, Volume 456, Issue 1–3, pp 1–6 | Cite as

Terrestrial nemerteans thirty years on

  • Janet Moore
  • Ray Gibson
  • Hugh D. Jones


The present paper records changes in the reported distribution and abundance of terrestrial nemerteans during the last 30 years. New records are reported from the Isles of Scilly, Bermuda and New Zealand of species previously only known elsewhere. Human activity, especially the increased importation and exportation of plants between countries, has probably led to terrestrial nemerteans, as well as other organisms, becoming introduced into many new localities. However, the conservation outlook is not hopeful because of a global loss of appropriate habitat, particularly forests. Today three species (Geonemertes rodericana Gulliver, 1879, Pantinonemertes agricola Willemoes-Suhm, 1874 and Antiponemertes allisonae Moore, 1973) are feared to be extinct, and none of the extant species seem to be as abundant as they once were. Behavioural changes in Antiponemertes pantini (Southgate, 1954) under arid conditions may be associated with heavy gregarine infestations.

terrestrial nemerteans zoogeography abundance parasites extinction 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Coe, W. R., 1904. The anatomy and development of the terrestrial nemertean (Geonemertes agricola) of Bermuda. Proc. Boston Soc. nat. Hist. 31: 531–570.Google Scholar
  2. Crozier, W. J., 1917. Note on the habitat of Geonemertes agricola. Am. Nat. 51: 758–760.Google Scholar
  3. Gulliver, G., 1879. Turbellaria. Phil. Trans. r. Soc. Lond. 168: 557–563.Google Scholar
  4. Haye, P. L. & F. P. Ojeda, 1998. Metabolic and behavioral alterations in the crab Hemigrapsus crenulatus (Milne-Edwards 1837) induced by its acanthocephalan parasite Profilicollis antarcticus (Zdzitowiecki 1985). J. exp. mar. Biol. Ecol. 228: 73–82.Google Scholar
  5. Hoek, R. M., R. E. Van Kesteren, A. B. Smit, M. De Jong-Brink & W. P. M. Geraerts, 1997. Altered gene expression in the host brain caused by a trematode parasite: neuropeptide genes are preferentially affected during parasitosis. Proc. natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 94: 14072–14076.Google Scholar
  6. Holmes, J. C. & W. M. Bethel, 1972. Modification of intermediate host behaviour by parasites. In Canning, E. U. & C. A. Wright (eds), Behavioural Aspects of Parasite Transmission. Academic Press, London: 123–149.Google Scholar
  7. IUCN, 1996. 1996 IUCN Red list of threatened animals. In Baillie, J. & B. Groombridge (eds), IUCN. Gland, Switzerland: 368 pp.Google Scholar
  8. Moore, J., 1973. Land nemertines of New Zealand. Zool. J. linn. Soc. 52: 293–313.Google Scholar
  9. Moore, J., 1985. The distribution and evolution of terrestrial nemertines. Am. Zool. 25: 15–21.Google Scholar
  10. Moore, J. & R. Gibson, 1981. The Geonemertes problem (Nemertea). J. Zool., Lond. 194: 175–201.Google Scholar
  11. Moore, J. & R. Gibson, 1985. The evolution and comparative physiology of terrestrial and freshwater nemerteans. Biol. Rev. 60: 257–312.Google Scholar
  12. Moore, J. & R. Gibson, 1988a. Further studies on the evolution of land and freshwater nemerteans: generic relationships among the paramonostiliferous taxa. J. Zool., Lond. 216: 1–20.Google Scholar
  13. Moore, J. & R. Gibson, 1988b. Marine relatives of terrestrial nemerteans: the genus Prosadenoporus Bürger, 1890 (Hoplonemertea). Hydrobiologia 156: 75–86.Google Scholar
  14. Moore, J. & N. W. Moore, 1972. Land nemertines of Madeira and the Azores. Bolm. Mus. Munic. Funchal 26: 31–44.Google Scholar
  15. Moore, J. & N. W. Moore, 1982. Land nemertines in Dominica, W. Indies. Carib. J. Sci. 18: 43–47.Google Scholar
  16. Moore, J., R. N. W. Moore & R. Gibson, 1995. Land nemertines of Rodrigues. J. Zool., Lond. 237: 241–257.Google Scholar
  17. Pantin, C. F. A., 1961a. Geonemertes: a study in island life. Proc. linn. Soc. Lond. 172: 137–152.Google Scholar
  18. Pantin, C. F. A., 1961b. Acteonemertes bathamae, gen. et sp. nov. An upper littoral nemertine from Portobello, New Zealand. Proc. linn. Soc. Lond. 172: 153–156.Google Scholar
  19. Pantin, C. F. A., 1969. The genus Geonemertes. Bull. Br. Mus. (Nat. Hist.), Zool. 18: 261–310.Google Scholar
  20. Riser, N.W., 1988. Notogaeanemertes folzae gen. n., sp. n., an additional ecologically restricted hoplonemertean from New Zealand. Hydrobiologia 156: 125–133.Google Scholar
  21. Snell, H. J. & W. H. T. Tams, 1919. The natural history of the island of Rodrigues. Proc. Camb. Phil. Soc. 19: 283–292. Note added in proof Subsequent to our paper being accepted for publication, Dr Wolfgang Sterrer has kindly sent us the details of where on Bermuda he found the Geonemertes pelaensis specimens, together with the comments that “...I collected this beast, which in my 29 years in Bermuda I had never seen before, at three locations...within two weeks...Simultaneously, it seems, Bermuda's only terrestrial flatworm, Bipalium kewense, became much less common. Is it possible the nemertean feeds on the flatworm?” The locations where the Geonemertes pelaensis were found on Bermuda, together with theirMuseum reference numbers, are: 11 July 1998, under a stone in the Botanical Gardens at Paget: BAMZ 1998.168.022 17 July 1998, between empty flower pots, Aquarium grounds in Flatts: BAMZ 1998.169.005 25 July 1998, under a concrete block in a garden (12 individuals), Narrows Lane, St. David's: BAMZ 1998.169.009Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Janet Moore
    • 1
  • Ray Gibson
    • 2
  • Hugh D. Jones
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of ZoologyUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeU.K.
  2. 2.School of Biological and Earth SciencesLiverpool John Moores UniversityLiverpoolU.K.
  3. 3.School of Biological SciencesUniversity of ManchesterManchesterU.K.

Personalised recommendations