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Eudrilinae from southern Nigeria and a taximetric appraisal of the family Eudrilidae (Oligochaeta)

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Abstract

A small collection of Eudrilid earthworms from Nigeria is reported. Two species proved to be of special interest, the first, lagosensis Beddard, is usually placed in the genus Hyperio-drilus and the second is new to science. Their affinities and the uncertainties about the classification of the Eudrilidae are discussed. These problems led into a taximetric study of the family. It is concluded that on the basis of the accepted generic criteria, the subfamilies (Eudrilinae and Pareudrilinae) are phenetically valid and the Eudrilinae may be subdivided according to whether species have paired or single male and spermathecal pores. Further, the two species whose doubtful status prompted the investigation, may each be placed in a separate genus. The new species is accommodated in a new genus, described herein, while Heliodrilus Beddard is resurrected for lagosensis which is the type-species. Additionally, a new interpretation is provided of the structure and function of the posterior male organs of Hippopera nigeriae Taylor.

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