E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Wildlife of British Columbia

Arctiostrotus perrieri Benham 1892
Family: Acanthodrilidae

Photo of species

© William Leonard  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #8701)

Earthworm distribution in BC
Distribution of Arctiostrotus perrieri in British Columbia.
(Click on the map to view a larger version.)


The earthworms of British Columbia are a little known faunal group. We would like to thank the Royal Ontario Museum for providing permissions to use extracts, including illustrations, from the following publication in the atlas pages: Reynolds, John W. 1977. The Earthworms (Lumbricidae and Sparganophilidae) of Ontario. Thanks also to John Reynolds for provision of substantial information on earthworms and review of the atlas pages.

Species Information

This native species is considered an ancient species (Marshall and Fender 2005). McKey-Fender et al. (1994) provide a detailed taxonomic description for Vancouver Island specimens of the species; John Reynolds has summarized this description as follows: “Length 74-88 mm, diameter 4.5-6 mm, segment number 113-121, prostomium epilobic, half open behind, 1st dorsal pore behind clitellum. Clitellum annular, xiii-xviii. Setae separate, AA:AB:BC:CD:DD = 2.6:1.0:2.4:2.2:4.0, DD:U = 0.33 on x, DD:U = 0.41 on xxx. Penial setae strong, curved, sculptured, with rows of teeth, 845 x 26 μ. Male porophores paired, broadly lunate, each with 3 pores (male pore and 2 penisetal pores), covering xviii and encroaching on xvii and xix, centering in B. Genital markings intersegmental, paired or unilateral 19/29, short transverse ovals centered in A. Proventriculus thin-walled, smooth internally. Gizzard mostly in v, 5/6 thin, gizzard short. anterior oesophagus in vii-xiv. Intestine expands in xvii, Typhlosole cross section a narrow-limbed T shape, beginning in xxi and xxii. Posterior calciferous gland region xv and xvi. Caeca paired on dorsum of intestine, deeply saccate in xxiii-xxviii plus lesser sacs in xxix-xxx and bulges in xxxi-xxxiii. Seminal vesciles, postseptal dorsolaterally in xi and xii. Holandric, testes and funnels free in x and xi. Spermathecae, quadrithecal, in vii and ix with broadly ovoid ampulla, spermathecal pores in furrows 7/8 and 8/9. Nephropores inconspicuous. Colour, unpigmented.”

Source: Marshall, Valin G. and William M. Fender. 2007. Native and Introduced Earthworms (Oligochaeta) of British Columbia. Megadrilogica 11 (4): 29-52.


Species Biology

This genus is generally very intolerant of heat (Hendrix 1995).


This genus is generally very intolerant of heat (Hendrix 1995).


Global Range

This species is known only from Canada and the US. In the US it is known from ID, OR and WA (McKey-Fender at al. (1994).
Canadian and BC Range

In Oregon, this species has been found in cool canyons, in cold-water springs, and on an exosed ocean headland, in the spray zone (McKey-Fender et al. (1994). A typical resident of mixed forests in Oregon (Hendrix 1995). Associated with Garry Oak Ecosystems in BC (GOERT 2003). Collected from Cedar-Hemlock and Hemock-Amabilis communities on northern Vancouer Island (Battigelli 1988). Identification verified by William Fender.

Status Information

Origin StatusProvincial StatusBC List
(Red Blue List)
BC Ministry of Environment: BC Species and Ecosystems Explorer--the authoritative source for conservation information in British Columbia.

Additional Photo Sources

General References

Recommended citation: Author, Date. Page title. In Klinkenberg, Brian. (Editor) 2021. E-Fauna BC: Electronic Atlas of the Fauna of British Columbia [efauna.bc.ca]. Lab for Advanced Spatial Analysis, Department of Geography, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. [Accessed: 2022-08-09 9:42:14 AM]
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