Some aspects of reproductive biology of three earthworm species (Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae) in southern Chile

Muñoz Pedreros, Andrés - Ruiz, E - Poblete, C - Santelices, M
Datos de publicación:
earthworm - reproduction - soil fauna - southern Chile
In the south of Chile, three species of earthworm were studied: Dendrobaena subrubicunda (Savingny, 1826), Eisenia fetida fetida (Savingn, 1826) and Lumbricus rubellus (Hoffmeister, 1845). Two extracting beds and ''ootecas'' were installed to be studied in the laboratory. The worms were fed with organic wastes coming from vegetables and animals, estabilized with aerobic fermentation. Some morphological and morphometrical features and their main reproductive parameters were established for each species. The individuals were kept in plastic containers to record appearance of papulae, puberty, clitelum and lay of ootecas. D. subrubicunda was the biggest at the moment of eclosion (9.1 mm), and L. rubellus had the highest weight (0,005 g). The three species had a constant growth in lime, getting L. rubellus a greater size (59,4 mm) and D. subrubicunda a smaller size (33 mm) at sexual maturity. The reproductive period was between winter and spring seasons. The species with the shorter period of incubation was the E. fetida fetida (46,6 days) and L. rubellus had the greatest period of incubation (107 days). The species with the highest number of offsprings was E. fetida fetida (2.5 ind/oot) and the one with the lowest was L. rubellus (1 indx oot). The most sexually precocious was D. subrubicunda (14,3 weeks). The other species matured at a similar age (19 weeks).

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