An updated oligochaete species list for the Great Lakes region is provided. The list was developed through the reexamination of the taxa reported in a previous report in 1980, addition of new taxa or records collected from the region since 1980, and an update of taxonomy commensurate with systematic and nomenclatural changes over the intervening years since the last review. The authors found 74 papers mentioning Great Lakes oligochaete species. The majority of these papers were published in the 1980s. The literature review and additional collections resulted in 15 species being added to the previous list. Nine taxa were removed from the previous list due to misidentification, synonymies, level of identification, or inability to confirm the identity. Based on this review, 101 species of Oligochaeta are now known from the St. Lawrence Great Lakes watershed. Of these, 95 species are known from the St. Lawrence Great Lakes proper, with an additional 6 species recorded from the inland waters of the watershed. The greatest diversity of oligochaete species was found in the inland waters of the region (81) followed by Lake Huron (72), Lake Ontario (65), Lake Erie (64), Lake Superior (63), Lake Michigan (62), St. Marys River (60), Niagara River (49), Saginaw Bay (44), St. Clair River (37), Lake St. Clair (36), St. Lawrence River (27), and the Detroit River (21). Three species are suspected of being introduced, Branchiura sowerbyi, Gianius aquaedulcis, and Ripistes parasita, and two are believed to be endemic, Thalassodrilus hallae and Teneridrilus flexus.
Additional publication details
The Oligochaeta (Annelida, Clitellata) of the St. Lawrence Great Lakes region: An update