,3, PARK, Soon Cheol4, KIM, Tae Heung


1Institute of Agricultural Science, College of Agriculture, Sangju National University, Sangju,, Republic of Korea; e–mail: geoworm@hanmail.net
2Kansas University Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Research Center, USA; The Biociversity Bank of Terestrial Annelids, Seoul, Korea
3Life Science, College of Natural Science, Chung Ang University, Seoul, Korea
4Faculty of Biological Resources Science, College of Agriculture, Chonbuk National University, Jeonju, Korea


Amynthas corticis (Kinberg, 1867) is widely distributed over all temperate and tropical regions. The geographical relationships among four different location types of A. corticis from Korea and India were inferred from sequences of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (CO1). In Korea, A. corticis characteristically is found in various agro-ecosystems, but not so abundant compared with other species, A. agrestis, A. koreanus, and A. heteropodus (Hong & Kim, 2007 submitted).

Specimens were collected from four localities, Jeongsun, Jangheung, Geoje, and Cheongsan Isl. in agro-ecosystem in Korea and Solan, India. The cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 mitochondrial region (COI) is emerging as the standard barcode region. All specimens reveal that generated a single, circa 658-bp. Geographical relationships of five localities specimens were built with of MP, NJ, and ML on the basis of aligned sequences of the entire barcode region. The DNA extracts were then used as templates for PCR amplification of COI using the forward primer, 5'- GGT CAA CAA ATC ATA AAG ATA TTG G -3' and the reverse primer 5'- TAA ACT TCA GGG TGA CCA AAA AAT CA -3'.
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15

Transpacific relationships within the genera Dichogaster and Eutrigaster

JAMES, Sam


Kansas University Natural History Museum and Biodiversity Reseach Center, Kansas, USA, e–mail: sjames@ku.edu

Relationships of the Caribbean island endemic species of dichogastrine earthworms (Eutrigaster or Dichogaster, in different systems) to Fijian species of Dichogaster are explored with DNA sequence data.

Martinique species with male field morphology strongly reminiscent of certain Fijian species, and a shared common occurrence of extra prostate glands (3 or 4 pairs) between the Antillean and Fijian taxa, also support the hypothesis of close relationship between the worms of these widely-separated areas.

Surprisingly, Fijian species sampled are not basal to the Antillean representatives, but form a clade with Martinique worms, with Jamaican species as a sister group. This and other trans-Pacific earthworm distributions suggest that little-known land-area relationships may have been important in the population of the New World's soils.
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16

The development of earthworm populations on selected floodplain sites of river Elbe and river Mulde after the Great ("century") Flooding in 2002

KÜHLE, Jürgen C.


ITEC, Institut für terrestrische Ökologie, Kubschütz;/Bautzen, Germany, e–mail: juergen.c.kuehle@drilos.de

The great flooding of the river Elbe and some of its tributaries in August 2002 was an incident of extraordinary violence and extreme devastation which has not been observed for more than hundred years ("century flooding") in Central Europe. On selected floodplain sites, different in sedimentation regime (soil texture), flooding frequency and vegetation (grassland and forest) the development of earthworm populations (species composition, abundance, biomass, dominance structure and population structure) has been studied from autumn 2002 until spring 2004.

The flooding led to a patchwork of different sedimentation and the same heterogeneity could be observed with earthworm populations. Some communities were extinguished totally, some reduced to single specimen, but there were also some populations so well adapted to flooding conditions that they survived rather well and increased in autumn 2002 and spring 2003. The summer 2003 was characterized by an extraordinary drought which prevented an optimal development of the earthworm communities and reduced the potential of recolonization. The regeneration of the earthworm populations is dicussed under the aspects of soil conditions, flooding frequency of the sites and its vegetation.
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17

Taxonomy of Native Earthworms of Coimbatore Forest Division, The Western Ghats, India — a Biodiversity Hotspot

KATHIRESWARI, P.1 and JULKA, J.M.2


1P.G and Research Dept of Biotechnology, KS Rangasamy College of Arts and Science, Tiruchengode, Tamil Nadu, India, e–mail: kathireswari@yahoo.co.in
2Emeritus Scientist, Zoological Survey of India, Solan, Himachal Pradesh, India, e–mail: jmjulka@hotmail.com


Lying between 8o and 21o N latitudes, The Western Ghats, a global 'hottest' biodiversity 'hotspot' are a chain of mountains running along the western edge of the Indian subcontinent, and support one of the major Tropical Evergreen regions in India with exceptional biodiversity and conservation interest. They cover an estimated area of about 160,000 km2 and stretch for about 1,600 km from river Tapti south to the southern tip of the peninsula, interrupted only by the 30 kilometers Palghat Gap at around 11o N.

