Checklist: Aquatic Annelida of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park

Aquatic Annelida of the Colorado River and its tributaries in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona (GCNP) – a preliminary checklist

There are no historical records in the published literature documenting the occurrence of aquatic Annelida in the Colorado River and its tributaries within the Grand Canyon National Park. A survey of the invertebrate faunas of three stream caves in the Grand Canyon by Peck (1980) yielded neither aquatic annelids nor other aquatic invertebrates. Several recent papers relating to this current research on benthic dynamics of the Colorado River have noted the presence of Oligochaeta in the river and its tributaries (Benenati et al. 2000; Blinn et al. 1995; Blinn et al. 1999; Shannon et al. 1994; Shannon et al. 1996; Shaver et al. 1997; Stevens et al. 1997; Oberlin et al. 1999) but none provided identifications beyond that of ‘Oligochaeta’ or the families Lumbricidae, Lumbriculidae, Naididae, and Tubificidae. Wetzel et al. (1999) published the first records for aquatic oligochaetes of Montezuma Well, Arizona; in that paper, the authors reviewed past records of specimens from elsewhere in Arizona, and recognized 10 species as new for the state. Historical and recent records of aquatic oligochaetes occurring in North America are noted in Brinkhurst and Jamieson (1971), Brinkhurst and Wetzel (1984), Klemm (1985, 1995), Brinkhurst (1986), Brinkhurst and Gelder (1991, 2001), Kathman and Brinkhurst (1998), Wetzel et al. (2006a, 2006b, 2009), Coates and Wetzel (unpublished); INHS Annelida Collection records; and numerous other published papers.The binomial nomenclature of aquatic annelids provided below reflect recent nomenclatural and systematic changes, and correct date-of-publication errors that had been perpetuated in past literature. References noted in the text of this document are included in the ‘Literature Cited & Selected References–GCNP‘ section associated with this website.
Please note that this is a working document. Information pertaining to the distribution of aquatic annelids in or adjacent to the GCNP will be added as it becomes available.  The list below has been compiled from identifications completed on specimens collected in November and December 1991; specimens collected in September 1993, June 2001, and July 2006 currently are being mounted on microscope slides prior to identification.  To date, no representatives of the freshwater annelid groups Aeolosomatida (suction-feeding worms) or Branchiobdellida (crayfish worms) have been collected from aquatic habitats within the GCNP.

P H Y L U M – A N N E L I D A **


Subclass Oligochaeta
Order Lumbriculida
Brinkhurst & Jamieson, 1971

species yet to be determined.

Order Enchytraeida Kasprzak, 1984
Suborder Enchytraeina
Superfamily Enchytraeoidea

species yet to be determined.

Order Tubificida Brinkhurst & Jamieson, 1971
Suborder Tubificina
Superfamily Tubificoidea

FAMILY NAIDIDAE Ehrenberg, 1831

Subfamily Naidinae
Genus Chaetogaster von Baer, 1827
     Chaetogaster diaphanus (Gruithuisen, 1828)

Genus Nais Müller, 1773
     Nais barbata Müller, 1773 ?
     Nais communis Piguet, 1906
     Nais elinguis Müller, 1773
     Nais pardalis Piguet, 1906
     Nais pseudobtusa Piguet, 1906
     Nais variabilis Piguet, 1906

Genus Ophidonais Gervais, 1838
     Ophidonais serpentina (Müllerller, 1773)

Subfamily Pristininae Lastočkin, 1924
Genus Pristina Ehrenberg, 1828 — emended Brinkhurst, 1984
     Pristina aequiseta Bourne, 1901
     Pristina osborni (Walton, 1906)
     Pristina sp.;  yet to be determined

Subfamily Tubificinae

Genus Limnodrilus Claparède, 1862
     Limnodrilus claparedeianus Ratzel, 1868
     Limnodrilus hoffmeisteri Claparède, 1862

Genus Tubifex Lamarck, 1816
     Tubifex tubifex (Müller, 1774)

Aquatic, Semi-aquatic, limicolous megadriles

Order Crassiclitellata Jamieson, 1988
Suborder Lumbricina
Superfamily Lumbricoidea


Genus Eiseniella Michaelsen, 1900
     Eiseniella tetraedra (Savigny, 1826)

+ several as yet unidentified lumbricids

Genus Sparganophilus Benham, 1892
Sparganophilus pearsei sarasotae Reynolds, 1980

SUBCLASS HIRUDINEA Savigny in Lamark, 1818
Order Arhynchobdellida


Genus Erpobdella de Blainville, 1818
     Erpobdella punctata (Leidy, 1870)

** Higher level classification follows Schmelz et al., 2021 {Zootaxa 5040(4): 589–597}