Polar Biology

, 31:1267 | Cite as

A new freshwater oligochaete species (Clitellata: Enchytraeidae) from Livingston Island, Antarctica

  • Pilar RodriguezEmail author
  • Eugenio Rico
Original Paper


The new enchytraeid species Lumbricillus healyae sp. n. is described from freshwater streams, with well-oxygenated and poorly mineralised waters, situated in Byers Peninsula (Livingston Island, South Shetland Islands, Antarctica). Lumbricillus healyae sp. n. is morphologically close to L. antarcticus and L. incisus, and it is mainly distinguished by the structure of the spermatheca with a short, distinct ectal duct, the oval penial bulb (greatest diameter in the transverse body axis) associated with strong dorso-ventral muscular fibres, and a protrusible pseudopenis. A second undetermined Lumbricillus species is described from a small stream. Study specimens are not fully mature; however, the highly irregular form and size of the testis-sac lobes and the absence of a penial bulb encapsulated under a muscular layer are remarkable. It is probably related to a small group of Lumbricillus species reported from the Antarctic maritime region (L. colpites, L. griseus and L. aestum), characterised by the structure of the male duct, which ends in a simple pore surrounded by glands.


Lumbricillus Enchytraeidae Freshwater benthos Antarctica 



This work was supported by grant REN2000-0435-ANT from the Science and Technology Ministry (Spain). We especially thank UTM (Maritime Technology Unit, CSIC) for his assistance in the hard conditions of Byers Peninsula. We also thank very much the BIO Las Palmas crew (Spanish Navy) for their logistic help and support, which made this expedition possible. A. Quesada, M. Toro, E. Marco, A. Camacho and E. Fernandez-Valiente contributed to sampling and/or analysing water characteristics. We greatly appreciate the technical assistance of MªJesús Bidaurrázaga in making the histological sections. Our thanks to Dr. Hongzhu Wang, who kindly lent us the paratypes of Lumbricillus incisus for examination and the Museum of Natural History of London (BMNH) for the loan of Lumbricillus antarcticus cotypes. Thanks to Dr. Kathryn A. Coates for suggesting that we look at the polyploidy as a source of variants in Lumbricillus and for providing valuable comments on the manuscript. Our special thanks also to Emilia Rota, Rüdiger Schmelz and Steve Fend who provided valuable comments on the manuscript and corrected the English text.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Zoology and Animal Cell Biology, Faculty of Science and TechnologyUniversity of Basque CountryBilbaoSpain
  2. 2.Department of EcologyUniversidad Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain

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