The present studies are aimed at assessing earthworm taxonomy in a region north of Palghat Gap (close to The Nilgiri Hills), which is increasingly affected by the human activity. The study site includes Coimbatore Forest Division, The Western Ghats, Tamil Nadu, India.

A total of 22 species of native earthworms (including Drawida sp. nov. and Megascolex sp. nov.; to be described somewhere else) belonging to 7 genera and 5 families from different habitats are recorded. The family and species wise composition is: 10 species of the Moniligastridae (Drawida aculeata Gates, Drawida caenosa Gates, Drawida grandis (Bourne), Drawida impertusa Stephenson, Drawida sp. nov., Drawida lennora Gates, Drawida modesta Rao, Drawida pellucida pallida Michaelsen, Drawida scandens Rao, Drawida sulcata Michaelsen), 9 species of the Megascolecidae (Megascolex sp. nov., Megascolex cochinensis Stephenson, Megascolex filiciseta Stephenson, Megascolex insignis Michaelsen, Megascolex konkanensis Fedarb, Perionyx ceylanensis Michaelsen, Perionyx excavatus Perrier, Perionyx sansibaricus Michaelsen, Lampito mauritii Kinberg, and one species each of the Acanthodrilidae (?Argilophilus variabilis (Aiyer), Almidae (Glyphidrilus annandalei Michaelsen), (Malabaria biprostata Aiyer).

Completed synonymy, external and internal taxonomic characteristics, type locality and distribution with in and outside India are provided for each species. Taxonomic discrepancies in the descriptions of Drawida grandis, Drawida impertusa, Drawida pellucida pallida, Drawida modesta, Drawida scandens, Megascolex chochinensis, Megascolex filiciseta, Megascolex insignis, Megascolex konkanensis and Perionyx ceylanensis have been resolved and these species are now better characterized than their original descriptions.
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18

Preliminary evidence for the adoption of Allolobophora virescens (Savigny, 1826)

LOWE, C.N., BUTT, K.R.


University of Central Lancashire, Earthworm Research Group, Preston, Lancashire, United Kingdom, e–mail: cnlowe@uclan.ac.uk

The temperate earthworm Allolobophora chlorotica (Savigny, 1826) exists as two colour morphs, green (g) and pink (p). It is widely accepted that the two morphs have different ecological preferences, linked to soil moisture. Field observations have suggested that the green morph dominates in wet soils and the pink morph in dry soils. Breeding experiments have questioned the status of these two morphs and if they become regarded as separate species then the name Allolobophora virescens (Savigny, 1826) is available for the pink morph.

Laboratory-reared stocks of both morphs were established to further investigate the status of this species. Growth rates of p and g hatchlings were assessed under wet and dry soils. Growth of the pink morph was not influenced significantly (P>0.05) by soil moisture. In contrast, lower soil moisture content significantly (P<0.05) reduced growth and maturation of the green morph. In a second experiment, cocoon production and viability were determined from intra- and inter-morphic pairings. Pairs were cultured for 10 days to facilitate mating, separated and then maintained for 28 days to obtain individual reproduction results. Offspring from these pairings were cultured to maturity and status determined.

All p x p and g x g pairings bred true. Cocoon production was low in p x g crosses, where both pink and green individuals produced cocoons but only those from the pink morph were viable. We suggest that soil moisture may act to isolate the 2 morphs, providing in extremes, a barrier to inter-morphic mating. Further evidence for this hypothesis can be drawn from the low fecundity and restricted cocoon viability of p x g pairings.

