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Four new species of terrestrial earthworms belonging to the genus Amynthas (Megascolecidae: Oligochaeta) from Taiwan with discussion on speculative synonyms and species delimitation in oligochaete taxonomy

Tsai ChuFa; Shen HueiPing; Tsai SuChen; Lee HsunHuang

Journal of Natural History 41(5/8): 357-379

2007


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-2933
DOI: 10.1080/00222930701201279
Accession: 013056274

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This paper describes four new species of earthworms, Amynthas shinanmontis sp. nov., Amynthas chilanensis sp. nov., Amynthas bilineatus sp. nov., and Amynthas cruxus sp. nov. from Taiwan. Amynthas shinanmontis is sexthecate and parthenogenetic with individuals with various levels of degeneration of spermathecae and male reproductive organs. It occurs at elevations of 1700 - 2700m in the Central Mountain Range in southern Taiwan. Amynthas bilineatus and A. chilanensis are athecate and also parthenogenetic. They occur, respectively, at elevations of 1000m in the central region and 1325m in the northeastern region of Taiwan. Amynthas cruxus is octothecate, amphimictic, and occurs at elevations of 900 - 1700m in southern Taiwan. This paper also discusses confusion and dilemma caused by uncertain, speculative synonyms and parthenogenetic morphs in species delimitation in oligochaete taxonomy, and recommends the use of absolute synonyms and phylogenetic species concept.