Discovered New Species of Earthworms

Scientists from the Advanced Centre for Environmental Studies and Sustainability at Mahatma Gandhi University recently discovered three new species of earthworms in the genus Moniligaster Perrier, 1872 (Clitellata: Moniligastridae) from the Kerala region of the Western Ghats Biodiversity Hotspot in India. The scientific team is made up of Dr. Prasanth Narayanan, Dr. Sathrumithra, Dr. Anuja, Dr. Christopher, Dr. Thomas and Dr. Julka.

Earthworms of the family Moniligastridae are considered as primitive and they are believed to have evolved somewhere in the region of the Malay Archipelago. However, infers their origin near Myanmar. Its indigenous range includes Southeast and East Asia, extending from peninsular India to Japan through Myanmar, China, Far East Russia (protruding far north along the Amur River flood plain up to the border of the last freezing in this region), Korea, the Philippines, Borneo and Sumatra. The extended range of the family is due to the spread of the most spacious genus Drawida, which presumably colonized peninsular India after the collision of the Indian plate with Asia during the Cenozoic period. Other genera have a restricted distribution: Eupolygaster in Sumatra and west Borneo; Desmogaster in Myanmar, China, Borneo and Sumatra; Hastirogaster in Myanmar and Sumatra; Moniligaster in the southern tip of peninsular India.  Refer to for the research article.