Keywords: Allolobophora chlorotica; inter and intra-morphic mating; pink and green morphs; soil moisture
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19

Preliminary study of earthworm taxonomy from Tehran province

MALEK, Masoumeh


Department of Animal Science, School of Biology, University college of Science, University of Tehran, Iran, e–mail: :mmalek@khayam.ut.ac.ir

Earthworms have been subject of many project and studies on compost formation and also have been used as bioindicators. Although the earthworms are important component in the terrestrial ecosystems, but their taxonomy is not well established in Iran. The main references to earthworm taxonomy of Iran refers to about twenty species belong to six genera including Allolobophora, Eiseniella, Eisenia, Dendrobaena, Pheretima, Octolasium. These are mostly collected from Northern, Central part and South-West of Iran.

Due to much demand on taxonomical and ecological studies on earthworm and their use for applied sciences, the main objectives of present study were first to document earthworm of Tehran province at the Zoological Museum, University of Tehran (ZUTC). For this purpose, 200 specimens were collected from five sampling sites. The specimens were transferred to the University of Tehran, cleaned from debris and then narcotized with menthol, fixed with 4% formaldehyde and preserved in 70% ethanol. Preliminary identification was aided by available keys. Further studies on material need more sampling and also material loan and updated identification keys from adjacent countries.
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20

Genetic structure and morphological peculiarities of Aporrectodea (superspecies) caliginosa (Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae) on the territory of Ukraine

MEZHZHERIN, S.V.1, GARBAR, A. V.2, VLASENKO, R. P.2


1Dep. Evol. Genet. Basis of Systematics. Schmalhausen Institute of Zoology NAS of Ukraine, Kiev, Ukraine, e–mail: mezh@izan.kiev.ua
2I. Franko State Zhytomyr University, Velyka Berdychivska St., 40, Zhitomir, Ukraine. e–mail: saguaroklub@mail.ru, vlasenko_r@mail.ru


The investigation of genetic structure of Aporrectodea caliginosa - A. trapezoides diploid - polyploidy complex on the territory of Ukraine is done with biochemical genic marking in 5 loci (Aat, Es-1,-2,-3,Mdh) and karyotyping. As a result diploid amphimictic A. caliginosa individuals (2n=36) forming genetically common panmix populations and triploid (2n=54) A. trapezoides which are represented with 20 supposed clones are clearly differentiated. A clear tendency of triploid forms domination in steppe zone of Ukraine where they make 70% in comparison to 12% in northern forest regions is established. Taking into account constant heterozygosity of investigated loci and chromosome reaction in meiosis, clone forms are allotriploids which are formed as a result of close species hybridization, but according to allele pools amphimictic species living in Ukraine is absent. In linear parameters (the body length and diameter, segments quantity, the girdle length) significant differences between A. caliginosa and A. trapezoides are not established. It is possible to differentiate them according to qualitative parameters (papilles quantity and location, pigmentation peculiarities). The researched clones are heterogenic in morphology and are easily identified on combined qualitative and quantitative (especially the segments quantity per 1 mm) signs.
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21

The family Acantodrilidae in South America

MORENO, Ana G.1, BORGES, Sonia2, TEISAIRE, Ernestina S.3


1Departamento de Zoología y Antropología Física. Fac. Biología. Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain, e–mail: agmoreno@bio.ucm.es
2University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, e–mail: sborges@prtc.net
3C´edra de Embriología y Anatomía comparadas. Fac. de Ciencias Naturales e I.M.L. Universidad Nacional de Tucumá, San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentine, e–mail: teisaire@tucbbs.com.ar


A list of the species, a complete bibliography, species description, distribution maps, and a taxonomic key for the identification of the species of South American Ocnerodrilidae (Oligochaeta) is provided.
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22

Geographic distribution of Glossoscolecidae

MORENO, Ana G.1, TEISAIRE, Ernestina S. 2


1Departamento de Zoologí y Antropología Física. Fac. Biología. Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain, e–mail: agmoreno@bio.ucm.es
2Cátedra de Embriología y Anatomía comparadas. Fac. de Ciencias Naturales e I.M.L. Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentine, e–mail: teisaire@tucbbs.com.ar


Family Glossoscolecidae is distributed from central Mexico to the northern part of Argentina. It has also been reported from the Bermudas and the West Indies, including Barbados.

It is found in nearly all terrestrial habitats and some species have been distributed around the world in warmer latitudes.

