Amynthas japonicus (Horst, 1883)

Yamatomimizu [Japanese name]



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Megascolex japonicus Horst, 1883 (basionym)


Conservation Status



Only known from the holotype collected in the 1820's. Rob Blakemore conducted a survey for the species in 2018, but failed to rediscover it (Robert J. Blakemore, pers. comm. 15 December 2018).



"Japan" (Easton, 1981 [fide Blakemore, 2018])


Biology & Ecology




Only known from the holotype housed in the Leiden Museum.






Original scientific description:

Horst, R. (1883). New species of the genus Megascolex Templeton (Perichaeta schmarda) in the collections of the Leyden Museum. Notes from the Leyden Museum 5: 182-196.


Species bibliography:

Blakemore, Robert J. (2003). Japanese Earthworms (Annelida : Oligochaeta): a Review and Checklist of Species. Organisms, Diversity and Evolution 3(3): 1-43; 241-244.

Blakemore, Robert J. (2012a). Japanese earthworms revisited a decade on (Oligochaeta: Megadrilacea). Zoology in the Middle East 58(sup4): 15-22.

Blakemore, Robert J. (2012b). On Opening a Box of Worms (Oligochaeta, Megascolecidae) — Historical Earthworm Specimens Transferred to Tokyo from the Saito Ho-on Kai Museum of Natural History in Sendai. Bull. Natl. Mus. Nat. Sci., Ser. A, 38(3): 95-124.

Blakemore, Robert J. (2018). Amynthas japonicus (errata version published in 2018). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2018: e.T118812839A135691617. Downloaded on 15 December 2018.

Blakemore, Robert J. (2019). Extinction of Japan’s first formally described earthworm Amynthas japonicus (Horst, 1883) (Annelida, Oligochaeta, Megadrilacea, Megascolecidae). Bull. Kanagawa Prefect. Mus. (Nat. Sci.) 48: 55-60.

Easton, E. G. (1981). Japanese earthworms: a synopsis of the Megadrile species (Oligochaeta). Bulletin of the British Museum (Natural History) Zoology 40(2): 33-65.

Goto, S. and Hatai, S. (1899). New or imperfectly known species of earthworms. No. 2. Annotations Zoologicae Japonensis 3: 13-24.



Rob Blakemore brought this missing species to my attention, and kindly shared with me a draft of an upcoming paper of his on this species.


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