Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica

A Catalogue of Names, Descriptions and Type Specimens
of the Oligochaeta
Editio Secunda

compiled by John W. Reynolds & Mark J. Wetzel

We present here an introduction to the Second Edition of Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica – A catalogue of names, descriptions and type specimens of the Oligochaeta Editio Secunda [N.O.2] in a web-based, navigable format.

History of this N.O. series

Sometime in the 1950s, during his affiliation with Tall Timbers Research Station (Tallahassee, Florida, USA), Dr. Gordon E. Gates began a tedious project, using hand-written notes on 3″x5″ cards, to compile a catalogue of scientific names of the Oligochaeta.  Long after his retirement and move to Bangor, Maine, his age began to interfere with active pursuit of this project. In 1972, Gates transferred his card file to John W. Reynolds, who enlisted the assistance of David G. Cook, an aquatic biologist working in Canada.  This catalogue – the first edition of Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica [N.O.] – was published by Reynolds and Cook (1976).

In June, 1977, Reynolds was able to present this hard-bound, published catalogue to Dr. Gates in Bangor, Maine -– Gates’ dream, finally realized.  This ‘history’ of the early beginnings of Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica – highlighted in a newspaper article by Nancy Remsen of the Bangor Daily News (published Monday, June 27, 1977: pp. 17-18) – was included in the Appendix of Reynolds (2012: The status of terrestrial earthworm (Oligochaeta) surveys in North America and some Caribbean countries. Megadrilogica 15(11): 227-249), and is accessible via the link, above.

As noted at the end of the Prolegomenon in N.O., the authors intended to compile and publish supplements every 5-10 years – to correct omissions and errors, and to incorporate recently described taxa.  The first supplement, Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica Supplementum Primum [N.O.S.P.], was published by Reynolds and Cook (1981); the second supplement, Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica Supplementum Secundum [N.O.S.S.], was published by Reynolds and Cook (1989); the third supplement, Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica Supplementum Tertium [N.O.S.T.], was published by Reynolds and Cook (1993).

In 1995 (after the retirement of David Cook) Reynolds invited Wetzel to assist him in the compilation of a fourth supplement [Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica Supplementum Quartum, as N.O.S.Q.] to this series.  In early 2012, Reynolds and Wetzel made the decision to forgo completion of a fourth supplement, instead redirecting efforts to compile a second edition.  After additional thought, this second edition was restructured for presentation as a dedicated website.

In this Second Edition [N.O.2], the accounts included in N.O. have been integrated with those presented in the three supplements, corrigenda in N.O. and the three supplements have been corrected, accounts and their associated information have been updated, and accounts for new taxa described since the publication of N.O.S.T. in 1993 have been added.  The Index AuctorumIndex AuctoritatumIndex Museorum, Glossarium, and References sections of the original N.O. series have also been expanded and updated.  The information presented on the resource pages linked from the left and top navigator bars has been expanded from that presented in the original N.O. series, and reorganized for easy access using this web-based format.

Current Status and Future Direction of this Nomenclator

The breadth of the world wide web and extensive growth of peer-reviewed online journals and other professional publications, and the ease of providing current information in a virtual format, encouraged the organization and presentation of the second edition of this nomenclator in a web-based, easily searchable format rather than as a printed and hard-bound book – publication that would be out of date (and certainly with many overlooked corrigenda) on the day it was printed.

Most importantly, this web-based, navigable format allows a) content to be easily updated soon after new descriptions are published, b) errors and omissions inherent to catalogues such as this one to be addressed, and c) allows this nomenclator to be shared freely with our colleagues everywhere.  This virtual and open-access presentation also reduces loss of time when seeking basic nomenclatural information pertinent to the original descriptions of all oligochaetes, and circumvents the distractions of printing expenses, bank and other monetary exchange fees, invoicing, advertising, postage, and the administrative oversight, procedures, and costs associated with publications.

An updated synopsis of this nomenclature was recently published here:
Wetzel, M.J. and J. W. Reynolds. 2023. Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica—A catalogue of names, descriptions, and type specimens of the Oligochaeta. Editio Secunda. Pp. 98–100, In: Martin, P., A. Pinder, and M.J. Wetzel (Eds.) 2023. Proceedings of the 15th International Symposium on Aquatic Oligochaeta [ISAO15]. Zoosymposia 23: 1–103 pp.