Biogeographic data obtained from bibliographic references, the most important earthworm collections and from samples performed by the authors is provided for all species of glossoscolecids.
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23

Earthworms data base

MORENO, Ana G.1, TEISAIRE, Ernestina S.2, BORGES, Sonia3


1Departamento de Zoologí y Antropología Física. Fac. Biología. Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain, e–mail: agmoreno@bio.ucm.es
2Cátedra de Embriología y Anatomía comparadas. Fac. de Ciencias Naturales e I.M.L. Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentine, e–mail: teisaire@tucbbs.com.ar
3University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, e–mail: sborges@prtc.net


The taxonomic and ecologic data of earthworms is dispersed in numerous articles published in several languages in journals of different themes. Furthermore, most of the taxonomic information was published 100-200 years ago making it difficult to obtain copies of those articles. Classic taxonomic works, still employed as indispensable references for species identification, contain obsolete systematics and quote taxa that are not up to date.

The appearance of new technology provides the creation of data bases which could be consulted through the Internet. The computerization and organization of all this taxonomic content should be done by taxonomists to prevent a great, and possibly irremediable, chaos.

This communication presents the process of computerization of the taxonomic information of earthworms. All articles on earthworm taxonomy are being computerized and transformed into texts and images that will later form a global data base for earthworms that will be organized following the current taxonomy. All the species descriptions from different authors as well as the diagrams or figures will be organized in a continuous manner and in chronological order. Texts will appear both in English and Spanish. Reference lists will also be provided in the data base.
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24

One study about the relative distance between setae

MORENO, Ana G.1, TEISAIRE, Ernestina S.2, BORGES, Sonia3


1Departamento de Zoología y Antropologí Física. Fac. Biología. Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain, e–mail: agmoreno@bio.ucm.es
2Cáedra de Embriología y Anatomía comparadas. Fac. de Ciencias Naturales e I.M.L. Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentine, e–mail: teisaire@tucbbs.com.ar
3University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, e–mail: sborges@prtc.net


The relative distance between setae is a characteristic employed to distinguish species. The manner in which this characteristic has been described has varied through time. The earlier species descriptions just referred to the more indicative measurements without expressing a numerical value. Later, all distances were included in a quantitative and relative manner, assigning a value of 1 to ab thus enabling comparison between species.

In this work the conversion of relative distances to a percentage of the body diameter is proposed following Moreno et al. (2006). The setal distances of several species of Acanthodrilidae, Glossoscolecidae, Lumbricidae, Ocnerodrilidae and Tumakidae have been converted to percentages.
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25

Earthworm densities, diversity and relationships with vegetation and soil properties in land invaded by Imperata cylindrica and Chromolaena odorata in Littoral and North West Provinces of Cameroon

NORGROVE, L. 1, FUAMBENG, P. Y.2, CSUZDI, C. 3


1University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany, e–mail: norgrove@airpost.net
2University of Hohenheim, Stuttgart, Germany, e–mail: mailto:prosperfy@yahoo.co.uk
3Systematic Zoology Research Group, Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest, Hungary, e–mail: csuzdi@nhmus.hu


To assess landscape–level impacts of invasive plant species, we measured vegetation and soil properties including earthworm diversity and densities in natural savannah and savannah that had been recently cultivated then subsequently invaded by Imperata cylindrica and Chromolaena odorata in two provinces in Cameroon. In each Province, six sites were selected, each containing the three types of vegetation. Vegetation was sampled in three 0.25 m2 internal replications per area. Earthworms were sampled using the formalin expulsion method. Soil physical and chemical properties were assessed to 20 cm depth. Samples were later analysed for soil and plant chemistry. Earthworm densities were higher in the derived systems than in the native savannah systems. Multivariate analyses revealed that soil pH was the factor most closely and positively (r=0.42) related to earthworm densities and was significantly higher (P<0.05) in both imperata (pH=5.6) and chromolaena (pH=5.5) derived systems than in the savannah (pH=5.2). Species richness in the different systems is described and implications for landscape management discussed.
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26

Earthworm species diversity in timber-plantain agroforestry systems in southern Cameroon

NORGROVE, L. 1, CSUZDI, C.2, HAUSER, S.3


1Hohenheim University Project, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Yaounde, Cameroon, e–mail: norgrove@airpost.net
2Systematic Zoology Research Group, Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest, Hungary, e–mail: csuzdi@nhmus.hu
3IITA Mobil Building, Kinshasa, RD Congo, e–mail: s.hauser@cgiar.org


We assessed the earthworm species diversity and densities in timber-plantain agroforestry plots thinned to different timber tree densities and compared these with uncropped, undisturbed timber control plots both during the plantain cropping phase and in the subsequent fallow phase.

