Suggested Keys for Group 4 (Oligochaeta)

Oligochaeta (aquatic earthworms)
Oligochaeta (aquatic earthworms)

These lists of keys are suggested lists, they are not comprehensive and there may be taxa included in the taxonomic certification examinations that are not included in the more general keys (e.g., Merritt and Cummins). We expect taxonomists to be aware of recent literature changes and know how to identify the genera even though there may not be any keys. A good taxonomist needs to know how to work in the absence of “keys.” While we will attempt to include primary literature it is the candidate’s responsibility to be familiar with the current status of the group in question.

  • Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica Editio Secunda
  • Brinkhurst, R.O., and S.R. Gelder. 2001. Annelida: Oligochaeta, including Branchiobdellidae. Pages 431-463 in J.H. Thorp and A.P. Covich (editors). Ecology and classification of North American freshwater invertebrates. Second Edition. Academic Press, San Diego, California.
  • Brinkhurst, R.O., and B.G.M. Jamieson. 1971. Aquatic Oligochaeta of the world. University Toronto Press, Buffalo, New York. [Out of print; a classic reference if you can find a used copy].
  • Hiltunen, J.K., and D.J. Klemm. 1980. A guide to the Naididae (Annelida: Clitellata: Oligochaeta) of North America. EPA-600/4-80-031. Environmental Monitoring and Support Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • Hiltunen, J. K., and D. J. Klemm. 1985. Freshwater Naididae (Annelida: Oligochaeta). Pages 24-43, In: D.J. Klemm (ed). A guide to the freshwater Annelida (Polychaeta, naidid and tubificid Oligochaeta, and Hirudinea) of North America. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Co., Dubuque, Iowa.
  • Howmiller, R.P., and M.S. Loden. 1976. Identification of Wisconsin Tubificidae and Naididae. Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences Arts and Letters 64:185-197.
  • Kathman, R.D., and R.O. Brinkhurst. 1998. Guide to the freshwater oligochaetes of North America. Aquatic Resources Center, College Grove, Tennessee.
  • Klemm, D.J. (ed). 1985. A guide to the freshwater Annelida (Polychaeta, naidid and tubificid Oligochaeta, and Hirudinea) of North America. Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, Iowa.
  • Davies, R.W. 1971. A key to the freshwater Hirudinoidea of Canada. Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada 28:543–552. Download PDF
  • Klemm, D.J. 1995. Identification guide to the freshwater leeches (Annelida: Hirudinea) of Florida and other southern states. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Bureau of Surface Water Management, Tallahassee, Florida. Download PDF
  • Milligan, M.R. 1997. Identification manual for the aquatic Oligochaeta of Florida, Volume I. Freshwater oligochaetes. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Tallahassee. Note: many nomenclatural and systematic changes have occurred since this manual was published yet the information presented in this manual, especially for the freshwater oligochaete fauna occurring in Florida, is still useful. Download PDF
  • Stimpson, K.S., D.J. Klemm, and J.K. Hiltunen. 1982. A guide to the freshwater Tubificidae (Annelida: Clitellata: Oligochaeta) of North America. EPA-600/3-82-033 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Environmental Monitoring & Support Laboratory, Cincinnati, Ohio.
  • Strayer, D. 1990. Aquatic Oligochaeta. Pages 373-397, In: B.L. Peckarsky, P.R. Fraissinet, M.A. Penton, and D.J. Conklin, Jr. (eds). Freshwater macroinvertebrates of northeastern North America. Comstock Publishing Associates, Ithaca, New York. ISBN 0-8014-9688-8.
  • Wetzel, M.J., S.V. Fend, K.A. Coates, R.D. Kathman, and S.R. Gelder. 2006. Taxonomy, systematics, and ecology of the aquatic Oligochaeta and Branchiobdellidae (Annelida, Clitellata) of North America, with emphasis on the fauna occurring in Florida. A workbook. 1 August 2006. [This workbook compliments some of the keys presented in Kathman and Brinkhurst, 1998; numerous updates for families, nomenclature, literature, keys, species accounts, ecology; also first extensive information on the freshwater Enchytraeidae of North America, with keys to genera, and chapter focusing on the megadrile oligochaete species commonly present in aquatic samples.]