THE AQUATIC OLIGOCHAETES (ANNELIDA, CLITELLATA) OF GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS NATIONAL PARK, NORTH CAROLINA AND TENNESSEE, USA
Mark J. Wetzel1 and M.A. Peggy Morgan2
1 Illinois Natural History Survey, Division of Biodiversity and Environmental Entomology, Champaign, IL; email@example.com (corresponding author, presenter).
2 Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Temple Terrace, FL; Peggy.Morgan@dep.state.fl.us.
Currently, 212 nominal species of freshwater oligochaetes representing 13 families and 77 genera occur in North America; of these, 10 families, 60 genera, and 123 species are known or thought likely to occur in the southeastern U.S.A. In 1997, Discover Life in America, Inc. (DLIA) initiated the All Taxa Biodiversity Inventory program (ATBI) in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRSM) - to identify and document the distribution of all plant, animal, Archaea, and bacterial species in GRSM, and to elevate the public's knowledge of and interest in biological diversity through educational outreach programs and the integration of students, volunteers, and other scientists with ATBI researchers. As part of the ATBI and with funding from DLIA, we conducted surveys for freshwater Oligochaeta in GRSM from 1999 through 2006. Prior to this study, only one freshwater oligochaete (Stylodrilus wahkeenensis) had been reported from GRSM. Eighteen additional species representing four families and 13 genera, all new records for GRSM, were recorded during this study. Four of these species (Pristina aequiseta, Pristina osborni, Rhyacodrilus subterraneus, and Spirosperma ferox) are new state records for Tennessee, and one (R. subterraneus) is a new state record for North Carolina. Newly described genera and species in the family Lumbriculidae will be highlighted.