Twenty-three earthworm species were recorded from Eudrilidae sub families Eudrilinae and Pareudrilinae, Acanthodrilidae and Ocnerodrilidae, most of which were endemics. This included two new species from two new genera from the sub family Pareudrilinae, one new species from one new genus of Ocnerodrilidae, two new species of Dichogaster and one new species of Legonodrilus. Twelve species were endogeic, ten epigeic and one anecic.

Earthworm densities were decreased by cropping compared with the control plots. The most abundant species was a Legonodrilus sp novum with average densities in the controls of 68 individuals m-2, across sampling periods. Densities in cropped plots were reduced to 15% of those in the undisturbed control plots. Populations later recovered as densities later during the fallow phase were not significantly different from those in the control plots. The densities of the epigeic Acanthodrilidae were significantly reduced to 12 individuals m-2 in the cropped plots compared with 42 individuals m-2 in the control plots. Two Dichogaster species, Dichogaster kunguluensis and Dichogaster sp. novum were eliminated by cropping and did not recover during the fallow phase.
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27

Settlement of the Lumbricidae in the semi-arid region of Constantine (eastern Algeria)

OUAHRANI, G.1, AOULMI-GHERIBI, Z.2 and QIU J.P.3


1Laboratoire d'Écologie, Faculté des Sciences de la Nature et de la Vie (Ecological Laboratory, Faculty of Nature and life science), Université de Constantine, 25000, Algérie, e–mail: ouahranighania@hotmail.com
2Laboratoire de Mathématiques Appliquées et Modélisation, (Modelling and Applied Mathematics Laboratory),
Université de Constantine, 25000, Algérie, e–mail: gheribiz@yahoo.fr
3Laboratory of Soil Ecology, INRA, 34060 Montpellier, France, e–mail: jiangpingqiu@hotmail.com


Earthworms are little known in Algeria. So, within the framework of an ecotoxicological research carried out in the region of Constantine, eastern Algeria, it seemed pertinent to us to make meanwhile a taxonomic list of the earthworms (Lumbricidae). Thus, this non-exhaustive study gave us the opportunity to identify the earthworms existing in the semi–arid area of Constantine and to add new taxons to the world earthworms' nomenclature. Indeed two new taxons have been discovered in the Maghreb soil (North Africa) which are Hydrilus ghaniae (Qiu & Bouché 1998) and Heraclescolex michaelseni (Qiu 1998).
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28

Has Cyprus autochthonous earthworm fauna immigrated from the Levantine coast to the island?

PAVLÍČEK, Tomáš1, CSUZDI, Csaba2


1Institute of Evolution, University of Haifa, Mt. Carmel, Haifa 31905, Israel, e–mail: contact@tomas-pavlicek-biologie.net
2Systematic Zoology Research Group of HAS and Department of Zoology, Hungarian Natural History Museum, 1431 Budapest, Pf. 137. Hungary, e–mail: csuzdi01@elte.hu


Does the progress made in the study of earthworm biodiversity and geophysical information related to the tectonic evolution of the East Mediterranean allow us to ask the following question: Could we reject the hypothesis that the autochthonous earthworm fauna of Cyprus immigrated to the island from the Levantine coast during the Messinian Salinity Crisis Period (MSCP) along the ridges that emerged at that time?

The answer is no because of the following reasons:
(a) about 73% of the autochthonous fauna in Cyprus could have originated in the part of the Levantine coast connected with Cyprus during the MCSP

(b) only one autochthonous Levantine genus (Healyella) is missing in Cyprus, but many Anatolian ones (e.g., Lumbricus, Dendrodrilus), including the most primitive ones (Cernosvitovia, Eophila, Spermophorodrilus) as well as many Anatolian autochthonous species groups (e.g., Aporrectodea (Ap. dubiosa, Ap. handlirschi…), Allolobophora (All. leoni…), Eisenia (Eisenia grandis, E. colchidica…), Healyella (H. naja, H. michaelseni…), Dendrobaena…) are also missing

(c) there is no geological evidence of land bridges between Cyprus and Anatolia.
Circumstantial evidence indicates that, in fact, the drying up of the Mediterranean Sea during the MSCP could be the most important event in which the earthworm biodiversity of the island was dramatically enhanced. However, more research is needed to explain why two species (Perelia (Allolobophora) nematogena and D. pantaleonis) found in Cyprus show East Mediterranean affinities, but are absent in the Levant.
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29

Remarks on the endemic South African Tritogenia zuluensis species–group (Oligochaeta: Microchaetidae)

PLISKO, J.D.


