Illinois Natural History Survey - University of Illinois


Compiled by

Kathryn A. Coates, Jan M. Locke, *Brenda M. Healy, and Mark J. Wetzel

This web site established and maintained by

Mark J. Wetzel, Research Scientist, Illinois Natural History Survey (INHS), Champaign, Illinois USA 61820 
Dr. Kathryn A. Coates, Research Scientist (formerly, St. George's, Bermuda)

* Our dear friend and colleague, Brenda Healy, passed away on 5 March 2006 in Ireland. A memoriam celebrating her life was published in the proceedings of our 10th International symposium on Aquatic Oligochaeta [Acta Hydrobiologica Sinica, vol. 31: 1-9] in mid-2008, and is also accessible as a pdf download via a link from her name HERE. We miss her very much.

This website is updated periodically; we welcome your suggestions, additions, and corrigenda. [ updated: 2019-III-09 ]

Introduction. This electronic document provides a current checklist of North American species of Enchytraeidae and Propappidae (Annelida, Clitellata, Oligochaeta); marine, estuarine, and freshwater species are included. The list is not intended to be a taxonomic revision; nomenclature presented herein reflects the majority opinion of that published in the scientific literature. The scope of this list was initiated in 1989 by two of the authors (Coates and Wetzel) through their association with and guidance from the Committees on Common and Scientific Names of Aquatic Invertebrates sponsored by the American Fisheries Society (AFS-CNAI) and the North American Benthological Society (NABS), now the Society for Freshwater Science.

Objective. This list reflects a thorough and continuing survey of the historical and current literature, reflected in the modification date at the end of this electronic document. In the future, we hope to resolve errors and omissions that have inevitably occurred, then publish this document in the peer-reviewed literature. Your comments and contributions are welcome.

Taxonomic Coverage. Currently, more than 830 species of annelids representing 27 families of oligochaetous Clitellata, Aphanoneura, Branchiobdellae, Acanthobdellae, and Hirudinida  are recognized as occurring in the U.S. and Canada; these include both native and introduced species. Certainly, continued systematic studies will add new species, identify previously recognized species as synonyms, and contribute to revisions within the family.

Area of Coverage. This list includes all species enchytraeids and propappids from the United States and Canada that live in (1) fresh waters, including wetlands, (2) marine waters from shoreline habitats out to a depth of 200 m on the continental shelf or a distance of 125 km offshore on the continental shelf where the depth is less than 200 m, (3) estuaries, and (4) terrestrial habitats (e.g., gardens, woodlands, mountains, deserts, and caves). Annelids from the Arctic Ocean and the northern Gulf of Mexico, south, to the mouth of the Rio Grande are included. Grainger's (1971) definition of the Arctic Ocean is followed, which, to the west, includes the waters north of the Bering Strait, and to the east includes all waters west of the eastern end of Hudson Strait (including Hudson Bay, Ungava Bay, Frobisher Bay, and Cumberland Sound) and waters north of the Arctic Circle in Davis Strait. Annelids known only from offshore islands (e.g., Greenland, Iceland, Bermuda, the Bahamas, and the West Indies) are excluded. A lack of studies and/or the absence of a good compilation of literature on the annelids of many regions in the area may have resulted in the exclusion of numerous taxa. Species known from the periphery of the area of coverage, e.g., Mexico (including Baja California), are likely to be found to have populations extending into the study area.

For the eastern Pacific region, published records of annelids from waters along Canadian and U.S. shores and coastal islands, from the Aleutian Islands to the Mexico - United States boundary, are listed. Hawai'i and the Pacific Trust Territories are excluded from the study area for two major reasons: (1) their faunas are of Indo-Pacific origin whereas the northeast Pacific Coast fauna is largely indigenous or Holarctic, and (2) the preceding AFS endeavors excluded Hawai'i and the Trust Territories from its study area. Annelids occurring in Hawai'i may be included in later editions.

Common Names. The AFS-CNAI acknowledges the need to recognize common names that reflect broad current usage; adopt appropriate names from the rich and colorful vernacular names that exist; and develop descriptive names when desirable, based on AFS guidelines and principles. The Committee expects that the selected vernacular names and newly designated names of this list will be widely used after publication.