Top navigator bar:

Accounts for each taxon (genera, subgenera, species, and infraspecific names) – are alphabetically listed, respectively, via the Nomenclator Generum, Nomenclator Subgenerum, or Nomenclator Specierum links at the top of this and each page associated with this nomenclator website.  Information to assist you in using these three nomenclators is provided at the top of each of their beginning pages.

Left navigator bar:

You are reading this Introduction when visiting the Home Page for this website.  The general layout and background on this page will be seen along the left side of most of the pages you access when navigating through this website; exceptions include pdf pages linked from words and phrases within the text on many of the pages, e.g., the memoria for colleagues linked from their names presented on the Dedicatio page, and the Prolegomenon and Glossarium – each of which  has been translated into several languages.

The Prolegomenon page presents an introduction to this second edition, followed by the prolegomena that were presented in the original N.O. in 1976, and those subsequently included in each of the three supplements (1981, 1989, 1993).

Information on the use of and navigation through this website are provided on the Using This Nomenclator link. We encourage you to visit the Dedicatio and Gratiarum Actiones pages linked from the left navigator bar on this and each of the pages of this website, because this Nomenclator series is a virtual emulation of the taxonomic, systematic, nomenclatural, and biological  investigations of countless scientists – highlighting their individual as well as collaborative dedication to the study of oligochaetes for over 260 years.  We also honor those lesser known and long-anonymous scientists and lay persons who studied annelids – from long before Aristotle (384-322 B.C) up through the present day.

The Praefatio page presents the introductions to the first edition of N.O. (Reynolds & Cook, 1976) written by Marcel B. Bouché (Praefatio I, en Français) and Ralph O. Brinkhurst (Praefatio II, in English).  The Praefatio for this second edition was contributed by Dr. David G. Cook – co-author with Dr. John W. Reynolds for the original N.O. series.

The Annual Accounting page includes a table with the number of taxa (genera, subgenera, species, and subspecies) first described as new to science, by year; also included are re-validations for several taxa previously designated as species dubia.

The Index Auctorum is a listing the authority(ies) responsible for the original description of a taxon.

The Index Auctoritatum is a list of complete names for publications (abbreviated in each taxon account) in which the original description of each new taxon was published.

The Index Museorum is a listing of the museums and/or other institutions and repositories (including postal addresses and the names of curators / contact personnel and their email addresses) in which type material was deposited.

Glossarium includes definitions (in several languages) for Latin terms used to annotate information presented for many of the taxon accounts.

The References page provides full citations for the N.O. series published in print form, for other publications cited in the pages throughout this website, and for historically important references for oligochaete taxonomy, systematics, and nomenclature.

The Current Perspectives page highlights new as well as continuing issues associated with Oligochaetology, including (but not limited to) publications focusing on phylogeny, taxonomy, systematics, and nomenclature.

The For Contributors page provides instructions for taxonomists and systematists wishing to provide information on newly described taxa and corrections to inaccuracies and missing information in the accounts presented in this second edition.

The Colophon page presents an abbreviated history of the font used in the original N.O. series, and for the font used on these webpages.

The Auctores link presents brief biographies for the authors of this website.

The FAQs link will present an update section (dates of general and specific updates to pages associated with this website), and questions submitted by website visitors, followed by answers to those questions.

We thank you for your interest in this web-based nomenclator, and enthusiastically encourage assistance from our oligochaetologically-aligned colleagues around the world to correct errors, update the information for each taxon account presented herein, and to provide complete account information for all newly described taxa, and for those historical and recent primary descriptions that we have overlooked.  Please send us a pdf of your papers in which descriptions, re-descriptions, and re-validations have been published – to assist us in the accurate updating and creation of accounts for inclusion in this nomenclator.

Comments on this web-based format are also welcome.
          – John W. Reynolds and Mark J. Wetzel [06 January 2014 – launch date for this website]

Recommended citation for this publication:  Reynolds, J.W. and M.J. Wetzel. 2024. Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica – A catalogue of names, descriptions and type specimens of the Oligochaeta. Editio Secunda.
URL: (date accessed: xx-xx-2024).

© J.W. Reynolds and D.G. Cook (1976, 1981, 1989, 1993);  © J.W. Reynolds and M.J. Wetzel (2013–2024)

[page update: 18,23nov, 29dec2021; 01jan2022; 01jan,20,22feb, 31oct; 03dec2023;01jan2024; mjw]