Zoology in the Middle East
Supplementum 2, 2010
Advances in Earthworm Taxonomy
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Saga of Herr Hilgendorf’s worms… (Oligochaeta, Megascolecidae)
Abstract. Herr Dr. Franz
Hilgendorf, who first introduced Darwin’s evolutionary theory to Tokyo in 1873,
collected ‘Vermes’ for Dr. Wilhelm Michaelsen in Hamburg. The Metaphire
hilgendorfi (Michaelsen, 1892)/Amynthas tokioensis (Beddard, 1892)
parthenogenetic/clonal spp-complex has since snowballed into >60 names, and
its resolution remains the hottest yet seemingly intractable problem in
Oriental (and Cosmopolitan) earthworm systematics. Reproductive structures,
morphometrics, colouration or intestinal caeca characterizations are largely
defunct. Molecular ‘solutions’ are meaningless without DNA analysis of types
under the strict ICZN Principle of Typification in chronological order under
its Principle of Priority. A revised diagnosis now accepts Metaphire spp
from morphs having non-superficial male pores. Both Amynthas tokioensis (syns. ?M. levis;
?A. paiki syns. nov.) as a new record from USA and A. agrestis (Goto & Hatai,
1899) (syn. ?A. minjae Hong in Hong, Lee & Kim, 2001 syn.
nov.) from Japan/Korea are reviewed. Metaphire soulensis (Kobayashi, 1938) and ?M. koellikeri (Michaelsen, 1928)
are restored separately but the dubious A. defectus (Gates, 1930) (syn.
A. jacita) is newly added to the group. Work is urgently needed to
separate Metaphire Sims & Easton, 1972 from Amynthas Kinberg,
to sort degraded morphs under their respective types. More than a generation
(1972) said naming intermediates is “ridiculous”. Despite this, names
continue to be added by workers in Japan or Korea who mutually ignore earlier
work in either country: Dozens of ‘nationalistic’ Japanese ‘Pheretima’
synonyms have been added as have Korean taxa with manicate caeca e.g., A. yongshilensis, A. alveolatus,
A. geomunensis, A. eastoni, A. boletiformis, A.
odaesanensis, A. righii, A. fasciiformis, A. sanchongensis,
A. songnisanensis, A. ephippiatus and A. multimaculatus. A
degraded digestive ‘tube’ from Korea named as Amynthas dageletensis
Hong & Kim, 2005, plus A. sonjaesiki Hong & James, 2009
(syns. novae of A. tokioensis), have the lowest priority within this
118-year-old saga. Critical conditions of the intestinal caeca are briefly
considered, and the emerging 117-year-old synonymy saga of Pheretima urceolata (Horst, 1893) is flagged as a new taxonomic
‘housekeeping’ concern. For all these issues, molecular resolution via
DNA anaylsis of types is advocated.
Key words. earthworm
eco-taxonomy, cosmopolitan species, pheretimoids, parthenogenesis, Oriental misdiagnosed
Gabor Cech, Eszter Ari, Klara Dozsa-Farkas
Extension of employing ITS region in the investigation of Hungarian Fridericia
species (Oligochaeta: Enchytraeidae)
Abstract. Same species of genus Fridericia (Oligochaeta: Enchytraeidae)
collected from different localities, can have small differences in their
morphology, for example, the number of nephridia or length and width of the
spermathecal ectal duct. During the identification of enchytraeid worms,
several characteristics were investigated at the same time but presence of
small variations in only one or two main characteristics can cause taxonomic
difficulties or may raise the possibility of encountering a subspecies. Using
molecular biological techniques can help answer these questions. In preceding
researches of the authors ITS (Internal Transcribed Spacer) came into focus.
ITS is mainly a non-coding region of ribosomal DNA located between the 18S and
28S rDNA genes. Based on these previous studies, in the present analysis, the
authors extended their investigation to include examination of the morphology
and genes of various Fridericia species from different parts of Hungary.
Phylogenetic trees were also created by Maximum Parsimony (MP),
Neighbor-Joining (NJ), and Bayesian analyses. In the present study, we
established that molecular biological techniques are suitable to confirm that
individuals from the same species (but collected from different places) have
the same genetic profile, while very similar species can be shown to clearly
segregate on the phylogenetic tree based on the divergence of certain external
or internal characteristics. Even though partial sequences give us only rough
information about the phylogenetic position of the species, our aim is to show
how the ITS region is suitable to investigate closely related enchytraeid worms
and to differentiate the morphologically similar species.