The AFS-CNAI Annelida Subcommittee recognizes that common names of annelids are used primarily by commercial wormers and amateur collectors, for aquarium specimens, in ecological studies, in government listings of threatened and endangered species, and in popular writing. Common names of annelids are uncommon and usually absent from scientific writings, however, especially those focusing on freshwater species. The Annelida Subcommittee has taken the position that standardized and uniform common names should always be referenced with appropriate scientific names - not used as substitutes for them. Proper identification and recording of some species are important because of their high economic values. Worm and leech bait-industries have a total value in southern Ontario, Canada, alone of several million dollars. The existence of different common names in separate areas of a species' geographic range creates difficulties in communication. Similarly, a single common name employed in several places for diverse species causes confusion. Therefore, because common names have been assigned to only a few species to date, only common names recognized for some of the higher taxa will be included in this electronic posting (e.g., Family Enchytraeidae - potworms). The Annelida Subcommittee will not be proposing common names for annelid species that do not presently have one or more common names established in the literature.

Plan of the List. The list of annelids is presented in a natural or phyletic sequence of classes and orders, as this natural sequence is currently understood, with families, genera, and species within each order arranged alphabetically. The higher classification of Annelida is complex, controversial, and frequently revised. The classification adopted here is conservative - it reflects only the consistently supported parts of the phylogeny of annelids (Timm, 1981; Brinkhurst, 1982; Kasprzak, 1984; Jamieson, 1988; Holt, 1989; Gelder 1996; other recent papers to be added here) and is not resolved where relationships are unsupported by data; alphabetical listings predominate. Undoubtedly, the hierarchical status of groups will change in the future - resulting from ongoing studies of the relationships among clitellates as well as those between all clitellate and aclitellate groups of annelids.

Authors and dates of establishment for scientific names of species are included in this list. These are commonly needed by persons who may not have ready access to the original literature. Use of the authority's names reflects a current interpretation of the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (1999). In line with that code, the name(s) of the author(s) and date of publication follow the specific name; if the species was originally described in another genus, the name of the author and date appear in parentheses. Some synonyms have been noted [= name] of North American names synonymized with European taxa. Frequently, the North American names are re-erected subsequent to detailed comparative studies of North American specimens.

In 2003, Rüdiger Schmelz published an extensive revision of the species in the genus Fridericia, so you are encouraged to secure a copy of that book for a current perspective on the species in this genus [taxonomy, nomenclature, morphology, biochemistry, valid species, nomina dubia, species transferred to other genera, an extensive reference section, and numerous figures]. a full citation and information on ordering a copy of this publication is included on the page accessed via the 'Literature Cited and Selected References for Enchytraeidae.....' website link, below.

Occurrences of species by province and state will not be provided here; an annotated list of species, including common names, is currently being prepared for publication in a print medium.

Please also visit the following websites focusing on Enchytraeidae of North America and elsewhere in the World.

Key to Grania of North America, Bermuda, and the Caribbean (Annelida: Clitellata: Enchytraeidae)

> List of Marine Species in the Family Enchytraeidae (Annelida: Clitellata: Enchytraeida)

Glossary to diagnostic characters and definitions for Enchytraeidae and Propappidae

Literature Cited and Selected References for Enchytraeidae and Propappidae (Annelida: Clitellata: Enchytraeida)

The following list is incomplete at this time; additional species will be added soon.







Genus Achaeta Vejdovský, 1877

Achaeta camerani (Cognetti, 1899) 

Achaeta eiseni (Vejdovský, 1877) 

Achaeta silvatica Nurminen, 1973

Genus Barbidrilus Loden & Locy, 1980

Barbidrilus paucisetus Loden & Locy, 1980

Genus Bryodrilus Ude, 1892

Bryodrilus arctica (Bell, 1962) 

Bryodrilus ehlersi Ude, 1892 

Bryodrilus novaescotiae (Bell, 1962)

Bryodrilus parvus Nurminen, 1970

Bryodrilus parvus kananaskis Dash, 1970

Genus Buchholzia Michaelsen, 1886

Buchholzia appendiculata (Buchholz, 1862)

