A catalogue of terrestrial Lumbricidae produced 28 nominal taxa (species and subspecies) reported to date from South America. Full synonyms and detailed South American occurrences are provided for each entity. This is the first detailed assessment of the distribution of South American Lumbricidae. Bimastos sophiae, known only from Argentina, and Eiseniella tetraedra cerni, known only from Chile, are presently the only taxa restricted to South America. The remaining species are widely distributed in temperate regions of the globe. Lumbricinae are of Holarctic origin and are mainly restricted to subtropical latitudes in South America, except for the mountain ranges of the Andes, extending northward into the tropical region up to Colombia and then the mountain ranges extending eastward along the Guayana shield along Venezuela and the Guyanas; in Brazil, lumbricids are restricted to the southern and southeastern states, primarily in the colder subtropical climate region and mountain ranges. The Lumbricina are megadrile earthworms characterized by a multilayered clitellum, eggs small relative to microdriles, gastrulation by emboly, intestinal specializations such as the typhlosole, a complex circulatory apparatus, two pairs of testicles and sperm sacs, and the male pores located at least two segments behind the posterior testes. The Lumbricoidea, which retain relatively small eggs, form the sister group of the Gondwanan Glossoscolecoidea plus Megascolecoidea, a clade characterized by having large ovaries with several egg-strings.
Annelida, Lumbricidae, anthropogenic soil fauna, biodiversity, cold-adapted species, invasive and exotic species, earthworms, Neotropical region.