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Type: Correspondence
Published: 2019-11-18
Page range: 146–150
Abstract views: 47
PDF downloaded: 1

A new relictual species of Earthworm (Oligochaeta: Megascolecidae) from Central Australia

Australian National Insect Collection, Black Mountain, Canberra.
Annelida Oligochaeta Megascolecidae


Graliophilus zeilensis is described from Mount Zeil in the West MacDonnell Ranges. While Mt Zeil is the highest mountain in the Northern Territory of Australia, the average rainfall for the bioregion is less than 250 mm annually, well below the limit previously thought to support native earthworms. This record considerably extends the range of Graliophilus, which was formerly restricted to southern Australia. It also provides further evidence of a former continent-wide distribution of earthworms which has been confined to increasingly smaller refugia during the gradual desertification of much of Australia’s interior.



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