Buchholzia fallax Michaelsen, 1887

Genus Cernosvitoviella Nielsen & Christensen, 1959

Cernosvitoviella atrata (Bretscher, 1903) 

Cernosvitoviella celere Nurminen, 1973

Cernosvitoviella christenseni Dash, 1970

Cernosvitoviella immota (Knöllner, 1935) 

Cernosvitoviella pusilla Nurminen, 1973

Cernosvitoviella tatrensis (Kowalewski, 1916)

Genus Cognettia Nielsen & Christensen, 1959 – invalidated **
     the genus is now a junior synonym of Chamaedrilus

Genus Chamaedrilus Friend, 1913

Chamaedrilus floridae (Healy, 1996)

Chamaedrilus glandulosa (Michaelsen, 1888) 

Chamaedrilus sphagnetorum (Vejdovský, 1878)

Genus Enchytraeus Henle, 1837

Enchytraeus albidus Henle, 1837

Enchytraeus buchholzi Vejdovský, 1879

Enchytraeus capitiatus von Bulow, 1957

Enchytraeus citrinus Eisen, 1904 - incertae sedis

Enchytraeus fragmentosus Bell, 1959 - incertae sedis

Enchytraeus gillettensis Welch, 1914

Enchytraeus kincaidi Eisen, 1904

Enchytraeus metlakatlensis Eisen, 1904 - incertae sedis

Enchytraeus minutus Nielsen & Christensen, 1961

Enchytraeus multiannulatoides Altman, 1936

Enchytraeus multiannulatus Altman, 1936

Enchytraeus rupus Coates, 1980

Enchytraeus saxicola Eisen, 1904 - incertae sedis

Enchytraeus syracussus (Dash & Mitchell, 1981)

Genus Fridericia Michaelsen, 1889

Fridericia agilis Smith, 1895

Fridericia agricola Moore, 1895 

Fridericia berkeleyensis Bell, 1936

Fridericia bulboides Nielsen & Christensen, 1959

Fridericia bulbosa (Rosa, 1887) - nomen dubium

[ = F. alba Moore, 1895 - nomen dubium]

[ = F. parva Moore, 1895 - nomen dubium]

Fridericia douglasensis Welch, 1914

Fridericia firma Smith & Welch, 1913

Fridericia fuchsi Eisen, 1904 - nomen dubium

Fridericia galba (Hoffmeister, 1843) 

Fridericia harrimani Eisen, 1904 - nomen dubium

Fridericia johnsoni Eisen, 1904 - nomen dubium

Fridericia kalffi Nurminen, 1973 - nomen dubium

Fridericia longa Moore, 1895 - nomen dubium

Fridericia losangelensis Bell, 1936

Fridericia macgregori Eisen, 1904

Fridericia oconeensis Welch, 1914

Fridericia paroniana Issel, 1904

[ = Fridericia vancouverensis Dash, 1983]

Fridericia perrieri (Vejdovský, 1878) 

Fridericia popofiana Eisen, 1904 - nomen dubium

Fridericia pretoriana Stephenson, 1930

[ = Fridericia caprensis Bell, 1947; augm. Nielsen & Christensen, 1959]

Fridericia ratzeli (Eisen, 1872) 

[ = F. californica Eisen, 1904] 

[ = F. canadensis Dash, 1972]

[ = F. macgregori Eisen, 1904]

[ = F. sacculata Bell, 1936]

[ = F. tenera Smith & Welch, 1913]

[ = F. whatcomae Altman, 1936]

Fridericia santaebarbarae Eisen, 1904 - nomen dubium

Fridericia santaerosae Eisen, 1904 - nomen dubium

Fridericia silvestris (Leidy, 1882) - nomen dubium

Fridericia sima Welch, 1914

Fridericia striata (Levinsen, 1884) 

[Fridericia syracussa Dash & Mitchell, 1981] -- nov comb. Enchytraeus syracussus

Genus Grania Southern, 1913

Grania americana Kennedy, 1966

Grania atlantica Coates & Erséus, 1985

Grania bermudensis Lasserre & Erséus, 1976

Grania hylae Locke & Coates, 1999

Grania incerta Coates & Erséus, 1980

Grania laxartus Locke & Coates, 1999

Grania levis Coates & Erséus, 1985

Grania longiducta Erséus, & Lasserre, 1976

Grania monospermatheca Erséus, & Lasserre, 1976

Grania paucispina (Eisen, 1904) 

