, Volume 463, Issue 1-3, pp 49-64

Notes on the diversity and distribution of Australian Naididae and Phreodrilidae (Oligochaeta: Annelida)

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Abstract

This paper provides a summary of the diversity and distribution of Australian naidid and phreodrilid oligochaetes. As for other continents, the Australian naidid fauna consists mostly of cosmopolitan species, although there are indications of greater endemicity than currently recognised. While some naidids are widespread in Australia, others have a northern or a southern bias to their distribution, but few have been recorded in Tasmania. Many new records and species of Phreodrilidae have been documented since the review by Pinder & Brinkhurst (1997a) and these have allowed notions of phreodrilid zoogeography to be refined. The family is still considered particularly diverse in some temperate areas (Tasmania and the far south-west of Western Australia), but surprisingly few species are known from the temperate south-east mainland. Increasingly, new phreodrilid species are being collected from seasonal habitats on granite outcrops in the south-west and from refugial habitats (caves, groundwater and permanent river pools) in drier regions. A complete picture of oligochaete distributions will require much more work and patterns suggested by current data are presented here as hypotheses.