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

This Second Edition of Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica [N.O.2] updates (Addenda Editioni Primae) and corrects (Corrigenda Editioni Primae) the generic, subgeneric, specific, and infra-specific names of oligochaetes published to date.  We have integrated the accounts included in N.O. (Reynolds and Cook, 1976) with those presented in the three supplements: N.O.S.P. (Reynolds and Cook, 1981), N.O.S.S. (Reynolds and Cook, 1989), and  N.O.S.T. (Reynolds and Cook, 1993).

We have also updated accounts and their associated information, added accounts for new taxa described since the publication of N.O.S.T. in 1993, and expanded the Index AuctorumIndex AuctoritatumIndex MuseorumGlossarium, and References sections of the original N.O. series.

The information presented on the resource pages linked from the left and top navigator bars of this website has been expanded from that presented in the original N.O. series, and restructured for easy access using this web-based format.

In the third supplement (N.O.S.T.: Reynolds and Cook, 1993), genera were assigned to 36 families recognized therein.  Subsequent to the publication of that third supplement, six new families have been established: Tumakidae {Righi, 1995; Stud. Trop. Andean Ecosystems 4(16): 600}, Parvidrilidae {Erséus, 1999; Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash. 112(2): 328},  * Rhinodrilidae {James, 2012; Zootaxa 3540: 67}, Tritogeniidae {Plisko, 2013; African Invertebrates 54(1): 79}, Kazimierzidae {Nxele and Plisko, 2016: African Invertebrates 57(2): 113}, and Arecoidae {James, Csuzdi & Brown, 2023: Zootaxa 5255(1):421; type genus: Areco Righi, Ayres & Bittencourt, 1978}.  Four other families are now excluded: Kurenkovidae {Brinkhurst, 1989; Can. J. Zool. 67: 2736}, Lycodrilidae {Hrabě, 1982; Věstn. Česk. Spol. Zool. 46(3): 180}, Tubificidae {Erséus, C., M.J. Wetzel, and L. Gustavsson, 2008; Zootaxa 1744: 66–68}, and Lobatocerebridae {Nielsen, 2012. Animal Evolution. Third Edition. Oxford, University Press, p. 115}.  Full citations for the publications in which the above new families have been defined are included on the References page linked from the left navigator bar of this website.

*Early in 2012, James (in James and Davidson, Invertebrate Systematics 26(2): 204–212), established a new family, Pontoscolecidae, into which several taxa in the family Glossoscolecidae s.s. were transferred based on analyses of 28S, 18S, and 16S gene sequencing of taxa in 14 families within the Crissiclitellata.  A subsequent paper by James (2012, Zootaxa 3540: 67–68) noted that the name Pontoscolecidae James, 2012 is in fact synonymous with the much older but largely forgotten Rhinodrilidae Benham, 1890; please reference this Zootaxa paper for a listing of the genera now included in Rhinodrilidae.]

We have also established a page, entitled Current Perspectives, that is accessible via the left navigator bar. There, we include citations (and their abstracts or summaries) for publications highlighting new as well as continuing perspectives associated with Oligochaetology, including those focusing on classification, phylogeny, taxonomy, systematics, and nomenclature.

Accounts that are new entries to this second edition – those described as new to science since the publication of N.O.S.T. in 1993 as well as accounts that were inadvertently omitted from the previous editions – have not been annotated with bracketed reference to the original series (e.g., ‘[N.O., p. x]’, ‘[N.O.S.P., p. x]’, ‘[N.O.S.S., p. x]’, or ‘[N.O.S.T., p. x]’).

This web-based Second Edition will be updated as soon as practicable after receiving additions and corrections  from our colleagues.

We invite our colleagues whose native language does not currently appear in this second edition to provide translations of the Prolegomena as presented in the original series, the Prolegomenon for this second edition, and the Glossarium.

Recommended citation for this web-based catalogue:

Reynolds, J.W. and M.J. Wetzel. 2024. Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica – A catalogue of names, descriptions and type specimens. Editio Secunda. URL: (accessed: date).

Below, we provide links to the Prolegomena – translated into several languages – that were included in the original Nomenclatura Oligochaetologica series (N.O.NO.S.P.N.O.S.S., and N.O.S.T.).  The Prolegomenon introducing this second edition (in English, above) has also been translated and is presented at the beginning of the pages for each of these languages:

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§ Prolegomenon   –   noun || singular:  prō-li-ˈgä-mə-ˌnän / -nən || plural: prolegomena – prō-li-ˈgä-mə-ˌnä / -nə

Greek, neuter; present passive participle of prolegein – to say beforehand.

A prolegomenon is a forward, prologue, preliminary discussion, introduction, preamble, preface, or introductory commentary for an important published work – usually of considerable length or complexity.  Prolegomena commonly include justification of effort, an historical perspective, and highlight the scope of the document.

[ page update: 2021: III-21  // -VII-13; 2022: II-08; 2023: I-12; III-16; 2024; I-01; mjw ]