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Erséus, C.; Healy, B.M. (2001). Oligochaeta, in: Costello, M.J. et al. (Ed.) European register of marine species: a check-list of the marine species in Europe and a bibliography of guides to their identification. Collection Patrimoines Naturels, 50: pp. 231-234
In: Costello, M.J.; Emblow, C.; White, R.J. (Ed.) (2001). European register of marine species: a check-list of the marine species in Europe and a bibliography of guides to their identification. Collection Patrimoines Naturels, 50. Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle: Paris. ISBN 2-85653-538-0. 463 pp., more
In: Collection Patrimoines Naturels. Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle: Paris. ISSN 1158-422X

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    Oligochaeta [WoRMS]

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  • Erséus, C., more
  • Healy, B.M.

    This list was compiled by Brenda Healy (family Enchytraeidae) and C. Erséus (all other families).

    Naididae is primarily a freshwater group, but the species included here occur sometimes or exclusively in brackish water. The most comprehensive and still useful review of naidids is Sperber´s (1948) monograph, but for the partly marine genus Paranais, Brinkhurst and Coates (1985) should also be considered.

    The marine members of the Tubificidae have been subject to extensive systematic studies in recent years, in particular by C. Erséus, but since the publication of the key to marine and estuarine European species by Brinkhurst (1982), there is no compiled information other than that to be gathered from the primary taxonomical literature (e.g. Brinkhurst 1985, 1986; Erséus 1982, 1983a-b, 1985, 1987a-b and 1992). Some tubificids are restricted to brackishwater, but the majority of species are indeed marine, some species occuring at bathyal or even abyssal depths.

    The single megascolecid included, Pontodrilus bermudensis, known from the Mediterranean Sea, is an earthworm (Easton 1984). It is widely distributed in marine beaches throughout the tropics and subtropics of the world, and one of the few, if not the only, earthworm in marine habitats.

    The revision and taxonomy of European Enchytraeidae by Nielsen & Christensen (1959, 1961, 1963) provides the basis for the present list of this family, but over 30 European species have been subsequently added and more species await description. Taxonomic difficulties, and the lack of a modern guide to European species, mean that enchytraeids continue to be neglected and are almost never identified, even to genus, in surveys of marine fauna. Faunistic studies have been concentrated in principally the western Baltic, western Scandinavia and continental North Sea coasts, Iceland, Ireland, Wales, and the Atlantic coast of France. There are some records from Svalbard, Barents Sea, Beloye More (White Sea), the eastern Baltic, and Scotland, but few from the coasts of the Iberian Peninsula or the Mediterranean.

    Marine enchytraeids are mainly associated with habitats in the upper intertidal, and only the genus Grania is widespread in offshore benthos. Most records are from intertidal deposits, and tidal debris around high water mark where there is some overlap with the terrestrial fauna. The most commonly reported terrestrial species in saltmarshes and tidal debris are included in the list (six spp). The lower salinity limit for most brackishwater species appears to be about 3 ppt, i.e. a-oligohaline according to the Venice System of classification. In the Baltic, some brackishwater enchytraeids have been found to coexist with freshwater and terrestrial species at lower salinities (0.5-3 ppt). However, the salinity of oligohaline waters is rarely recorded by oligochaete specialists and the range of tolerance of the species is unknown. For this reason, four frequently recorded "freshwater" species taken with brackishwater species are included in the list.Many oligochaetes of the Baltic Sea are included in a recently published guide to the Estonian annelids (Timm 1999), including an illustrated key.