Key words. ITS, Fridericia,
Boyer, Stephen D. Wratten
Using molecular tools to identify New Zealand endemic earthworms in a
mine restoration project (Oligochaeta: Acanthodrilidae, Lumbricidae,
Abstract. A restoration
ecology project was commenced on the West Coast region of New Zealand to
re-establish the local fauna of endemic Powelliphanta spp. carnivorous
landsnails at an opencast coal mine site after mining activities. The aim of
the current research is to provide recommendations for the use of earthworms to
improve the restoration of ecological communities, especially the landsnails.
To provide such recommendations, different aspects of the ecology and
bio-systematics of the New Zealand endemic earthworm fauna have been studied
using molecular techniques. About 1,500 earthworm individuals have been
collected across 17 sampling sites in the Stockton mine area. In New Zealand,
173 endemic earthworm species are known. Only minor revisions to the
earthworms’ taxonomic status have been made since 1959. Species identification
was performed by morphological analysis (following Lee’s taxonomic key) and
molecular analysis (using the mitochondrial 16S gene). The latter analyses
conducted on a selection of 83 individuals revealed the existence of at least
17 different taxa, most of which are probably undescribed species. Some of
these earthworm species are predated by an endangered carnivorous landsnail, Powelliphanta
augusta Walker, Trewick & Barker. Because the conservation of P.
augusta may rely greatly on the understanding of their diet, earthworm DNA
was sought after in the snails’ feces, using molecular analyses. Molecular
analyses have been helpful in establishing an inventory of the species present
in the study site, facilitating new species taxonomic descriptions and
elucidating the predator-prey relationship.
Key words. Earthworms,
landsnails, New Zealand, restoration, mining, DNA.
Significance of using nephridia in the taxonomy of family Enchytraeidae
Abstract. A survey of the structure and
variety of the nephridia in the subclass Oligochaeta is presented. The most
diversified forms are discernible in the families of
Megadrile earthworms Two main types can be differentiated: holonephridia and
meronephridia. Both types can be exonephric when they penetrate the
body-wall and open to the exterior. However, in the meronephridia,
the ducts can open also into the intestine; in
this case, it is called enteronephric. The
nephridia in the family of Enchytraeidae are holo-exonephric; namely, they
always have a ciliated funnel connected to a coiled duct much folded and
embedded in a compact elongated body covered by a layer of peritoneum and
through an efferent duct open to the exterior in the next segment. The shape of
this organ, the structure and the ratio of pre- and post-septale parts, and the
origin of the efferent duct can be generic or
specific in character. The number of nephridia in preclitellar segments may
contribute to identification of the species, but our knowledge on these
characteristics is insufficient; therefore, it would be very useful to record
these traits in all species descriptions.
Key words. Metanephridium,
Oligochaeta, earthworm, Tubificidae, Enchytraeidae.
Remarks on the South African endemic Proandricus lesothoensis
species-group (Oligochaeta: Microchaetidae)
Abstract. Nine of fifty-three
proandric South African endemic microchaetids, characterized by a location of
spermathecae and their pores in testicular, and anterior to testicular segment,
are discussed. Seven species: adami, amphius, bourquini,
lesothoensis, oresbiosus, pajori and sani, with
spermathecal pores in testicular and pre-testicular furrows, are accredited to
the lesothoensis species-group. These species occur in only limited
areas of the Central Drakensberg mountain range, and some of them display a
discrepancy in the arrangement of setae. P. notabilis differing
in size and shape of the body, possessing one pair of spermathecae in
testicular segment 10 and other spermathecae in post-testicular segments in 11
and 12, with regular setal arrangement, is not included to this group. P.
timmianus, in which pre-testicular spermathecae were noted only on
histological slides, is also not included in the lesothoensis
species-group, but was compared with other proandric species, e.g, biancae,
briani and ianthinos, known from a neighboring area of timmianus
type locality in the Eastern Cape. It is noteworthy that the presence of two
rare characteristics, namely, location of spermathecae and their pores in
segments anterior to testes, and irregularity in setal arrangements, are unique
in South African microchaetid species and need more study.
Proandricus, lesothoensis species-group, South Africa.
