Moniligaster barwelli Beddard, 1886

Blakemore, Robert, Kupriyanova, Elena & Grygier, Mark, 2010, Neotypification of Drawida hattamimizu Hatai, 1930 (Annelida, Oligochaeta, Megadrili, Moniligastridae) as a model linking mtDNA (COI) sequences to an earthworm type, with a response to the ' Can of Worms' theory of cryptic species, ZooKeys 41 (4), pp. 1-29 : 5-6

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Moniligaster barwelli Beddard, 1886


Type-species: Moniligaster barwelli Beddard, 1886 from Manila, by original designation.

Genus diagnosis (amended slightly from Michaelsen, 1900: 114; Stephenson, 1923, 1930; Gates, 1962, 1972; Blakemore, 2002, 2008a): Small to giant [̴ 1,000 mm e.g. Drawida hattamimizu , D. grandis (Bourne, 1887) ] terrestrial earthworms. Setae lumbricine [said to have a “ smooth body without setae ” in D. zhangetalia Blakemore, 2006 nom. nov. pro D. cheni Zhang et al., 2006 (non D. cheni Gates, 1935 )]. Dorsal pores absent or intermittently present (e.g. in some D. barwelli , and cf. D. japonica RJB pers. obs.). Spermathecal pores at 7/8 (spermathecae without Y-shaped “ dichotomously branched glands ” of Moniligaster Perrier, 1872 ). Clitellum includes segments 10–13 but its exact extent often obscure. Male pores usually in or near 10/11 and female pores in or near 11/12. A pair of testes and male funnels typically in intraseptal sacs of 9/10. Short or sessile pseudo-prostates associated with male atria. Ovaries and oviducts typically in 11 with a pair of ovisacs extending posteriorly from septum 11/12. Last hearts in 9. Several, i.e., two to eight (or exceptionally nine in D. hattamimizu ) moniliform intestinal gizzards within segments 11–27 [or 27–34 in D. nilamburensis (Bourne, 1894) ]. Holoic (and sometimes vesiculate) with blood capillaries on the nephridia. Oesophageal gizzards, calciferous glands, and intestinal caeca absent.

Taxonomic Note: Gender of the name Drawida – after the ‘Dravidians’ of Southern India / Sri Lanka – was not initially stated, but Easton (1984: 111), citing ICZN articles (now ICZN, 1999: Art. 30.1.4), proposed to continue its treatment as a Latinized feminine noun.

Distribution: Indo-Oriental region, very widespread: “ Drawida has a self-acquired range which may only be exceeded by that of the Lumbricidae , and is larger than that of the Pheretima s. lat. domain, consequently it is expected to yield proportionately more species... Possibly, Drawida alone may prove to have the greater number of species ” ( Gates 1972: 238–239). However, currently only about 200 nominal taxa are known (cf. 670 holarctic Lumbricidae versus 940 or so valid species of oriental pheretimoids in the family Megascolecidae - Blakemore 2007a, 2008a). Described by Stephenson (1923: 118, 124, Chart 1) as “ one of the large Indian genera ”, its centres of diversity appears to lie in Sri Lanka, southern India, the eastern Himalayas, and Myanmar. At least one supposed native, Drawida ghilarovi Gates, 1969 from Russia in south-east Siberia, is listed in the Red Data Book for that region (Anon. 1997). The type, Drawida barwelli , was first recorded as an exotic from Australia by Blakemore (1994, 1999), from China (Hainan) by Blakemore (2007a, 2008a), and is a new Japanese record as “ D. cf. barwelli ” in the present study (from Kurotsu and Inazu, Shiga-ken - Biwako samples 4 and 5, collected from rice paddies, 17.VI.2009 by RJB & MJG). Relatively few species, apart from the cosmopolitan D. barwelli , are peregrine: D. japonica (Michaelsen, 1892) has been reported from the western Indian Himalayas, Yunnan and Szechuan in China, Japan, and Korea, and is also found on Taiwan (also cf. D. ramnadana Michaelsen, 1907 from south India), but Gates (1972) was of the opinion that some records of D. japonica outside Japan / Korea were misidentifications. This latter possibility is briefly investigated herein as part of further studies (Blakemore in prep.) on its relationship with D. barwelli proper.

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