Biodiversity

Species Profile and Threats Database


For information to assist proponents in referral, environmental assessments and compliance issues, refer to the Policy Statements and Guidelines (where available), the Conservation Advice (where available) or the Listing Advice (where available).
 
In addition, proponents and land managers should refer to the Recovery Plan (where available) or the Conservation Advice (where available) for recovery, mitigation and conservation information.

EPBC Act Listing Status Listed as Extinct as Hypolimnus pedderensis
Listing and Conservation Advices Commonwealth Listing Advice on Hypolimnus pedderensis (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009ar) [Listing Advice].
 
Adopted/Made Recovery Plans
Federal Register of
    Legislative Instruments
Inclusion of species in the list of threatened species under Section 178 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (80) (17/06/2009) (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009j) [Legislative Instrument] as Hypolimnus pedderensis.
 
State Government
    Documents and Websites
TAS:Hypolimnus pedderensis (Lake Pedder Earthworm): Species Management Profile for Tasmania's Threatened Species Link (Threatened Species Section (TSS), 2014uj) [State Action Plan].
TAS:Listing Statement Lake Pedder Earthworm, Diporochaeta pedderensis. (Threatened Species Unit (TSU), 2000b) [Report].
State Listing Status
TAS: Listed as Extinct (Threatened Species Protection Act 1995 (Tasmania): September 2012) as Hypolimnus pedderensis
Non-statutory Listing Status
IUCN: Listed as Extinct (IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: 2011.2)
Scientific name Hypolimnus pedderensis [83060]
Family Megascolecidae:Haplotaxida:Oligochaeta:Annelida:Animalia
Species author (Jamieson, 1974)
Infraspecies author  
Reference Blakemore, R.J. (2000). The Taxonomic Status of the Earthworm Fauna of Lake Pedder, Western Tasmania World Heritage Area - with the description of three new genera and fourteen new species. Records of the Queen Victoria Museum 109: 1-36.
Other names Diporochaeta pedderensis [66750]
Distribution map Species Distribution Map

This is an indicative distribution map of the present distribution of the species based on best available knowledge. See map caveat for more information.

Illustrations Google Images

Scientific Name: Hypolimnus pedderensis

Common Name: Lake Pedder Earthworm

The species is conventionally accepted as Hypolimnus pedderensis (Lake Pedder Earthworm) (Jamieson 1974). While conventionally accepted, there is a relatively confused taxonomic history. The species has been included in Perionychella, and later Atantodrilus and Diprochaeta, but Blakemore (2000) formally described the genus Hypolimnus to accommodate the species.

The Lake Pedder earthworm is a species of segmented earthworm. It has been described from a single slightly damaged specimen observed in 1971 (Blakemore 1996, 2000). The specimen is 50 mm in length and 1.6 mm in diameter and has 129 body segments. The head and back have faint brown colouring and the clitellum (the smooth, short section of skin that secretes cocoons) is pinkish and buff (Blakemore 1996, 2000).

The Lake Pedder Earthworm is endemic to south-west Tasmania, specifically the quartzite beach where Maria Creek once entered the original Lake Pedder. This location is now innundated (TSSC 2009ar).

Despite several targeted studies, the species has not been observed since 1971 (TSSC 2009ar). In 1991 Dyne surveyed the Serpentine and Upper Huon catchments to locate remnant populations of the species and in 1996 Blakemore surveyed the shores of the new Lake Pedder. Neither Dyne (1991) nor Blakemore (1996) recorded the Lake Pedder Earthworm (TSU 2000b). Lakes having similar characteristics (e.g. Lakes Rhona and Curly) have also been surveyed (Dyne 1991).

Blakemore (2000) indicates that, as a result of these surveys, several new species have been described that appear closely related, but none is conspecific.

The species was described from a single specimen collected in 1971 and no further specimens have been located since (TSU 2000b).

Nothing is known about the life history of the Lake Pedder Earthworm. However, earthworms are usually hermaphrodites (contain both sexes in the one individual) and eggs are laid into the egg cocoon and secreted directly into the soil (Bryant & Jackson 1999b).

The only location where the Lake Pedder Earthworm was known to occur was within the Southwest National Park which is part of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area (TSU 2000b).

The single specimen of the Lake Pedder Earthworm was found in sandy, waterlogged sediments among interstitial fauna on the beach of the original Lake Pedder (TSSC 2009ar).

It is probable that the species is a local derivative of an ancestral form not dissimilar to Perionychella (Vesiculodrilus) sp.n.7. which is likely to be widely distributed in other less accessible remnants of the Lake Pedder catchments (Dyne 1991).