    • Baker, H. R. & Brinkhurst, R. O. 1981 A revision of the genus Monopylephorus and redefinition of the subfamilies Rhyacodrilinae and Branchiurinae (Tubificidae: Oligochaeta). Canadian Journal of Zoology 59: 939-965.
    • Brinkhurst, R. O. 1962 A check-list of the British Oligochaeta. Proceedings of the zoological Society of London 130: 317-330.
    • Brinkhurst, R. O. 1982. British and other marine and estuarine oligochaetes. Keys and notes for the identification of the species. Synopses of the British Fauna (New Series). 21. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 127 pp.
    • Brinkhurst, R. O. 1985. A further contribution to the taxonomy of the genus Tubificoides Lastockin (Oligochaeta: Tubificidae). Canadian Journal of Zoology 63: 400-410.
    • Brinkhurst, R. O. 1986. Taxonomy of the genus Tubificoides Lastockin (Oligochaeta: Tubificidae): species with bifid setae. Canadian Journal of Zoology 64: 1270-1279.
    • Christensen, B. 1962 Oligochaeta 3. Enchytraeidae. Zoology of Iceland 2: 1-11.Easton, E. G. 1984 Earthworms (Oligochaeta) from islands of the south-western Pacific, and a note on two species from Papua New Guinea. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 11: 111-128.
    • Erséus, C. 1976a Marine subtidal Tubificidae and Enchytraeidae (Oligochaeta) of the Bergen area, western Norway. Sarsia 62: 25-48.
    • Erséus, C. 1976b Littoral Oligochaeta (Annelida) from Eyjafjördur, north coast of Iceland. Zoologica Scripta 5: 5-11.
    • Erséus, C. 1977 Marine Oligochaeta from the Koster area, west coast of Sweden, with descriptions of two new enchytraeid species. Zoologica Scripta 6: 293-298.
    • Erséus, C. 1979a Taxonomic revision of the marine genera Bathydrilus Cook and Macroseta Erséus (Oligochaeta, Tubificidae), with descriptions of six new species and subspecies. Zoologica Scripta 8: 139-151.
    • Erséus, C. 1979b Taxonomic revision of the marine genus Phallodrilus Pierantoni (Oligochaeta, Tubificidae), with descriptions of thirteen new species. Zoologica Scripta 8: 187-208.
    • Erséus, C. 1980a New species of Phallodrilus (Oligochaeta, Tubificidae) from the Arctic deep sea and Norwegian fjords. Sarsia 65: 57﷓60.
    • Erséus, C. 1980b Taxonomic studies on the marine genera Aktedrilus Knöllner and Bacescuella Hrabe (Oligochaeta, Tubificidae), with descriptions of seven new species. Zoologica Scripta 9: 97﷓111.
    • Erséus, C. 1982 Taxonomic revision of the marine genus Limnodriloides (Oligochaeta: Tubificidae). Verhandlungen des naturwissenschaftlichen Vereins in Hamburg (Neue Folge) 25: 207-277.
    • Erséus, C. 1983a Deep﷓sea Phallodrilus and Bathydrilus (Oligochaeta, Tubificidae) from the Atlantic Ocean, with descriptions of ten new species. Cahiers de Biologie Marine 24: 125-146.
    • Erséus, C. 1983b Three new species of the marine genus Coralliodrilus (Oligochaeta, Tubificidae) from Italy. Bollettino di Zoologia 49 (1982): 241﷓247.
    • Erséus, C. 1985 Distribution and biogeography of Oligochaeta. In Peuplements profonds du golfe de Gascogne (eds. L. Laubier & C. Monniot): 365﷓367. Brest: Institut Francais de Recherche pour l'Exploitation de la Mer.
    • Erséus, C. 1987a Seven new marine species of Phallodrilus (Oligochaeta; Tubificidae) from various parts of Europe, and a re﷓examination of the type species P. parthenopaeus Pierantoni. Journal of Natural History 21: 915﷓931.
    • Erséus, C. 1987b Marine Limnodriloidinae (Oligochaeta, Tubificidae) from Italy, with descriptions of two new species. Bollettino di Zoologia 54: 159﷓164.
    • Erséus, C. 1992 A generic revision of the Phallodrilinae (Oligochaeta, Tubificidae). Zoologica Scripta 21: 5﷓48.
    • Erséus, C., Grimm, R., Healy, B., Lundberg, S., Rota, E. & Timm, T. 1999 A survey of Clitellata in Nationalstadsparken, an urban national park in Stockholm, Sweden. Hydrobiologia 406: 101-110.
