Gilled FW oligochaete

Geoff Read at
Sat May 14 01:11:45 EST 2005


I've been given a specimen of a small freshwater oligochaete from a New 
Zealand North Island river to identify.  It is about 5mm long,  has about 30 
pairs of lateral gills posteriorly, one pair per segment. I don't think it is 
a Phreodrilus (Phreodrilus branchiatus Beddard from Chile has lateral gills, 
but it hasn't been recorded from here) because there are too many  chaetae per 
fascicle (4 rather than 2).  Capillaries as well as short simple-pointed 
chaetae are present dorsally anteriorly. It's quite a muscular- looking worm 
due to lat and ventral grooves, but this may be a fixation artifact.  A 
'thick' head and tapered tail with a distinct anal opening.

I'd struggle to id an oligochaete tracking through reproductive organ 
characters as one is supposed to - assuming there were any developed. Any 
other suggestions for gilled species to check out? Anyone interested in taking 
a look?   

  Geoff Read < at>

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