Friday, 28 June 2013

Two new species of Earthworm from Korea.

Earthworms play a major role in the formation of soils in many parts of the world (though soils can and do form in there absence), ingesting and breaking larger portions of organic material and producing a nitrogen rich humus. This role in soil formation makes them very important members of many ecosystems, yet they are often not well understood, with the biology of only a few European species studied extensively.

In a paper published in the journal ZooKeys on 6 June 2013, Robert Blakemore, Seunghan Lee and Wonchoel Lee of the Biodiversity Laboratory at the College of Natural Science at Hanyang University, and Hong-Yul Seo of the National Institute of Biological Resources, describe two new species of Earthworm from Jeollabuck and Gangwon Provinces in South Korea.

The first new species is placed in the genus Amynthas and given the specific name daeari, after the location where it was discovered, Daea-ri village in Jeollabuck Province. Amynthas daeari is a 150 mm Earthworm found living in leaf-litter in woodland. It has a single female pore on segment 14 and paired male pores on segment 18.

Amynthas daeari. Blackmore et al. (2013).

The second new species is also placed in the genus Amynthas, and given the specific name jinburi, after the location where it was found, Jinbu-ri in Gangwon Province. Amynthas jinburi is a 210 mm Earthworm, living in deep burrows in remote mountain areas, where it is thought to be geophagus (i.e. consume significant amounts of rock-derived minerals. It also has a single female pore on segment 14 and paired male pores on segment 18.

Amynthas jinburiBlackmore et al. (2013).

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