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Biota Neotropica

On-line version ISSN 1676-0611

Biota Neotrop. vol.8 no.3 Campinas July/Sept. 2008 



Occurrence of Naididae (Annelida: Oligochaeta) from three gastropod species in irrigation fields in southeastern Brazil


Ocorrência de Naididae (Annelida: Oligochaeta) em três espécies de gastrópodes em campos irrigados no sudeste do Brasil



Renato Tavares Martins1; Roberto da Gama Alves

Departamento de Zoologia, Laboratório de Invertebrados Bentônicos, Instituto de Ciências Biológicas, Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora - UFJF, Campus Universitário, s/n, CEP 36036 900, Juiz de Fora, MG, Brazil




In the present study we report the occurrence of three Naididae species from three gastropod mollusk species. The species Dero (Dero) righii was found from mollusks of the genus Biomphalaria. Nais communis was found from Biomphalaria sp. and Aplexa rivalis. Chaetogaster limnaei was found from Biomphalaria sp., Aplexa rivalis and Lymnaea columella. In Brazil, previous studies have reported the occurrence of Chaetogaster limnaei from Biomphalaria solely, while Nais communis have been found from Pomacea bridgesii and Dero (Dero) righii in the sediment of aquatic habitats in Mato Grosso do Sul. Our results indicate that, due to their locomotion, naidids are capable of colonizing different substrates in aquatic environments.

Keywords: naidids, aquatic mollusks, Gastropoda.


No presente estudo, relatamos a ocorrência de Dero (Dero) righii associada a moluscos do gênero Biomphalaria. Nais communis foi encontrada associada a Biomphalaria sp. e Aplexa rivalis. A espécie Chaetogaster limnaei esteve associada à Biomphalaria sp., Aplexa rivalis e Lymnaea columella. No Brasil, estudos anteriores registraram Chaetogaster limnaei associada somente à Biomphalaria, Nais communis à Pomacea bridgesii e Dero (Dero) righii ao sedimento de ambientes aquáticos no Mato Grosso do Sul. Os resultados obtidos confirmam que, devido à capacidade de se deslocar na coluna d'água, os oligoquetos naidideos apresentam habilidade de colonizar diferentes substratos presentes nos ambientes aquáticos.

Palavras-chave: naidideos, moluscos aquáticos, Gastropoda.




Species of Oligochaeta Naididae commonly inhabit sediments of rivers, streams and lakes (Alves & Lucca 2000, Collado & Schmelz 2001, Montanholi-Martins & Takeda 2001). Due to their great ability to swim, they are capable of exploring benthic habitats (Erséus & Gustavsson 2002) such as aquatic macrophytes (Jones et al. 2000), sponges (Corbi et al. 2005), Odonata larvae (Corbi et al. 2004) and mollusks (Buse 1972). It was the aim of this study to verify the presence of Naididae species associated with three species of gastropod mollusks.


Material and Methods

Gastropod mollusks were collected alongside irrigation channels in a horticultural garden in the northwest region of Juiz de Fora (MG), southeastern Brazil (21º 39' 6" S and 43º 25' 54" W), in May, June, July, August, November 2005 and January 2006. Using small nets, we collected 90 individuals of each of the following mollusk species: Aplexa rivalis Mastou & Rackett, 1898; Biomphalaria sp. and Lymnaea columella Say, 1827.

In the laboratory, mollusks were dissected under a stereoscopic microscope. The Naididae individuals found were first fixed in 8% formalin solution and then preserved in 70% alcohol solution. Taxonomic identification was carried out according to Righi (1984) and Brinkhurst & Marchese (1989).


Results and Discussion

A total of 270 mollusks were dissected and 126 of them contained oligochaete worms, making 56% prevalence (Table 1). This result is more than the 27.75% prevalence that has previously been found in Pomacea bridgesii (Reeve 1856) by Gorni & Alves (2006) and less than the 61.8% prevalence that has previously been found in B. straminea (Dunker 1848) by Andrade & Campos (1968). Three Naididae species were found: Chaetogaster limnaei (K. von Baer 1927), Dero (Dero) righii (Varela 1990) and Nais communis (Piguet 1906).



Chaetogaster limnaei was the most abundant species and it was found in all three species of mollusks. Besides, it represented 98.15% of all worms found in Biomphalaria sp. and it was the only naidid species found in L. columella (Table 1). According to Buse (1972), C. limnaei inhabits a wide variety of gastropod snails and, in Brazil, it has previously been found in association with B. straminea (Andrade & Campos 1968, Callisto et al. 2005).

This is the first report on the occurrence of D. (D.) righii in a living substratum, i.e., Biomphalaria sp. It has previously been found in association with sediments of Middle Rio Negro Region (Pantanal, MS, Brazil) and Lagoa dos Patos (MS, Brazil), according to Takeda et al. (2000) and Montanholi-Martins & Takeda (2001), respectively. Gorni & Alves (2006) reported the occurrence of seven species of the genus Dero associated with P. bridgesii specimens sampled from fish farming tanks in the state of São Paulo (southeastern Brazil), although they have not found the species D. (D.) righii.

Nais communis was found associated to Biomphalaria sp. and A. rivalis species, but in rather low abundance. Gorni & Alves (2006) found a low abundance of N. communis from P. bridgesii. In Brazil, this species has previously been found in association with sediments of rivers (Alves et al. 2006), streams (Alves & Lucca 2000), macrophytes (Trivinho-Strixino et al. 2000), sponges (Corbi et al. 2005) and bryophytes (Gorni & Alves 2007).

Our results indicate that, due to their locomotion, naidids are capable of colonizing different substrates in aquatic environments. Moreover, because three Naididae species were found in association with gastropod mollusks in a single site, we consider that this type of association should be common in the nature.



We would like to thank Prof. Gilson Alexandre de Castro for identification of the snails and Dr. Luciana Falci Theza Rodrigues for field and laboratory assistance.



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Data Received 06/04/08
Revised 01/08/08
Accepted 14/08/08



1 Corresponding author: Renato Tavares Martins, e-mail:

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