Romankenkius pedderensis Ball, 1974
Lake Pedder planarian
Taxonomy & Nomenclature
The Lake Pedder Planarian 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. No specimens were collected until several were reported in the literature by (Grant et al. 2006) and (Forteath & Osborn, 2012). It has thus been rediscovered after having been presumed extinct (World Conservation Monitoring Centre, 1996).
Lake Pedder, Tasmania, Australia.
The original Lake Pedder. Photo courtesy of © Elspeth Vaughan.
Original scientific description:
Ball, I. R. (1974). A new genus of freshwater triclad from Tasmania, with reviews of the related genera Cura and Neppia (Turbellaria: Tricladida). Life Sci. Contr. R. Ont. Mus. 99: 1-48
Forteath, G.N.R. and Osborn, A.W. (2012). Survival of endemic invertebrates of Lake Pedder and Lake Edgar subsequent to inundation. Records of the Queen Victoria Museum 2012: 116.
Grant, L.J., Sluys, R. & Blair, D. (2006). Biodiversity of Australian freshwater planarians (Platyhelminthes: Tricladida: Paludicola): new species and localities, and a review of paludicolan distribution in Australia. Systematics and Biodiversity 4: 435-471.
Lake Pedder Restoration Committee: https://www.lakepedder.org/index.html
Mosley, J. G. (1969). Conserving the Southwest Tasmanian Wilderness. Australian Natural History 16(5): 145-150.
Slurys, R. (1997). An old problem in a new perspective: The enigmatic evolutionary relationships of some Australian freshwater planarians (Platyhelminthes, Tricladida, Paludicola). Canadian Journal of Zoology 75(3): 459-471.
World Conservation Monitoring Centre. (1996). Romankenkius pedderensis. In: IUCN 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. (https://www.iucnredlist.org). Downloaded on 12 December 2010.
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: https://www.lakepedder.org/index.html