Grania reducta Coates & Erséus, 1985

Genus Guaranidrilus Cernosvitov, 1937

Guaranidrilus europeus Healy, 1979
Guaranidrilus oregonensis Coates & Diaz, 1988

Genus Hemienchytraeus Cernosvitov, 1934

Hemienchytraeus bifurcatus Nielsen & Christensen, 1959
Hemienchytraeus stephensoni (Cognetti, 1927)

Genus Henlea Michaelsen, 1989

Henlea californica Eisen, 1904

Henlea californica monticola Eisen, 1904

Henlea ehrhorni Eisen, 1904

Henlea eiseni Bell, 1942

Henlea glabra Altman, 1936

Henlea helenae Eisen, 1904

Henlea heleotropha Stephenson, 1922; augm. Nielsen & Christensen, 1959

Henlea moderatoidea Altman, 1936

Henlea nasuta Eisen, 1878

Henlea ochracea (Eisen, 1878) 

[ = H. arctica Welch, 1919] 

[ = H. moderata Welch, 1914] 

[ = H. tubulifera Welch, 1914]

Henlea perpusilla Friend, 1911; augm. Cernosvitov, 1937

Henlea scharffi Southern, 1910

Henlea udei (Eisen, 1904); augm. Holmquist, 1968

[ = Bryohenlea nuda Bell, 1962]

Henlea urbanensis Welch, 1914

Henlea ventriculosa (d'Udekem, 1854) 

Henlea welchi Bell, 1942

Henlea yukonensis Tynen & Coates, 1991

Genus Lumbricillus Ørsted, 1844

Lumbricillus annulatus Eisen, 1904

Lumbricillus arenarius (Michaelsen, 1889), sensu Knöllner, 1935

Lumbricillus belli Tynen, 1969

Lumbricillus charae (Tynen, 1970) 

Lumbricillis curtus Coates, 1981

Lumbricillus franciscanus Eisen, 1904 - incertae sedis

Lumbricillus franciscanus borealis Eisen, 1904 - incertae sedis

Lumbricillus franciscanus unalaskae Eisen, 1904 - incertae sedis

Lumbricillus kalatdlitus Nurminen, 1970

Lumbricillus lineatus (O.F. Müller, 1774) 

[ = L. agilis Moore, 1905]

Lumbricillus merriami Eisen, 1904 - incertae sedis

Lumbricillus merriami elongatus Eisen, 1904

Lumbricillus mirabilis Tynen, 1969

Lumbricillus pagenstecheri Ratzel, 1869

[ = L. ritteri Eisen, 1904]

[ = L. georgensis Tynen, 1969]
Lumbricillus qualicumensis Tynen, 1969
Lumbricillus rivalis (Levinsen, 1883) augm. Ditlevesen, 1904

[ = L. rutilus Welch, 1914]

Lumbricillis rupertensis Coates, 1981

Lumbricillus santaeclarae Eisen, 1904

Lumbricillis tsimpseanis Coates, 1981

Lumbricillis tuba Stephenson, 1911

Genus Marionina Michaelsen, in Pfeffer, 1890

Marionina achaeta Lasserre, 1964

Marionina alaskae Eisen, 1904 - incertae sedis

Marionina appendiculata Nielsen & Christensen, 1959

Marionina argentea (Michaelsen, 1889)

Marionina canadensis Dash, 1970

Marionina charlottensis Coates, 1980

Marionina craggi Dash, 1970

Marionina diazi Coates & Erséus, 1985

Marionina dirksi Bell, 1942

Marionina eiseni (Cernosvitov, 1937) - species inquirende

Marionina forbesae Smith & Welch, 1913 - incertae sedis

Marionina glandulifera (Jansson, 1960) 

Marionina klaskisharum Coates, 1983

Marionina neroutsensis Coates, 1980

Marionina nevisensis Righi & Kanner, 1979

Marionina paludis Healy, 1994

Marionina preclitellochaeta Nielsen & Christensen, 1963

Marionina sjaelandica Nielsen & Christensen, 1961

Marionina southerni (Cernosvitov, 1937) 

