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[Annelida] Marine Megadrile?

robblakemore from bigpond.com via annelida%40net.bio.net (by robblakemore from bigpond.com)
Sun Dec 9 22:12:09 EST 2007

In general I would concur that the most likely candidate is Pontodrilus
litoralis, but  additional information is that there are reports of
littoral "earthworms" of family Glossoscolecidae (e.g. Pontoscolex) in
Caribbean and of Acanthodrilidae (e.g. Microscolex) in the Southern Ocean.
Regarding Pontodrilus, five species are now known, but only two are from

Just published is my review: Blakemore, R.J. (2007). Origin and means of
dispersal of cosmopolitan Pontodrilus litoralis (Oligochaeta:
Megascolecidae). European Journal of Soil Biology. 43:S3-8.

I can send reprint copy if you wish.

Rob Blakemore 


Original Message:
From: Christer.erseus christer.erseus from zool.gu.se
Date: Fri, 07 Dec 2007 08:35:00 +0100
To: msjoneser from gmail.com, annelida from magpie.bio.indiana.edu
Subject: Re: [Annelida] Marine Megadrile?

Dear Scott,

It is very likely that you have found Pontodrilus litoralis (family
Megascolecidae), a circumtropical "morphospecies" common in not so exposed
beaches all around the globe. Historically, several nominal taxa were
described for various forms and populations, but they were all merged under
a single species name by Easton in 1984. An additional species, Pontodrilus
primoris was described from Tasmanian seashores by Blakemore (2000);
otherwise there seem to be no other "marine" earthworms".

I was always intrigued by this, so a student of mine and I now have a paper
in the pipeline that will show that the genetic variation is considerable
even among Pontodrilus worms from the same locality. [In fact, our study
includes specimens from the Fort Pierce area, where we found two distinctly
separate genotypes, likely to represent different (sibling) species.]

All the best,

Christer Erséus

-----Original message-----
From: "Scott Jones" msjoneser from gmail.com
Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2007 21:57:43 +0100
To: annelida from magpie.bio.indiana.edu
Subject: [Annelida] Marine Megadrile?

> Wormophiles:
>   I have collected some large ( 68 mm and longer, 2.5 mm wide  ) megadrile
> oligochaetes on an intertidal flat in Fort Pierce, FL.  They were located
> flipping over rocks.
>   Body is naked and somatic chaetae are simple and paired; there is no
> visible clitellum.  I have not dissected these animals yet.
>   Anyone have suggestions about what group this may belong to, or at least
> where to start?
> thanks
> Scott Jones

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