Tasmanian Earthworms 2000-2020 (an addition to the checklist is Eophila eti Blakemore, 2008)

Up front. A ‘must watch’ for anyone “conscious” or with friends or family is Bill Mollison’s fury rant – http://www.vankalpermaculture.org/2005-bill-mollison-croatia-interview-transcript/ . In 2000 I visited Bill and we talked about Tassie earthworms, casts of thousands, organic farming, cabbages & kings, etc….

Biodiversity Heritage Library link- www.biodiversitylibrary.org/item/287911#page/1/mode/2up.

Suggested citation of Tasmanian Earthworm monograph is:-

Blakemore, R.J. (2000). Tasmanian Earthworms. CD-ROM. ISBN 0646410881. Libraries Australia ID 22242539. Publisher: VermEcology, Canberra. Pgs. 568 plus 233 Figs. (In original format 800 pp).

Examiner:- Super Mario discovers worms: Front page of Launceston’s “Examiner” newspaper in 1997. Actually I never said it was “paradise”, maybe it “could be…”. [The most embarrassing thing is that 20 years later I am still wearing the same clothes, but lost the ‘tash & specs…]. See article draft here, published here. The Examiner article updated 20th December 2020 on 20th Anniversary – www.examiner.com.au/story/7062900/why-worms-matter-mans-mission-to-save-tasmanias-earth!

Recreating “THAT” picture 20 years later (20th Dec., 2020). Photo courtesy of
Patricia Caballero.

There is a natural richness in Tasmania’s known 200 natives plus 30 or so exotics, e.g. when I did a week’s survey of Lake Pedder I found 21 species (spp.), a mix of new & known, native & exotic; but not the extinct Hypolimnus pedderensis worm – www.biodiversitylibrary.org/page/57547343#page/1/mode/1up.  Tassie’s Macquarie Island has 3 species (www.annelida.net/earthworm/Subantarctic/Subantarctic%20Species.pdf).

For its size (brilliantmaps.com/largest-islands/) Tasmania is easily the most diverse with about the same total known taxa as the whole of North America (200+ species) or the whole of NZ (~245 spp.). For islands of similar size: Sri Lanka has about 62 spp. (www.annelida.net/earthworm/Indian.pdf); Cuba 45 spp. (www.annelida.net/earthworm/Cuban%20earthworms.pdf); Ireland, Iceland and Hokkaido about 18 spp. each (www.annelida.net/earthworm/Britain%20&%20Ireland.pdf ; www.annelida.net/earthworm/Japanese%20Earthworms/Japanese%20Earthworms.pdf ; www.annelida.net/earthworm/Greenland%20and%20Iceland%20earthworms.pdf). Frozen areas or those already turned to desert have fewest spp.

DELTA home
A Delta-intkey online guide to all 200 Tasmanian natives is available on request from the author via gmail.com (rob.blakemore). All 30 or so exotics (as for all reports of exotic earthworms around the globe) are in my 1,500 page Cosmopolitan Earthworms (Blakemore 2020).


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