Taxonomy of Fridericia
(Oligochaeta, Enchytraeidae)
Revision of Species with Morphological
& Biochemical Methods

By Rudiger M. Schmelz
December 2003
Goecke & Evers
ISBN: 3-931374-40-8
488 pages, Illustrated, 7" x 9 "
$375.00 Hardcover

Protection of the soil, as both a habitat and one of the basics of life, is an important issue for environmental politics. In Germany the 1998 issue of a "Bundes-Bodenschutzgesetz" has provided a legal framework, which other nations are now moving to adopt. As well as physical, chemical and microbiological parameters, the study of annelid worms is an integral part of current research concepts.

Of particular significance are not only the rainworms, but also the Enchytraeidae. In temperate climate zones representatives of the genus Fridericia play a major role, but their application has been restricted by the need for taxonomic revision. This serious gap in our knowledge is filled by the present work. All previous literature has been considered and this is supplemented by a wide-ranging study of the author's collections in the field, the examination of type material and combined investigations using light-microscopy and protein electrophoresis.

In addition to structural and protein electrophoretic characters, data on habitat and distribution are also included. Together, this has provided a basis for the unequivocal separation of the 89 valid species, 10 of which are described here as new. A straightforward key and precise descriptions, together with numerous illustrations, allow reliable identification of both species groups and species.


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