Veronika S. Abukenova, Marat R. Khanturin
Adaptive features of life forms in Aporrectodea caliginosa
Abstract. We considered that
the morphoecological differences between species of Lumbricidae have adaptive
character. For our research, the amplitude and frequency of contractions of the
visceral (gizzard) smooth muscles were selected. The contractive activity of
the muscles was studied according to the method of isolated preparations. The
greatest amplitude of contractions (86.71±3.66 per mg) was recorded in worms of
mineral soils for Aporrectodea caliginosa caliginosa in which the
frequency of contractions of visceral muscles was 2.46±0.58 contr/min.
Apparently, in detritophages the gut muscles push the dense food mass, but
their contractions are not more frequent than 2-3 times a minute. The muscles
of the surface-living A. caliginosa trapezoides showed smaller
amplitude, 49.58±2.56 per mg, and frequencies were 4.89±0.37 contr/min. This
subspecies ingested decaying vegetative remains, which entered their intestines
as loose food mass completely accessible to digestion. Earthworms inhabiting
mineral soil layers have greater amplitude of gut muscle contractions than the
leaf-litter species, which is probably influenced by differences in their diet.
We can conclude that parameters of spontaneous contractive activity of smooth
muscles of the A. caliginosa digestive tract are related to the
subspecies’ life characteristics in biocenosis. These parameters are stable
characteristics of the forms adapted to consumption of certain types of food
resources in natural habitats.
Key words. Earthworms,
visceral muscles, contractive activity, gut, gizzard, isolated smooth muscles
Ezzatpanah, Latif Robabeh, Malek Masoumeh, Salehi Hasan
Earthworm fauna of the western Mazandaran province, Iran (Oligochaeta:
Abstract. In the present
study, earthworms were collected from the margins of rivers, forests, and
wetlands of the Western Mazandaran province, Iran, from April 2007 to April
2008 at 18 designated stations. The following ten species were identified: Aporrectodea
caliginosa, Ap. jassyensis, Dendrobaena byblica complex, D. hortensis,
D. octaedra, D. veneta, Eisenia fetida, Eiseniella tetraedra, Perelia
kaznakovi (all family Lumbricidae) and Amynthas corticis (family
Megascolecidae). The Ei. tetraedra species comprises a new record for
the studied region.
Key words: Earthworm,
Lumbricidae, Megascolecidae, Mazandaran province, Iran.
Distribution of Octolasion cyaneum (Savigny, 1826) in Estonia
1993-2008 (Oligochaeta, Lumbricidae)
Abstract. The aim of the paper is to give
an overview about distribution of the endogeic species Octalasion cyaneum
(Savigny, 1826) in Estonia. First time, this endogeic species was found in
1980s in the Tallinn Botanical Garden (Northern-Estonia). The new results show that O. cyaneum is slowly expanding
into Estonian territory and becoming more abundant.
Distribution of endemic earthworm species in Turkey (Oligochaeta:
earthworm species have so far been found in Turkey. Out of them five species
(7%) belong to families Criodrilidae, Megascolecidae and Acanthodrilidae, and
70 species (93%) are from the family Lumbricidae. Twenty-five lumbricid
earthworms (33% of all species) are regarded as Anatolian endemics, i.e.,
endemics of the larger Asiatic part of Turkey. In contrast, no endemic species
are known from the much smaller Thrace region (European part of Turkey). As
expected, the endemism is not distributed evenly all over the territory; the
level of endemic species richness is decreasing from the northern part of
Anatolia (16 species, 64% from all endemics),
through the Anatolian part of the Marmara region (9 species, 36%), Central Anatolia (4 species, 16%), the Mediterranean region (4 species, 16%), the Aegean region (3 species, 12%), and the
eastern Anatolia regions (2 species each, 8%
each) up to south-east Anatolia (no endemic species recorded). However, more
detailed investigation is needed because large areas of Turkey have not yet
been surveyed properly for earthworms.
Key words. Endemism,
biodiversity, earthworms, Lumbricidae, Anatolia, Turkey.
