DNA-barcoding of invasive European earthworms (Clitellata: Lumbricidae) in south-western Australia

S. Martinsson, Y. Cui, P. J. Martin, A. Pinder, K. Quinlan, Mark J. Wetzel, C. Erséus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using DNA-barcoding, we studied the diversity of invasive European earthworms in the south-western corner of Australia. We found six Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units belonging to five morphospecies: Aporrectodea caliginosa, A. trapezoides, Dendrobaena cf. attemsi, Eiseniella tetraedra and Octolasion cyaneum. These were variously collected from indigenous forests and/or alienated land. Two cryptic lineages were found within A. trapezoides, and high intraspecific genetic variation was also found within E. tetraedra—variation that had previously been documented in Europe. Our study demonstrates the usefulness of DNA-barcoding for the identification of earthworms, including cryptic species. Correct identification and high taxonomic resolution is crucial for the monitoring of cryptic diversity, detecting new introductions and monitoring spread of established exotic earthworms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2527-2532
Number of pages6
JournalBiological Invasions
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 12 2015


  • INHS
  • Crassiclitellata
  • Cryptic species
  • mt-DNA
  • COI
  • Annelida
  • Oligochaeta

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'DNA-barcoding of invasive European earthworms (Clitellata: Lumbricidae) in south-western Australia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this