Natal Museum & University of KwaZulu–Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, e–mail: dplisko@nmsa.org.za

Currently, the endemic South African genus Tritogenia Kinberg, 1867 consists of 37 species. The generic characters are: holandric status, meronephric excretory condition, possession of one pair of the calciferous glands located in segment 9 or 9–10, one oesophageal gizzard in segment 6 or 6–7, dorsal blood vessel double in segments 4–11 and also double when crossing segments. The grouping of species is proposed by Plisko (1997, 2003, 2006), basing on the number and position of spermathecae and their pores. There are six species-groups, viz. grisea, mucosa, phinda, sulcata, tetrata, and zuluensis. The zuluensis species–group material, recently added to the Natal Museum Oligochaeta collection, has been studied and interesting morphological and distributional records are noted. It prompts further study of the species–group, involving classical and modern methods. Although all the Tritogenia species are endemic to the north-eastern parts of South Africa, the zuluensis species–group reveals regional diversification.
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30

Molecular taxonomy and phylogeny of the genera Octolasion Örley, 1885, Octodrilus Omodeo, 1956 and Octodriloides Zicsi, 1986 (Oligochaeta, Lumbricidae) based on 16S and COI DNA sequences

POP, Adriana Antonia1,2, CSUZDI, Csaba3, WINK, Michael2 and POP, Victor V.4


1 Institute of Zoology, Technical University Darmstadt, Germany, e-mail: pop@bio.tu.darmstadt.de
2 Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, Ruprecht Karls University, Heidelberg, Germany, e–mail: wink@uni-hd.de
3 Systematic Zoology Research Group of HAS and Department of Zoology, Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest, Hungary, e–mail: csuzdi@nhmus.hu
4 Institute of Biological Research, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, e–mail: victorvpop@yahoo.com


New and more complex data on the genera and species detached off the old genus Octolasion Örley, 1885 emend. Pop, 1941, emend. Omodeo, 1956 are presented.

The genus Octolasion was erected by Örley for lumbricids with eight widely paired rows of setae, regardless of the pigmentation. Michaelsen (1900) latinized the name to Octolasium and V. Pop (1941) modified the diagnosis of the genus keeping in it only the species without red pigment. Omodeo (1956) divided the genus in Octolasium and Octodrilus based on the number of spermatheca. Subsequently Sims (1984) draw the attention to the invalid emendation of Michaelsen (1900) and validated the name Octolasion. Zicsi (1986), considering the position of male pores, subdivided Octodrilus erecting a new genus Octodriloides. These genera, according to the morphological characters seem to be quite homogeneous. V. V. Pop (1981) proved statistically the low variability of diagnostic characters in Octodrilus and pointed out that the three genera show quite different distributional patterns: Octolasion species are quite largely distributed while Octodrilus and Octodriloides include many endemic species. Later V.V. Pop (1994) explained the high similarity and the distributional pattern of endemic Octodrilus and Octodriloides species by a process of accelerated insular-like speciation.

Up to now, at least 4 or 5 Octolasion, 43-45 Octodrilus and 23 Octodriloides species are known. Nevertheless the taxonomic status and especially the relatedness among these three genera and their species are not really known. Previous molecular taxonomy researches proved the validity of the large Octodrilus species from the Carpathians (V.V. Pop & A.A. Pop, 2004; A.A. Pop and M. Wink, 2004).

In the present study we try to evaluate the taxonomy and phylogenetic relatedness of these genera using the molecular markers 16S rDNA and COI of 2 Octolasion species (8 samples), 16 Octodrilus species (23 samples) and 3 Octodriloides species (5 samples). Properly preserved samples come from 8 European countries, from Finland to Azores. More than half are genuine data.