Antonia Pop, Victor V. Pop, Csaba Csuzdi
Significance of the Apuseni Mountains (the Carpathians) in the origin
and distribution of Central European earthworm fauna (Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae)
Abstract. The earthworm
fauna of the Apuseni Mountains is very rich in species, most of them are
narrowly distributed endemics. Till now 37 Lumbricidae taxa are known from the
Apuseni Mts. of which 13 occur exclusively here. This high number of local
endemism is in accordance with the tectonic history of the region. In the
southern part, with patchily distributed limestone areas, an accelerated
insular-like speciation resulted in presence of many endemic large-bodied Octodrilus
species. In the northern volcanic region other endemics such as Dendrobaena
sp. nov. and Allolobophora prosselodacica were found. These species
show an allopatric distribution with their Carpathian vicariant sister species D.
attemsi and A. sturanyi dacidoides respectively. The origin of such
Apuseni–Carpathian species pairs is possibly due to the Parathethys
transgressions which repeatedly isolated the Carpathians from the Apuseni Mts.
in the Tertiary period for a long time. After the final retreat of the
Parathetys from the Carpathian Basin some species with larger dispersion
capabilities such as Dendrobaena clujensis, Allolobophora sturanyi
dacica, Allolobophora mehadiensis etc. migrated to lower altitude hilly and
plain habitats forming the so called Dacian faunal element in Central Europe.
Our molecular phylogenetic investigations (16S and COI sequences) corroborate
this scenario. The high number of endemic species, as well as their
distribution patterns places the Apuseni Mts. as a hot-spot of lumbricid
earthworms’ diversification and distribution in Central Europe.
Key words. Earthworms,
Apuseni Mts., the Carpathians, evolution, rDNA, endemisms.
Arzu Çiçek, Cansev Akkan, Deniz Kilinç, Emrah Aci
Accumulation of heavy metals by earthworms in boron-contaminated area
(Kırka-Eskişehir) (Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae)
Abstract. Boron is a
naturally occurring material and is used in domestic and industrial products.
Kırka region possesses the largest boron deposits not only in Turkey but
also in the world. Even though boron is an essential nutrient for plants and an
essential element for many organisms, certain concentrations can be toxic to
aquatic and terrestrial organisms. This paper investigates the concentration of
boron in soil and an earthworm (Eiseniella tetraedra) collected from
five sampling sites at different times during the year 2008 from surrounding
areas of the Kırka county of Eskişehir. Because the adsorption of
borates into soils is controlled by the presence of aluminum and iron,
earthworms and soil were also analyzed for aluminum and iron. Our results show
that earthworm samples accumulated more boron than soil and at five sampling
sites aluminum and iron were present in soil at relatively high concentrations.
Key words. Earthworms,
accumulation, boron, Kırka.
Davorka Jaric, Branimir K. Hackenberger, Stjepan Krcmar
The characteristics of earthworm communities along vertically stratified
transect of Velika Kapela Mountain grasslands (Croatia) (Oligochaeta:
Abstract. The spatial and
temporal variability of earthworm populations is very high, both within and
between differently managed types of land. Additionally, grassland ecosystem
earthworm communities are reported as more heterogeneous and difficult to
distinguish from one another in comparison to other types of ecosystems. The
current study involves seven sites situated along the transect from the city of
Ogulin on the continental slope to the Novi Vinodolski on the Mediterranean
slope of the Velika Kapela Mountain. A plot of approximately
100 x 100 m in size was randomly selected for study. On each
selected plot, seven random, seven transect, and 16 regular grid sampling
points were chosen for earthworm sampling. A combination of hand sorting and
expulsion by formalin was used for earthworm sampling. From all three sampling
designs, transect had the lowest species number observed in all seven sites and
regular grid sampling elicited the highest number of species in five sites. Two
sites on the south-eastern slope of the Velika Kapela Mountain had the lowest
species richness among all sites. The total number of species per site ranged
from three to eleven. Aporrectodea
rosea (Savigny, 1826) was the only species present at all seven
sites, followed by Dendrobaena
octaedra (Savigny, 1826) and Octolasion
lacteum (Örley, 1881) found on five
sites. The use of various species richness estimators suggested that on several
sites one or two species were lacking from the sampling.
design; regular grid; formalin expulsion; species richness estimators;
Monica Alfaro, Sonia Borges, Jose A. Amador
Earthworm taxonomic structure of coffee plantations at three soil
associations in Puerto Rico (Oligochaeta: Glossoscolecidae, Megascolecidae)
Abstract. The taxonomic
structure of earthworms of coffee plantations systems at three different places
in Puerto Rico (Las Marías, Lares, and Jayuya), representing different soil
types, was assessed. Organisms were manually sorted in a 0.25 m2,
and various soil analyses were carried out. Eight earthworm species were
identified: Onychochaeta borincana, Pontoscolex corethrurus, P.
