Freshwater oligochaeta from Hawaii

Benbowme1 at Benbowme1 at
Fri Oct 15 00:20:55 EST 1999

Dear All,

I am interested in finding someone who may have interest in identifying 
and possibly describing a very large aquatic oligochaete that I repeatedly 
collect from mountain streams on Maui, Hawaii.  I am positive that they are 
fully aquatic.  A couple of days ago I collected close to 20 (many > 12 cm 
in length) in about a 225cm2 area of sand covered with detritus.  They 
were buried, and when disturbed actively began to burrow back into the 
sand.  They had full guts and were turgid to the touch.  When lifted and left 
in the water column they actively flail about in a trashing manner until they 
settle on the substrate and then begin to burrow again.  no sign of osmotic 
stress at all.  I have collected them in abundance several times before.  The 
interesting thing is that they have a clittelum (or what appears to be one), 
which I have been told, is not found in any fully aquatic oligochaeta, but 
more indicative of earthworms (I think the Lumbriculidae or something like 
that, I am not a expert in annelid taxonomy, obviously) which are all 
terrestrial.  If anyone has any information or is willing to take a look at 
these creatures please contact me at benbowme1 at  I can collect 
as many as is needed.  Thanks in advance.  

Eric Benbow
Dept. of Biology
University of Dayton
Dayton, OH  45469-2320

Address in Hawaii:
2747 S. Kihei Rd. F102
Kihei, HI  96753

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