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[Annelida] Freshwater tube worm

Haaren, Ton van via annelida%40net.bio.net (by Ton.vanHaaren from grontmij.nl)
Mon Dec 20 13:25:55 EST 2010

Dear All
The first thing that came into my mind was a Lumbriculid oligochaeta worm. At least the tail reminds me of Lumbriculus variegatus. The last sentence "...(broken into pieces)..." seems even typical for that species, which is known to fragment easily. It is the way the species reproduces. If it is truly a freshwater oligochaeta I would be happy to examine it. I can even bring you into contact with an american oligochaete specialist, if necessary
Best wishes
Ton van Haaren
The Netherlands

Van: annelida-bounces from oat.bio.indiana.edu [annelida-bounces from oat.bio.indiana.edu] namens Charley Eiseman [ceiseman from gmail.com]
Verzonden: maandag 20 december 2010 18:55
Aan: annelida from magpie.bio.indiana.edu
Onderwerp: [Annelida] Freshwater tube worm

Hello all,

I posted some photos of various marine and freshwater tubes to this list a couple of years ago when I was working on my field guide to tracks and signs of invertebrates (http://www.northernnaturalists.com/invert_tracks.html).  The unanimous opinion about the freshwater tubes was that they were the work of some insect, and that there is no freshwater worm that would construct tubes of that size.  Well, I determined those particular tubes to be the work of dipseudopsid caddisfly larvae, but this summer I found a colony of tubes in a puddle under some power lines, and got some photos of the worms that were living in them:

http://bugguide.net/node/view/479651 (the tubes, projecting ~1.5 cm out of the sediment)
http://bugguide.net/node/view/479755 (a worm extending from one of the tubes)
http://bugguide.net/node/view/479650 (a worm extracted from one of the tubes)

I'm wondering if anyone has ideas about what these worms might be, and also if anyone would be willing to examine a specimen.  I have the worm from the third photo in alcohol, but it's in bad shape (broken into pieces) and I would try to collect some more next summer if anyone wanted to take a look.

Thanks for any thoughts,

Charley Eiseman

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