melissae, P. spiralis, and Pontoscolex sp., which belong to
the Glossocolecidae family, and Amynthas gracilis, A. rodericensis,
and a pheretimoid species which belong to the Megascolecidae family. Some
significant differences among soil properties were found between locations,
treatments, and the interaction effects, but no clear patterns between these
differences accounted for the taxonomic structure and abundance of earthworms
at these coffee plantations. Higher abundances of exotic species were found in
the most distressed areas as expected. P. corethrurus was found at
all the investigated coffee plantations. Lares, the second area of highest
elevation, had the higher density of earthworms. On the other hand, Jayuya, the
most isolated area, had the highest species number. P. melissae,
a rare species that had been reported from only three locations in Puerto Rico
when it was described in 1991, was found only in Jayuya.
Key words. Earthworms, coffee
plantations, Puerto Rico.
Satyendra M. Singh, Om Prakash, Geeta R. Gangwar, Rachna
Species richness and density of earthworms in western Uttar Pradesh,
India (Oligochaeta: Megascolecidae, Octochaetidae)
Abstract. The study was
conducted in agricultural lands of five regions of western Uttar Pradesh,
India, from 2006-2008 to identify species richness and density of earthworms in
different seasons. Three species of earthworm’s viz., Metaphire posthuma
(Vaill.), Lampito mauritii (Kinberg, 1867) and Perionyx excavatus
(Perrier, 1872) from the Megascolecidae family and four species of Eutyphoeus
waltoni (Michaelsen, 1907), E. gigas (Stephenson, 1917), E.
orientalis (Beddard, 1883), and E. pharpingianus
(Michaelsen, 1907) from Octochaetidae were identified and recorded. Bareilly of
western Uttar Pradesh was identified as a density rich region of earthworms in
all of the three seasons. It was species rich region of earthworms during
winter and summer seasons too while the Agra region during the rainy season.
Species richness and density of worms were assessed, the maximum in Bareilly
and the minimum density in Saharanpur during peak winter months. However, the
species richness of earthworms was found the least in three regions (Agra,
Meerut, and Saharanpur) during winter months i.e. from November to February. In
summers (March to June), both the density and species richness of earthworms
were higher in Bareilly but their density was lower in Saharanpur.
Interestingly, less species richness was noticed in Moradabad and Meerut
regions with only three species. Results of taxonomic work indicated that the Bareilly
region of western Uttar Pradesh has the maximum density of earthworms in all of
the three seasons during the study; while the Agra region with more species
richness during the rainy season. Variations in density and species richness of
worms were discussed in the light of climatic conditions.
Key words. Earthworm, species
richness, density, agricultural land, western Uttar Pradesh state.
Diversity of earthworms and ecology of the dominating species Lumbricus
rubellus Hoffmeister, 1843 in the northern taiga podzols of the Murmansk region
Abstract. Soil-zoological studies were
carried out in ten old-growth forests of the northern taiga subzone of the
Murmansk region and species composition, density, and the biomass of earthworms were assessed. Four
species of earthworms were identified in pine and spruce forests, and among
them dominant were the litter species Dendrobaena octaedra and the
soil-litter species Lumbricus rubellus. It has been concluded that
earthworm species composition, density, and biomass
reach maximum values in forest litters characterized by increased ash content,
reduced acidity, and containing organic matter of the humate type. Bioindicators
of litters having such properties are L. rubellus and Aporrectodea
caliginosa while the former is predominant. Body sizes and weight, seasonal
and long-term dynamics of population are described for L. rubellus.
Based on the peculiarities of intra-biotope distribution of earthworms, optima
for main soil factors were determined.
Key words. Northern taiga
podzols, pine, spruce, population, dynamics, spatial distribution, optima.
