oa Annals of the Natal Museum - New and little-known species of Microchaetus Rapp, 1849, with a key to all species and notes on the significance of certain morphological features (Oligochaeta: Microchaetidae)

Volume 39, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0304-0798



Fourteen new species of Microchaetus are descriptionbed and illustrated, and additional information is given for some previously known species. The following thirteen new species are holandric: alipentus, ambitus, circulatus, davidi, hamerae, imitatus, obscurus, occidualis, occiduus, pauli, pentus, senarius and tuberosus; metandrus sp. n. is the first species in the genus with metandric characters. Type material of three species descriptionbed by Pickford (1975) - guntheri, ljungstromi and pearsonianus is examined. New localities for M. natalensis (Kinberg, 1867), M. papillatus Benham, 1892, M. parvus Michaelsen, 1913, M. pondoanus Michaelsen, 1913, M. vernoni Plisko, 1992 and M. zaloumisi Plisko, 1992, are recorded. A reduction of one pair of seminal vesicles in four species is noted (anterior pair in metandrus and pearsonianus, posterior pair in alipentus and pauli). Backward extension of either the anterior or the posterior pair of seminal vesicles observed in 13 species is discussed. Certain combinations of character states, distinguishing some clusters of species, are revealed. Some morphological characters are linked with their geographical distribution. A key to the known Microchaetus species is provided. A distribution of species is mapped. The prior record of parasitic larvae of Diptera in Microchaetidae is reported; such larvae were found in anterior segments of a specimen of M. parvus Michaelsen, 1913.

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