Hypolimnus pedderensis Jamieson, 1974

Lake Pedder earthworm



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Perionychella pedderensis Jamieson, 1974:251; Diporochaeta pedderensis Jamieson 1974:251; Atlantodrilus pedderensis Jamieson, 1974:251 (nomen nudum); Diporochaeta pedderensis Jamieson, 1974:251


Conservation Status


Last record: 1971

IUCN RedList status: Extinct


The Lake Pedder Earthworm was endemic to the shores of Lake Pedder, which was flooded in 1972/3 by the Hydro-Electric Commission to supply a local hydro-electricity plant with water. At least two subsequent expeditions have been mounted to try and rediscover the species, in 1991 (Dyne, 1991) and 1996 (Blakemore, 1996). However both of these failed to rediscover the species, and the Lake Pedder earthworm is now sadly considered to be extinct.



Endemic to Lake Pedder, Tasmania, Australia.





The Lake Pedder earthworm is only known from the holotype, collected from the main beach in 1971.

Holotype: TM:K311

Type locality: Lake Pedder, 146°12'E. 42°57'S.



The original Lake Pedder. Photo courtesy of © Elspeth Vaughan.



Original scientific description:

Jamieson, B. G. M. (1974). The Indigenous Earthworms (Megascolecidae: Oligochaeta) of Tasmania. Bulletin of the British Museum of Natural History (Zoology) 26: 201-328. [251]


Other references:

Blakemore, Robert J. (1996). The Taxonomic Status of the Earthworm Fauna of Lake Pedder, Western Tasmania World Heritage Area. Preliminary Report to the Parks and Wildlife Service, Hobart, Tasmania, June, 1996.

Blakemore, Robert J. (1997). The taxonomic status of the earthworm fauna from Lake Pedder, Western Tasmania World Heritage Area - a survey and report commissioned by the NPWS, April, 1996. Presentation at ASBS (with SASB) Conference, "Systematics: advancing knowledge and conservation of Australia’s biodiversity" held in Adelaide, September 1997

Blakemore, Robert J., (2000a). The taxonomic status of the earthworm fauna of Lake Pedder, Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. Records of the Queen Victoria Museum 109: 1-36, 24 figs.

Blakemore, Robert J. (2000b). Tasmanian Earthworms. CD-ROM Monograph with Review of World Families. ‘VermEcology’, PO BOX 414 Kippax 2615. Canberra,
December, 2000. Pp. 800 including 222 figures. ISBN 0-646-41088-1.

Blakenmore, Robert J. (2003). Hypolimnus pedderensis. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. ( Downloaded on 12 December 2010.

Blakemore, Robert J., (2004). Checklist of Tasmanian Earthworms updated from Spencer (1895). In: Moreno, A. G. y Borges, S. (eds.) "Avances en taxonomia de lombrices de tierra/Advances in earthworm taxonomy (Annelida: Oligochaeta)". Editorial Complutense, Universidad Complutense, Madrid. Pp. 163-173.

Blakemore, Robert J., (2005). Updated Checklist of Tasmanian Earthworms. Chapter in: A Series of Searchable Texts on Earthworm Biodiversity, Ecology and Systematics from Various Regions of the World. General editors: Masamichi T. Ito, Nobuhiro Kaneko. CD-ROM. Soil Ecology Research Group, Graduate School of Environment & Information Sciences, Yokohama National University, Japan.

Blakemore, Robert. (2006). [url=]Redescription of Hypolimnus pedderensis[/url]. In, Blakemore, R.J. (2006). A Series of Searchable Texts on Earthworm Biodiversity, Ecology and Systematics from Various Regions of the World – 2nd Edition and Supplement (2006). General Eds.: N. Kaneko & M.T. Ito. COE Soil Ecology Research Group, Yokohama National University, Japan. CD-ROM Publication.

Blakemore, Robert J. (undated). Re-description of the Lake Pedder Earthworm: Hypolimnus pedderensis. Unpublished? [accessed 10 October 2015]

Braby, Michael F. (2019). Are insects and other invertebrates in decline in Australia? Austral Entomology 58(3): 471-477.

Brinkhurst, R.O. and Fullerton, W., (1979). Some aquatic Oligochaeta from Tasmania. Records of the Queen Victoria Museum, No 64. [relevant citation?]

Bryant, Sally L. and Jackson, J. (1999). Tasmania's Threatened Fauna Handbook: What, Where and How to Protect Tasmania's Threatened Animals. Threatened Species Unit, DPIWE, Hobart. [p. 296-297]

Department of the Environment. (2009). Hypolimnus pedderensis—Lake Pedder Earthworm. Species Profile and Threats Database. [Online]. Australian Government.

Dyne, G. R. (1991). The Status of the Lake Pedder Earthworm, Perionychella pedderensis and Investigations in to the New and Little-known Earthworms from the Western Tasmanian World Heritage Area. A report to the Department of Parks and Wildlife, Tasmania. 18 pp.

Forteath, N. and Osborn, A. (2012). Survival of endemic invertebrates of Lake Pedder and Lake Edgar subsequent to inundation. Records of the Queen Victoria Museum 116: 6-7.

Jamieson, B. G. M. (1974). The Indigenous Earthworms (Megascolecidae: Oligochaeta) of Tasmania. Bulletin of the British Museum of Natural History (Zoology) 26: 201-328.

Jamieson, B. G. M. (2000). Native Earthworms of Australia (Megascoledae, Megascolecinai). Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Queensland.

Jamieson, B. G. M. [2000/(2001 Supplement)]. Native Earthworms of Australia
(Megascolecidae, Megascolecinae). CD-ROM (s). Science Publishers, Inc.

Low, Tim and Booth, Carol. (2023). GONE: Australian animals extinct since the 1960s. Invasive Species Council Inc.

Mosley, J. G. (1969). Conserving the Southwest Tasmanian Wilderness. Australian Natural History 16(5): 145-150.

The Lake Pedder Restoration Committee:

Woinarski, John C. Z., Braby, M. F., Burbidge, A. A., Coates, D., Garnett, S. T., Fensham, R. J., Legge, S. M., McKenzie, N. L., Silcock, J L. and Murphy, B. P. (2019). Reading the black book: The number, timing, distribution and causes of listed extinctions in Australia. Biological Conservation 239: 108261.$FILE/lake_pedder_earthworm.pdf



My sincere thanks go to Elspeth Vaughan for her permission to reproduce her photograph of the original Lake Pedder. Thanks are also due to Peter Fagan and Melva Truchanas who, together, put me in touch with Elspeth Vaughan.

For more information on the fight to resurrect the original Lake Pedder, you can visit the Lake Pedder Restoration Committee's website:


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