Marionina spartinae Healy, 1994

Marionina spicula (Leuckart, 1847)

Marionina subterranea (Knöllner, 1935)

Marionina tubifera Nielsen & Christensen, 1959

Marionina vancouverensis Coates, 1980

Marionina waltersi Healy, 1994

Marionina welchi Lasserre, 1971

Genus Mesenchytraeus Eisen, 1878

Mesenchytraeus altus Welch, 1917

Mesenchytraeus americanus Bell, 1942

Mesenchytraeus antaeus Rota & Brinkhurst, 2000

Mesenchytraeus arcticus Bell, 1962

Mesenchytraeus argentatus Nurminen, 1973

Mesenchytraeus armatus (Levinsen, 1884) 

Mesenchytraeus armatus kananaskis Dash, 1970

Mesenchytraeus atriaphorus Altman, 1936

Mesenchytraeus beringensis Eisen, 1904

Mesenchytraeus chromophorus Altman, 1936

Mesenchytraeus diplobulbosus Bell, 1949

Mesenchytraeus eastwoodi Eisen, 1904

Mesenchytraeus fontinalis Eisen, 1904

Mesenchytraeus franciscanus Eisen, 1904

Mesenchytraeus fuscus Eisen, 1904

Mesenchytraeus fuscus inermis Eisen, 1904

Mesenchytraeus gelidus Welch, 1916

Mesenchytraeus grandis Eisen, 1904

Mesenchytraeus hamiltoni Healy, 1996

Mesenchytraeus harrimani Eisen, 1904

Mesenchytraeus johanseni Welch, 1919

Mesenchytraeus kincaidi Eisen, 1904

Mesenchytraeus macnabi Bell, 1942

Mesenchytraeus maculatus Eisen, 1904

Mesenchytraeus magnus Altman, 1936

Mesenchytraeus minimus Altman, 1936

Mesenchytraeus monothecatus Bell, 1945

Mesenchytraeus nanus Eisen, 1904

Mesenchytraeus obscurus Eisen, 1904

Mesenchytraeus orcae Eisen, 1904

Mesenchytraeus pedatus Eisen, 1904

Mesenchytraeus penicillus Eisen, 1904

Mesenchytraeus setchelli Eisen, 1904

Mesenchytraeus solifugus (Emery, 1898) - ice worm, glacier ice worm

Mesenchytraeus unalaskae Eisen, 1904

Mesenchytraeus vegae Eisen, 1904

Genus Randidrilus Coates & Erséus, 1985

Randidrilus codensis (Lasserre, 1971)

Randidrilus quadrithecatus Coates & Erséus, 1985

Genus Stephensoniella Cernosvitov, 1934

Stephensoniella marina (Moore, 1902) 

Stephensoniella sterreri (Lasserre & Erséus, 1976) 

Stephensoniella trevori (Coates, 1980) 


Genus Propappus Michaelsen, 1905

Propappus volki Michaelsen, 1922 -- considered introduced to North America.

**  Colleagues Martinsson, Rota and Erséus (2015), in their revision of the genus Cognettia Nielsen & Christensen, 1959, transferred the majority of species in this genus [including the type species, Cognettia sphagnetorum (Vejdovský, 1878)] to the genus Chamaedrilus Friend, 1913; a few other former Cognettia species were transferred to the genus Euenchytraeus Bretscher, 1906.  In addition, the authors re-described several species, including the types for Chamaedrilus and Cognettia, and described two species new to science.  The authors also emphasized the importance of using molecular methods (e.g., DNA barcoding) to attain reliable identification of these enchytraeid taxa.  Schmelz and Collado (2015) affirmed Cognettia as a junior synonym of Chamaedrilus.

Martinsson, S.; Rota, E.; Erséus, C. 2015. Revision of Cognettia (Clitellata, Enchytraeidae): re-establishment of Chamaedrilus and description of cryptic species in the sphagnetorum complex. Systematics and Biodiversity 13(3): 257-277.

Schmelz, R.M.; Collado, R. 2015. Checklist of taxa of Enchytraeidae (Oligochaeta): an update. Soil Organisms 87(2): 149-152.


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