Geonemertes rodericana   (Gulliver)


 
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Rodrigues Terrestrial Ribbon Worm
(Geonemertes rodericana)

 
syn. Tetrastemma rodericanum (Gulliver)

 
distribution:

Mauritius: Rodrigues

 
local name: -

 
size: 2,5 - 7,5 cm (length)

extinction date: (?)

 
The Rodrigues Terrestrial Ribbon Worm was discovered in the year 1874 on the Island of Rodrigues. The species lived there in the moist leaf litter of the forests, where it could be found among rotting leaves and wood.

The animals were dark green coloured on the back and ornamented with an longitudinal white stripe, the head was of a lighter green and showed four round spots on the forefront. The underside was white in colour.

This species was dioecious, but the sexes differed only by their sizes, in this case the males were smaller then the females.

In the year 1993 another species, Geonemerte pelaensis, was discovered on Rodrigues for the first time, a species, which is obviously widely distributed and for example can be found on the neighbouring island of Réunion too. The Rodrigues Terrestrial Ribbon Worm by contrast, could not be found again, despite intensive searches, and therefore is no considered very possibly extinct.

 
References:

- O. Bürger: Die Nemertinen des Golfes von Neapel und der angrenzenden Meeres-Abschnitte. Fauna und Flora des Golfes von Neapel und der angrenzenden Meeres-Abschnitte. Berlin: Verlag von R. Friedländer & Sohn, 1895
- J. Moore; N. W. Moore; R. Gibson: Land nemertines of Rodrigues. Journal of Zoology Vol. 237(2): 241–257, 1995