Seray Yildiz, M. Rusen Ustaoglu, Süleyman Balik
Littoral Oligochaeta (Lumbriculidae and Enchytraeidae) communities of
some mountain lakes in the Eastern Black Sea Range (Turkey)
Abstract. Six surveys were
carried out during July and August 2005–2007 in order to determine the
Oligochaeta fauna of high-altitude lakes located in the Eastern Black Sea
Range. With the highest peak, Kaçkar Dağı (elevation 3937
metres), and mountain plateaus at about 3000 metres in elevation, are the
highest part of the Eastern Black Sea Range. This range is one
of the most important glacial region in Turkey. Some physico-chemical features
and Oligochaeta fauna of 39 lakes were determined for the first time, where no
previous faunistic studies took place. As a result of the study, a total of 10
taxa was identified, comprising 3 species from Lumbriculidae [(Stylodrilus
parvus (Hrabě & Černosvitov, 1927), Stylodrilus heringianus
Claparede, 1862, and Lumbriculus variegatus (Müller, 1774)],
7 taxa from Enchytraeidae [(Cognettia sphagnetorum (Vejdovsky, 1878),
Cognettia glandulosa (Michaelsen, 1889), Mesenchytraeus armatus (Levinsen,
1884), Mesenchytraeus sp., Henlea ventriculosa (d’Udekem, 1854),
Henlea perpusilla Friend, 1911, and Henlea sp.)]. All the
taxa represent new records for the region. Stylodrilus heringianus is
recorded for the first time in Turkey.
Key words. Lumbriculidae,
Enchytraeidae, littoral, Oligochaeta, fauna, Eastern Black Sea Range, Turkey
Earthworm fauna of Kazakh upland (Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae)
Abstract. The species
composition of earthworms of different ecosystems in Kazakh upland (Kazakhstan) representing different
soil types was assessed for the first time. This eco-region
encompasses a large dry steppe area. It is considerably higher than the
surrounding Western Siberian plains and Turgay plains. It features elevated
plains, melkosopochniki (the local name for highly eroded plateaus), and low
mountains. Habitat types characteristic to this area include petrophitic
steppes with shrubs and brushwoods, granite rock pinewoods in the low
mountains, and microphyllous woods associated with lakes and wetlands. Well
represented intrazonal communities include wetlands and associated forests.
Pine, birch, and aspen woods are found. Earthworms from
Kazakh upland belong to seven genera, nine species, and three subspecies. These earthworms are
widespread, a majority of which have an antropochoric dispersion
however there are several native Asian species and
subspecies as well. Development of a hydrological network promotes
preservation of some forest species from the past, e.g., Dendrobaena
octaedra and Eisenia nordenskioldi pallida. Moreover the boreal
species of soil fauna specify the connection of area of research with the
West-Siberian plain, Altai and southern Urals Mountains in the past. The
epigeic D. octaedra and Dendrodrilus rubidus tenuis play a key
role in the structure and function of the earthworm assemblages in the biotopes
studied. The earthworm fauna is more diverse in forests of the northern and the
southern parts of Kazakh upland than elsewhere in this arid zone of the
Dry steppe region, earthworms,
epigeic and endogeic species, Kazakh Upland.
Earthworms in Traditional Chinese Medicine (Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae,
Abstract. The earthworm, 蚯蚓 (qiu yin)
was first documented in the Divine Farmer’s Materia Medica Classic (神农本草经) around 200 B.C – 200 A.D. The
365 drugs in this book were classified into three groups: up, middle, and low.
The 120 drugs in the up group are regarded as non-toxic and benefit qi (able to
strength the vital body energy), so they can be taken regularly. The 120 drugs
in the middle group are toxic or non-toxic, and used for treating diseases and
supplementing deficiency. The drugs in the low group are toxic, and can
eliminate “evil” (anything which causes illness) and should not be taken for a
long period of time (Toxic implies the drug has strong medicinal effect and
could have side effects so should be used properly and cautiously). The
earthworm belongs to the low group. But in later medical literature, the
earthworm is considered as non-toxic (Compendium of Materia Medica 本草纲目, 1552-1593).
Key words. Earthworms,
traditional medicine, China.
Vavoulidou, Loukia Dellaporta, Dimitris Joannis Bilalis
Collagen distribution in the tissue of the earthworm Octodrilus complanatus
complanatus (Lumbricidae) is a relatively large earthworm species widespread in the
Hellenic territory and beyond. The main objective of our study was the
histological description of O. complanatus and the determination of
collagen distribution in its tissues. The histological study was carried out by
means of hematoxylin-eosin staining in paraffin sections. The distribution of
collagen was examined by histochemical techniques: CAB and Trichrom masson. The
paraffin sections were examined by a light microscope after staining and the
internal organs of the earthworm (alimentary canal, nervous, excretory,
circulatory, and reproductive systems) were described. Most of the collagen was
found in the cuticle, in the muscles under the epidermis and in the nervous
Key words. Lumbricidae, Octodrilus
complanatus, collagen distribution, nervous system, digestive system.