    • Erséus, C. & Lasserre, P. 1976 Taxonomic status and geographic variation of the marine enchytraeid genus Grania Southern (Oligochaeta). Zoologica Scripta 5: 121-132.
    • Finogenova, N.P. & Timm, T. 1988 Enchytraeids (Oligochaeta, Enchytraeidae) of the littoral of the White Sea. In Explorations of the fauna of the seas 38(46); benthic ecosystems of the south eastern part of the Kandalaksha Bay and adjacent waters of the White Sea. Moscow: USSR Academy of Sciences, pp. 91-109.
    • Giere, O. 1976 Zur Kenntnis der litoralen Oligochaetenfauna Südfinnlands. Annales Zoologici Fennici 13: 156-160.
    • Healy, B. 1979 Marine fauna of County Wexford. -1. Littoral and brackishwater Oligochaeta. Irish Naturalists' Journal 19: 418-422.
    • Healy, B. 1979 Records of Enchytraeidae (Oligochaeta) in Ireland. Journal of Life Sciences of the Royal Dublin Society 1: 39-7.
    • Kasprzak, K. 1986 Skaposzczety wodne i glebowe, II. Rodzina: Wazonkowce (Enchytraeidae) Warsawa: Panstwowe wydawnietwo naukowe. 366 pp.
    • Knöllner, F.H. 1935 Ökologische und systematyische Untersuchungen über litorale und marine Oligochäten der Kieler Bucht. Zoologische Jahrbücher (Abteilung Systematik.) 66: 425-563.
    • Kossmagk-Stephan, K.-J. 1983. Marine Oligochaeta of a sandy beach of the island of Sylt (North Sea) with description of four new enchytraeid species. Mikrofauna des Meeresbodens 89: 1-28.
    • Lasserre, P. 1966 Oligochètes marins des côtes de France. I. Bassin d'Arcachon: systématique. Cahiers de Biologie marine 7: 295-317.
    • Lasserre, P. 1967 Oligochètes marins des côtes de France. II. Roscoff, Penpoull, étangs saumâtres de Concarneau: systématique, écologie. Cahiers de Biologie marine 8: 273-293.
    • Nielsen, C.O. & Christensen, B. 1959 The Enchytraeidae. Critical revision and taxonomy of European species. Natura Jutlandica 8-9: 1-160.
    • Nielsen, C.O. & Christensen, B. 1961 The Enchytraeidae. Critical revision and taxonomy of European species. Supplement 1. Natura Jutlandica 10:1-23.
    • Nielsen, C.O. & Christensen, B. 1963 The Enchytraeidae. Critical revision and taxonomy of European species. Supplement 2. Natura Jutlandica 10: 1-19.
    • Nurminen, M. 1965 Enchytraeid and lumbricid records (Oligochaeta) from Spitzbergen. Annales Zoologici Fennici 2: 1-10.
    • Nurminen, M. 1966 Further notes on the enchytraeids (Oligochaeta) from Spitzbergen. Annales Zoologici Fennici 3: 68-69.
    • Nurminen, M. 1967 Faunistic notes on north European enchytraeids. Annales Zoologici Fennici 4: 567-587.
    • Nurminen, M. 1973 Enchytraeidae (Oligochaeta) of Iceland. Annales Zoologici Fennici 10: 412-413.
    • Southern, R. 1909 Contributions towards a monograph of the British and Irish Oligochaeta. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 27B: 119-182.
    • Southern, R. 1913 Clare Island Survey. Part 48. Oligochaeta. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 31B: 1-14.
    • Timm, T. 1999 Eesti rongusside (Annelida) määraja. A guide to the Estonian Annelida. Tartu-Tallinn: Teaduste Akadeemia Kirjastus/Estonian Academy Publishers. 208 pp.
    • Tynen, M.J. 1972 The littoral Enchytraeidae (Oligochaeta) of Anglesey and the Menai Strait with notes on habitats. Journal of Natural History 6: 21-29.
    • Tynen, M.J. & Nurminen, M. 1969 A key to the European littoral Enchytraeidae (Oligochaeta). Annales Zoologici Fennici 6: 150-155.
    • Stephenson, J. 1911 On some littoral Oligochaeta of the Clyde. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 48: 31-65.
    • von Bülow, T. 1957 Systematisch-autökologische Studien an eulitoralen Oligochaeten der Kimbrischen Halbinsel. Kieler Meeresforschung 13: 69-116.

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