Navigation Links
Thailand: Astonishing 10 new species of semi-aquatic freshwater earthworms revealed
Date:2/6/2013

The semi-aquatic earthworms in the genus Glyphidrilus are somewhat unfamiliar species that live between the terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems of rivers, streams, canals, ponds, swamps and paddy systems. Remarkably, each species is endemic to a single water basin, carrying its own signature of evolution from their common origin. A study describing ten newly discovered species of the genus has been published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

In Thailand, the species demonstrate astonishing biodiversity due to the monsoon climate contributing to drastic river system changes and a large variety of microhabitats. While general interconnections among these allow for gene flow, their great diversity leads to independent evolution and specialization in isolation.

The animals orient themselves vertically, with their bodies in the wet soil along the banks and tails placed on the soil surface. Among the interesting characteristics of these worms is a rounded body tip, while the end is square shaped. When twisted, the posterior end, which is normally above the soil surface, forms U-shaped channels. These are used to allow water circulation down the burrow. This is probably an evolutionary adjustments that ensures oxygen transport to the deeper surface of the worms, while their bodies remain in the burrows.

Another peculiar feature are the so-called "wings", or the expanded part of epidermis near the body tip. The function of the wings is still unknown to scientists, but it has been suggested that they evolved to assist breathing in such aquatic habitats. Because the wings will be located deep in the burrow at a low oxygen supply and are absent in sexually immature juveniles, a more conventional explanation might be that they are used to aid copulation rather than respiration.

Among the natural habitats of these worms are the rice fields in Thailand, which serve as a reservoir and breeding ground for the animals. The worms turn out to play an important role in the development of rice farming, being a facilitator in the decomposition of organic matter to be a natural fertilizer, as well as improving the soil properties for better rice root system. The species also assist the release of essential minerals in some chemical fertilizers, though not in pesticides, which prove to be lethal to the worms.

The increased use of pesticides in agriculture puts these species in danger. The author Dr. Somsak Panha, from the Animal Systematics Research Unit, Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, Thailand, comments: "The worms will survive in areas using chemical fertilizers but not those using chemical pesticides. However, the worms did well in areas of organic farming and so are likely to be sensitive to modern agrochemical contamination of the environment. They may play an important role in organic rice farming."


'/>"/>

Contact: Somsak Panha
Somsak.Pan@chula.ac.th
66-819-967-910
Pensoft Publishers
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Biocontrol research on Brazilian peppertree in Florida discovers new cryptic species
2. Polar bear researchers urge governments to act now and save the species
3. 24 new species of flower fly have been found in Central and Southern America
4. Previous unknown fox species found
5. Novel approach to track migration of arctic-breeding avian species
6. Invading species can extinguish native plants despite recent reports
7. Low extinction rates made California a refuge for diverse plant species
8. A new fish species from Lake Victoria named in honor of the author of Darwins Dreampond
9. News for conservationists: Scientists challenge ideas about natural habitats and species diversity
10. 2 new species of orchid found in Cuba
11. Discovery of Africa moth species important for agriculture, controlling invasive plants
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Thailand: Astonishing 10 new species of semi-aquatic freshwater earthworms revealed
(Date:5/20/2016)... -- VoiceIt is excited to announce its new marketing ... working together, VoiceIt and VoicePass will offer an ... slightly different approaches to voice biometrics, collaboration between ... Both companies ... "This marketing and technology partnership allows VoiceIt ...
(Date:5/3/2016)... , May 3, 2016  Neurotechnology, a ... the MegaMatcher Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS) ... large-scale multi-biometric projects. MegaMatcher ABIS can process multiple ... using any combination of fingerprint, face or iris ... MegaMatcher SDK and MegaMatcher Accelerator , ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the ...  report to their offering.  , ,     (Logo: ... forecast the global multimodal biometrics market to grow ... 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics is being implemented ... healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and government for controlling ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , June 24, 2016 Epic Sciences ... detects cancers susceptible to PARP inhibitors by targeting ... cells (CTCs). The new test has already been ... in multiple cancer types. Over 230 ... damage response pathways, including PARP, ATM, ATR, DNA-PK ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... release of its second eBook, “Clinical Trials Patient Recruitment and Retention Tips.” Partnering ... retention in this eBook by providing practical tips, tools, and strategies for clinical ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT has announced ... biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics Inc. ("Propellon" ... commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class WDR5 inhibitors ... such as WDR5 represent an exciting class of ... precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial advances have ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... Lawrence, MA (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 ... ... the Peel Plate® YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research ... test platform of microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President ...
Breaking Biology Technology: