(Fwd) Oligochaetes Paranais frici and Potamothrix vejdovskyi

Geoff Read g.read at niwa.cri.nz
Thu Mar 15 15:26:27 EST 2001

FYI. Does anyone have  information on the status of these? GBR.

------- Forwarded message follows -------
Date sent:      	Thu, 15 Mar 2001 10:04:32 -0800
To:             	marbio at mote.org
From:           	"Paul Fofonoff" <fofonoff at serc.si.edu>
Subject:        	marbio: The oligochaetes Paranais frici and Potamothrix vejdovskyi on the East Coast of North America
Send reply to:  	"Paul Fofonoff" <fofonoff at serc.si.edu>

Dear marbio-ists

I'm trying to find out about the distribution of two fresh-brackish water 
oligochaetes in estuaries on the North American East Coast.  Paranais frici 
and Potamothrix vejdovskyi have been included in species lists for 
Chesapeake Bay, done as part of power plant and other environmental 
monitoring programs.  P. vejdovskyi has been reported from the Potomac 
since the early 1970s, and P. frici has been found in the Potomac and 
other Bay tributaries since at least 1989, according to the Chesapeake Bay 
program database, http://www.chesapeakebay.net/  Unfortunately, these 
references and databases contain no information on how the identifications 
were made.  I plan to contact people at Versar, Inc., and Old Dominion 
University, Norfolk VA, for information on this.  

So far, I've been unable to find any other records of these oligochaetes in 
Atlantic Coast estuaries.  Both species are known from the Great Lakes, 
and P. frici is widely distributed in fresh-marine waters on the West coast.  
P. frici also on a species list of oligochaetes in Great Smoky Mountains 
National Park (http://www.inhs.uiuc.edu/~mjwetzel/AqAnnel.GSMNP.html).  
Oligochaetes seem to be one of the many groups of invertebrates whose 
records are rlargely confined to "gray literature" at least in the US.  

In Europe, these species are regarded as Ponto-Caspian invaders, which 
have been spread into northern and western Europe by canals and 
shipping.  In North America, where oligochaete studies began later, there 
is less certainty about their exotic origin, owing to their present widespread 
distribution.  So we're trying to decide whether to include them on our list of 
introduced species in the Chesapeake Bay.  We may list them as 
cryptogenic species, of uncertain origin.  

Thanks for your help,


Paul Fofonoff, Ph.D.
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center
P.O. Box 28
(647 Contees Wharf Rd.)
Edgewater MD 21037

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