Resampling Bouché’s historical localities reveals three new species and helps identifying a new genus of earthworms (Oligochaeta, Hormogastridae and Lumbricidae) in Southeastern France

Sylvain GÉRARD, Daniel F. MARCHÁN, Alejandro MARTINEZ NAVARRO, Mickaël HEDDE & Thibaud DECAËNS

en Zoosystema 45 (23) - Pages 749-768

Published on 05 December 2023

Southern France has been highlighted as an important hotspot of earthworm diversity mostly by the work of Marcel Bouché, who sampled more than 1300 localities in mainland France including Corsica in the 1960s. We resampled some of the Bouché’s localities and conducted molecular phylogenetic analyses. It leads to the identification of a new Lumbricidae Rafinesque, 1815 genus (Flabellodrilus Gérard, Decaëns & Marchán, n. gen.), for which Flabellodrilus luberonensis Gérard, Decaëns & Marchán, n. gen., n. sp. is the type species. We propose the new combination Flabellodrilus bartolii bartolii (Bouché, 1970) n. comb., improving the clarity of the catch-all genus Allolobophora Eisen, 1874. It also allowed us to discover two new species of Lumbricidae (Flabellodrilus luberonensis Gérard, Decaëns & Marchán, n. gen., n. sp. and Allolobophora delitescens Gérard, Decaëns & Marchán, n. sp.), and one new species of Hormogastridae Michaelsen, 1900 (Vignysa callasensis Gérard, Decaëns & Marchán, n. sp.). These three new species underline the great earthworm diversity of southeastern France. Their discovery in a previously well-sampled area further suggests that these species have narrow geographic ranges and small populations. They also seem to be specialized for open habitats that are declining in the French Mediterranean landscape. These different characteristics suggest a relatively high risk of extinction for these three new species.


earthworms, Allolobophora, Vignysa, France, Europe, new combinations, new species, new genus

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