Gilled FW oligochaete

Geoff Read g.read at niwa.co.nz
Tue May 17 02:42:37 EST 2005


Christer Erséus wrote:
> Your NZ North Island worm most certainly is Branchiura sowerbyi Beddard, 1892
> (family Tubificidae), a widely distributed species with its possible origin
> in Asia. 

Thanks Christer,

I'm convinced. It was my first candidate species but the gills looked lateral 
in my coiled, somewhat twisted little specimen, I couldn't find  any good 
images of B. sowerbyi on the net, and so I moved on to consider other gilled 
species, none of which fitted.  Now I've also been able to look at Beddard's 
paper and can see gills in my specimen are indeed projecting from the dorsal 
and ventral - aligning with the (dorsal) anal opening - rather unusual.  And 
I've noticed some bifid chaetae.  

As far as I know there is no official record for NZ yet, but perhaps someone 
has picked it up before in this river and noted it in the grey literature. 
Possibly NZ is one of the few outposts on the planet Branchiura sowerbyi is 
not yet widely distributed in.  

Geoff

-- 
  Geoff Read <g.read at niwa.co.nz>
  http://www.annelida.net/

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