Degree of similarity and relatedness of all investigated species are shown by partitioned and combined analysis with different methods (MP, ML, NJ) of 16S, and COI sequences. Information concerning augmentation versus regression of number and position of seminal vesicles and spermathecae as well as of the position of male pores are deductively discussed on the basis of genetic relatedness across different evolutionary lineages.

An attempt to verify the validity of the accelerated insular like speciation hypothesis in the Octodrilus frivaldszkyi species group is also given.
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31

Achievements in terrestrial oligochaeta systematics by using molecular methods

POP, Adriana Antonia1, WINK, Michael2 and CSUZDI, Csaba3


1 Institut für Zoologie, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany, e-mail: pop@bio.tu.darmstadt.de
2 Ruprecht-Karls-Universität, Heidelberg, Germany, e-mail: wink@uni-hd.de
3 Systematic Zoology Research Group of HAS and Department of Zoology, Hungarian Natural History Museum, Budapest, Hungary, e-mail: csuzdi@nhmus.hu


An outline of the expectations and achievements in the molecular taxonomy of terrestrial Oligochaeta (Annelida, Crassiclitellata) is presented.

The systematics of earthworms, based on morphological and anatomical characters, entered a crisis because of the lack of well established homologous characters resulted in poorly defined species and ambiguous genera. Consequently, the hypotheses on their phylogenetic relatedness, as well as different phylogeographic considerations are mostly speculative. Difficulties in their taxonomy and parallel classification systems hindered the ecological and biogeographic investigations of earthworms. Therefore, in spite of an enormous factual material and several previous efforts, earthworm taxonomy, phylogeny and biogeography need general and urgent revision.

Recent implementation of molecular methods in earthworm taxonomy opened new ways in solving disputed evolutionary questions. Important achievements in systematics of different living organisms showed that some of these problems can be accurately solved by using molecular data such as the protein analysis or DNA-analysis.

Nevertheless, a certain gap has persisted between the traditional morphologic research and the molecular investigations. This situation should be explained by an inadequate understanding of the theoretical grounds and the real possibilities and limits of the different molecular tools. Therefore, the present paper tries to systematise the achievements in this relatively new field and contribute to the successfully implementation of different molecular methods in the earthworm systematics.

The mostly used molecular makers (such as 18S, 16S rDNA, COI sequences, micro-satellites) are shortly defined and ordered according to their informative values and suitability in solving systematic problems at order, family, genus, species, subspecies and population levels. Exemplifications of major achievements in using molecular markers in earthworm (Crassiclitellata with special emphasis on Lumbricidae) research are given.

An updated list of references, including all papers on this subject, helps in getting an insight into the recent development of the earthworm molecular systematics.
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32

Earthworm communities along altidunal gradient in Silesian Beskid Mountains (southern Poland)

ROZEN A.1, MYSLAJEK, R.2


1Department of Ecosystem Studies, Institute of Environmental Sciences, Jagiellonian University, Kraköw, Poland, e–mail: rozen@eko.uj.edu.pl
2Association for Nature WOLF, Twardorzeczka 229, 34-324 Lipowa, Poland, e–mail: rwm@autograf.pl


The Silesian Beskid range is the most western part of the Carpathians. The highest peak reaches 1257 m a.s.l. The climate is characterized by high precipitation (1200 mm per year) and long lasting snow cover. The mountains are densely forested with clear altitudinal zonation of vegetation with: uplands (200–550 m a.s.l.), lower forest zone (beech-spruce, 550–1100 m a.s.l.) and higher forest zone (spruce, 1100–1350 m a.s.l.).

The study on earthworms was carried out along altitudinal gradient (500–1000 m a.s.l. in three vegetation zones — both in the meadows and in the forested sites (beech, spruce, oak-hornbeam, alder-ash carr). In spring, summer and autumn 2004 and 2005 earthworm communities were checked on 12 study plots. On every sampling occasion and on every study plot 5 samples (20x20x20 cm) were dug out. Earthworms were separated from soil by hand sorting.

