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.
Click on the image(s) below to view an expanded illustration for this taxon.
This is an introduced European species of earthworm. Reynolds (1977) provides the following description for it: “Length, 30-50 mm (generally <35mm), diameter 3-5 mm, segment number 70-100, prostomium tanylobic, first dorsal pore 5/6-8/9. Clitellum xxviii-xxxiii. Tubercula pubertatis xxix-xxxii. Setae closely paired, AA ≅ BC, AB > CD, DD ≅ ½ C anteriorly and DD < ½C posteriorly. Setae a and b on ix and/or x on pale genital tumescences fused ventrally. Male pores inconspicuous on xv. Seminal vesicles, three pairs in 9, 11 and 12 + 13. Spermathecae, two pairs with short ducts in 9/10 and 10/11. Colour, deeply pigmented with dark red, chestnut, violet brown and strongly iridescent. Body cylindrical and dorsoventrally flattened posteriorly.”
Reynolds (1977) indicates: “Under favourable conditions activity can be year round...Aestivation involves immobility and tight coiling in a small mucus-lined cavity; whether hibernation involves quiescence or diapause is not known. This species is obligatorily parthenogenetic (Muldal, 1952; Omodeo, 1955b; Reynolds, 1974c). The first reports of uniparental reproduction for megadriles involved experiments with [this species] (Gavrilov, 1935, 1939).”
This species is reported from streams and under red cedar (Marshall and Fender 2007). Reynolds (1977) provides the following habitat information: “[This species] is a limicolous species and shows a marked preference for damp habitats. It is known from wells, springs, subterranean waters, rivers, ponds, lakes and canals, and maybe one of the dominant animals in the dense moss of swift streams (Gates, 1972c). In Ohio it has been recorded for soils with a pH range of 6.8-8.5, a moisture content of 25-35%, and an organic matter content of 4-5%. It is the most common megadrile in British caves and is known from caves in the rest of Europe and in South Africa. Olson (1928, 1936) and Eaton (1942) reported this species from water-soaked banks of streams and lake shores, from bottom lands subject to flooding, or with high water table, and from seepage areas around springs at upland sites. The soil types for these sites varied from peaty organic material to sandy gravel.”
Reynolds (1977) says: “A native of Palaearctis,[this species] is now known from Europe, North America, South America, Asia, Africa, and Australasia. It also occurs in Iceland (Backlund, 1949). Reynolds and Wetzel (2008) report it from Mexico, Canada and the US. It is another cosmopolitan species that has been carried around the world.” In the US, it is reported from AK, AR, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MT, NC, ND, NH, NJ, NY, NV, OH, OR, PA, RI, SD, TN, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY (Reynolds and Wetzel 2008).
Canadian and BC Range
In Canada reported from BC, LB, MB, NB, NF, NS, NT, NU, ON, PE, PQ (Reynolds and Wetzel 2008). In BC, it has been reported from Nanaimo, from west of Agassiz, from w. of Douglas Peak and from Westham Island (Marshall and Fender 2007). BEC zones: CDF and CWH (Marshall and Fender 2007).
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:
2022-06-28 3:25:53 PM]
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