The Lake Pedder Earthworm's specialised and only habitat was inundated as part of the flooding of Lake Pedder in 1972. It is extremely unlikely that the species could have survived the loss of that environment (Dyne 1991). The isolation of this habitat from other lakes with similar characteristics indicates that the species had no other location for refuge when the Lake was flooded (Dyne 1991).

Nothing is known about the life history of the Lake Pedder Earthworm. However, earthworms are usually hermaphrodites (contain both sexes in the one individual) and eggs are laid into the egg cocoon and secreted directly into the soil (Bryant & Jackson 1999b).

The Lake Pedder Earthworm possibly fed on microbes or algae on sand particles, or organic matter amongst the sand (TSSC 2009ar).

The Lake Pedder Earthworm has several characteristics that distinguish it from other members of the genus, including the absence of dorsal pores which is wholly consistent with the Lake Pedder Earthworm's semi-aquatic existence (Dyne 1991). The lack of dorsal pores also suggests the species was a local derivative that had adapted specifically to the semi-aquatic conditions at the main beach at Lake Pedder (Dyne 1991). An important taxonomic feature of this species is that it has multiple gizzards that occur on the fifth, sixth and part of the seventh segment (TSU 2000b).

Dyne (1991) investigated the status of the species and Blakemore (1996, 2000) studied the taxonomic status of the species.

The following table lists known and perceived threats to this species. Threats are based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) threat classification version 1.1.

Threat Class Threatening Species References
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Alteration of hydrological regimes including flooding Commonwealth Listing Advice on Hypolimnus pedderensis (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009ar) [Listing Advice].
Natural System Modifications:Dams and Water Management/Use:Changes to hydrology including construction of dams/barriers Commonwealth Listing Advice on Hypolimnus pedderensis (Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC), 2009ar) [Listing Advice].

Blakemore, R.J. (1996). The Taxonomic Status of the Earthworm Fauna of Lake Pedder, Western Tasmania World Heritage Area. Report to the Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania. Hobart, Tasmania: Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania.

Blakemore, R.J. (2000). The Taxonomic Status of the Earthworm Fauna of Lake Pedder, Western Tasmania World Heritage Area - with the description of three new genera and fourteen new species. Records of the Queen Victoria Museum. 109:1–36.

Bryant, S. & J. Jackson (1999b). Tasmania's Threatened Fauna Handbook: What, Where and How to Protect Tasmania's Threatened Animals. Hobart, Tasmania: Threatened Species Unit, Parks and Wildlife Service.

Dyne, G.R. (1991). The Status of the Lake Pedder Earthworm, Perionychella pedderensis and Investigations in to the New and Little-known Earthworms from the Western Tasmanian World Heritage Area. Hobart, Tasmania: Tasmania Department of Parks and Wildlife.

Jamieson, B.G.M. (1974). The Indigenous Earthworms (Megascolecidae: Oligochaeta) of Tasmania. Bulletin of the British Museum of Natural History (Zoology). 26:201-328.

Jamieson, B.G.M. (2000). Native Earthworms of Australia (Megascoledae, Megascolecinai). Brisbane, Queensland: Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Queensland.

Threatened Species Scientific Committee (TSSC) (2009ar). Commonwealth Listing Advice on Hypolimnus pedderensis. [Online]. Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/threatened/species/pubs/83060-listing-advice.pdf.

Threatened Species Unit (TSU) (2000b). Listing Statement Lake Pedder Earthworm, Diporochaeta pedderensis.. [Online]. Hobart, Tasmania: Nature Conservation Branch, Tasmania Department of Primary Industry, Water and Environment. Available from: http://www.dpiw.tas.gov.au/inter.nsf/Attachments/RLIG-5428PG/$FILE/lake_pedder_earthworm.pdf.

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This database is designed to provide statutory, biological and ecological information on species and ecological communities, migratory species, marine species, and species and species products subject to international trade and commercial use protected under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). It has been compiled from a range of sources including listing advice, recovery plans, published literature and individual experts. While reasonable efforts have been made to ensure the accuracy of the information, no guarantee is given, nor responsibility taken, by the Commonwealth for its accuracy, currency or completeness. The Commonwealth does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage that may be occasioned directly or indirectly through the use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this database. The information contained in this database does not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth. This database is not intended to be a complete source of information on the matters it deals with. Individuals and organisations should consider all the available information, including that available from other sources, in deciding whether there is a need to make a referral or apply for a permit or exemption under the EPBC Act.

Citation: Department of the Environment (2014). Hypolimnus pedderensis in Species Profile and Threats Database, Department of the Environment, Canberra. Available from: http://www.environment.gov.au/sprat. Accessed Thu, 24 Apr 2014 02:22:43 +1000.