There were eight earthworm species found: Aporrectodea caliginosa, A. rosea, Dendrobaena octaedra, Dendrodrilus rubidus, Eisenia lucens, Lumbricus castaneus, L. rubellus and Octolasion lacteum. The stated earthworm communities structure was compared between sites and sampling seasons.
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33

Crab associate oligochaete from Jajroud River, Tehran province, Iran

SARI, A.1, ASHJA-ARDALAN, A.2 and MOORAKI, N.2


1 University of Tehran, e–mail: sari@khayam.ut.ac.ir
2 North branch, Islamic Azad University, e–mail: a_ashjaardalan@yahoo.com


Iranian freshwater crabs were subject of several studies since 1997 at Zoological Museum, University of Tehran (ZUTC). During the course of study branchial cavity of 215 specimens of crab Potamon persicum (Crustacea: Potamidae) were examined for symbiotic olighochaetes. In 21 specimens Enchytraeid oligochaetes were found from the gill chamber of crabs. The specimens were removed, fixed and then stained with carmine. Then drawing was provided using camera lucida. Preliminary identification of specimens revealed that these belong to the genus Lumbricillus. In the present study, the prevalence and abundance of Lumbricillus sp. in Potamon persicum were discussed according to the crabs sex and size.
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34

Developing a field guide to British earthworms

SHERLOCK, Emma1 and JONES, David T.2


1Zoology Department, Darwin Centre, e–mail: e.sherlock@nhm.ac.uk
2Soil Biodiversity Group, Entomology Department, Natural History Museum, London, UK


In association with the Field Studies Council, Natural England and the Royal Horticultural Society, the Natural History Museum is developing a field guide to British earthworms. The primary aim is to produce a user-friendly field guide, illustrated with colour photos and line drawings, to enable the general public to identify all British species. The longer-term aim is to use the published field guide to support a national earthworm survey. The survey will provide data for a British atlas of species distributions, and would clarify the degree of habitat specificity of each species.

Early versions of the field guide were amended following limited ad hoc testing by a number of people including members of the Soil Biodiversity Group. The revised field guide has been sent to 98 testers across the UK. The testers represent a range of user-groups, from gardeners and land-managers, to amateur naturalists and professional biologists. Testers have received sampling instructions and have been asked to use the field guide to identify all the live, sexually mature specimens they collect. Testers are now sending the live specimens to the Natural History Museum to have the identifications verified, together with comments on the usability of the field guide.

The results of the testing will help to determine which species are «easy» to identify when alive, and which characters the users find «difficult to see». Based on the outcome of the testing, the field guide will be revised and sent out for more testing. It is anticipated that the final published version may have a «two-stage» key. The first stage will be a key to live earthworms, allowing the «easy» species to be identified. Those specimens not identified in the first stage will be preserved and identified in the second stage, which will be a key incorporating those characters that are «difficult to see» in live specimens.
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35

Earthworms — The significant contributors to organic farming and sustainable agriculture

SHWETA, Shweta and SHARMA, Deepika


Department of Zoology, D.S. College, Aligarh, U.P., India, e–mail: kmshweta3@yahoo.com

The use of vermicompost, in preference to chemical fertilizers, offers economic and ecological benefits by way of soil health and fertility to farmers. Experiments conducted by the authors during 2004–2005 on three available organic wastes viz., dung, banana waste and baggase and subjected to bioconversion by the red compost worms (Eisenia foetida) has revealed that vermicomposting was largely governed by biological and ecological factors. Besides, the review updates the current researchers on the subject and specifically contributes to the significant role of earthworms in the production of vermicompost. Through biodegration of organic wastes. Some aspects of the studies included are: selection of India-specific species of earthworms, their microbial and enzymatic activity, physico-chemical properties, manorial values, nutrient status, response to various crops of vermicompost as compared to FYM etc. Further, the need for organic farming in India and elsewhere is re-stressed.

Key words : Biodegradation, Biofertilizers, Earthworm, Manurial value, Organic farming, Soil fertility, Vermicompost
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36

The family Ocnerodrilidae in South America

TEISAIRE, Ernestina S. 1, MORENO, Ana G.2


1Cátedra de Embriología y Anatomía comparadas. Fac. de Ciencias Naturales e I.M.L. Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentine, e–mail: teisaire@tucbbs.com.ar
2Departamento de Zoologí y Antropología Física. Fac. Biología. Universidad Complutense, Madrid, Spain, e–mail: agmoreno@bio.ucm.es


A list of the species, a complete bibliography, species description, distribution maps, and a taxonomic key for the identification of the species of South American Ocnerodrilidae (Oligochaeta) is provided.
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N.B. — The Book of Abstracts will be availabe as a hardcopy shortly before the beginning of the meeting