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- Notoscolex equestris Benham, 1942: 220-225, Pl. 17, figs. 1–5; 1949: 348; 1950: 33; Lee, 1952: 37; Blakemore, 2004, 2006, 2010.
- Megascolides equestris; Lee, 1952b; 1959: 287, fig. 308 (of a spermatheca).
Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand [an online report, along with several other New Zealand earthworms, as a Marine invertebrate from Mexico - http://mexinverts.lifedesks.org/pages/1545 (Oct. 2011) is clearly a mistake].
Description from types
Two specimens in jar: AMNZ 5040 a larger ~200mm specimen dissected previously, and AMNZ 5280 a smaller complete mature 140 mm long. Labelled “TYPES Notoscolex equestris Benham 1942”; “Notoscolex Equestris Benham 1942”; “TAWHITI RAHI ISLAND, POOR KNIGHTS ISLANDS 26 November 1940 G.A. Buddle, R.A. Wilson, E.G. Turbott”.
There is some slight confusion with Notoscolex equestris Benham, 1942, in that Lee (1959) erroneously placed it in Megascolides, and Lee (1959: 296) said types were in Otago Museum (No. A.43.52 - two specimens in fair condition but confirmation from Otago museum unforthcoming), yet he also gives “4 specimens. (Auckland Museum Collection)”. There are indeed two specimens in the Auckland Museum (pers. obs.) viz.: AMNZ 5040 with labels as above. Benham (1942: 220 - see http://rsnz.natlib.govt.nz/volume/rsnz_72/rsnz_72_03_002070.pdf) actually stated that Mr R.G. Turbott of the Auckland Memorial Museum had sent him two phials, one from Chatham Island that contained four earthworms, and these other two larger specimens collected from Poor Knights Islands by Majors G.A. Buddle and R.A. Wilson.
Both specimens are here inspected and described: the larger one – that entirely agrees superficially with Benham’s figures – had been previously dissected with the 8lhs spermatheca, 18rhs prostate, and the anterior of the intestine removed and missing from the jar. Additions to Benham’s and Lee’s earlier descriptions are that the highly wrinkled prostomium is construed as pro-epilobous rather than prolobous, and no ventral cleft is present on the peristomium. Benham was “unable to detect the dorsal pores owing to the strongly contracted state of the body” and, for some reason, Lee omitted mention of them entirely except for exotic Lumbricidae. They are here confirmed as being absent throughout the body in both specimens (i.e., qualifying for Aporodrilus). Setae c and d are increasingly irregular. Spermathecae are in 7–9 but for 8lhs only the stub remains with the small diverticulum still attached (hence overlooked by earlier workers who also mistook slight folds in the soft duct as “excrescences”); as for other spermathecae, the small diverticula are visible by their slight iridescence just above the body wall at the base of the duct [see Fig. 6 and cf. Benham (1942: fig. 5), Lee (1959: fig. 308)]. Only the prostate 18lhs remains and is here construed as cylindrical tubulo-racemose i.e. non-tubular [see Fig. 6 and cf. Benham (1942: fig. 4)]. Genital markings agree as per original (Benham 1942: fig. 3) and the smaller undissected specimen (AMNZ 5280) is provided with a rough sketch showing how it conforms too. The gizzard appears more in 5 than 6 and oesophageal dilations are increasingly large in 10–14 (at least) but, as gut is removed, the intestinal origin cannot be confirmed. Although a typhlosole is absent and it is noted that the intestine below the break is filled with particularly coarse plant fragments only (no soil).
Both specimens are surely syntypes (one dissected agrees and key organs removed suggests they were figured by Benham, although Lee also dissected a prostate) and, under ICZN (1999: Art. 74) I hereby expressly designate the larger dissected specimen AMNZ 5040 the lectotype of Aporodrilus equestris (Benham, 1942) leaving the remaining undissected specimen as paralectotype (AMNZ 5080). In compliance with “Declaration 44 – Amendment of Article 74.7.3 of ICZN” (1999 – see http://iczn.org/content/declaration-44-amendment-article-7473), this act is in order to provide stability in its taxonomic name coupled with the augmented description provided herein. Enquiries made to verify Otago Museum material (Email: email@example.com 15th Oct., 2011) were fruitless, but it is probable Lee (1959: 296) in his account confused the two lots that were sent to Benham, as commented on above.
- Benham W (1942) Notoscolex equestris, an Earthworm from the Poor Knights Islands. Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 72: 220-225. [http://rsnz.natlib.govt.nz/volume/rsnz_72/rsnz_72_03_002070.pdf].
- Lee K (1959) The earthworm fauna of New Zealand. New Zealand Department of Scientific and Industrial Research Bulletin 130, 486 pp.
- ICZN (1999) International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. 4th edn. Published by the International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature, c/o Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD, UK.