, Volume 70, Issue 5, pp 615–624 | Cite as

New data on the biology and habitat preferences of the oligochaete species Ripistes parasita (Annelida: Clitellata: Naididae): a case study in a temporary woodland pond

  • Mariola KrodkiewskaEmail author
  • Aneta Spyra
Section Zoology


Studies carried out in woodland ponds located in an industrial area of southern Poland revealed the occurrence of a large population of Ripistes parasita (Schmidt, 1847) in one of them. This is a naidid species that is not usually abundant in oligochaete communities. Its ecology and biology is poorly known and thus the aim of this study was to characterise the environmental conditions influencing the occurrence of R. parasita and to assess its population dynamics and life history pattern. R. parasita occurred in a pond with soft water and a low level of mineralisation, a pH ranging from 6.1 to 7.0, and a high content of nitrogen and phosphorus. During our investigation, considerable seasonal changes in the occurrence and population density were detected. Specimens of this species inhabited alder leaf deposits in winter and early spring while in summer and autumn they occupied in large number floating Nuphar lutea leaves. A stepwise regression analysis showed a relationship between the temperature and dissolved oxygen content in the water and the density of R. parasita. The R. parasita reproduced asexually by paratomy (between May and November). The mean doubling time (days) for the population was 22.4. Only a few individuals (less than 1% of the population) matured in September and October.

Key words

Ripistes parasita reproduction mode environmental factors woodland pond 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Arhipova N.P. 1989. Strojenie kokonov niekotorych oligochet [Structure of cocoons certain oligochaetes]. Trudy Instituta Biologii Vnutrennikh Vod AN SSSR 56: 115–132.Google Scholar
  2. Armendáriz L.C. 2000. Population dynamics of Stylaria lacustris (Linnaeus, 1767) (Oligochaeta, Naididae) in Los Talas, Argentina. Hydrobiologia 438 (1): 217–226. DOI: Scholar
  3. Barton D.R. & Griffith M. 1984. Benthic invertebrates of the nearshore zone of eastern Lake Huron, Georgian Bar and North Channel. J. Great Lakes Res. 10 (4): 407–416. DOI: Scholar
  4. Baturina M. 2012. Distribution and diversity of aquatic Oligochaeta in small streams of the middle taiga. Turk. J. Zool. 36 (1): 75–84. DOI: Scholar
  5. Brainwood M. & Burgin S. 2009. Hotspots of biodiversity or homogeneous landscapes? Farm dams as biodiversity reserves in Australia. Biodivers. Conserv. 18 (11): 3043–3052. DOI: Scholar
  6. Cattaneo A., Galanti G., Gentinetta S. & Romo S. 1998. Epiphytic algae and macroinvertebrates on submerged and floating-leaved macrophytes in an Italian lake. Freshwater Biol. 39 (4): 725–740. DOI: Scholar
  7. Céréghino R., Biggs J., Oertli B. & Declerck S. 2008. The ecology of European ponds: defining the characteristics of a neglected freshwater habitat. Hydrobiologia 597: 1–6. DOI: Scholar
  8. Cori C.J. 1923. Über die Art der Nahrungsaufnahme bei Nais, Stylaria und Ripistes. Lotos (Prag) 71: 67–73.Google Scholar
  9. Davies B., William P., Whitefield M., Nicolet P., Sear D., Bray S. & Maund S. 2008. Comparative biodiversity of aquatic habitats in the European agricultural landscape. Agr. Ecosyst. Environ. 125 (1-4): 1–8. DOI: Scholar
  10. Dumnicka E. & Krodkiewska M. 2003. Studies on freshwater Oligochaeta in the Upper Silesia region (Southern Poland). Biologia 58 (5): 897–902.Google Scholar
  11. Finogenova N.P. 1996. Oligochaete communities at the mouth of the Neva and their relationship to anthropogenic impact. Hydrobiologia 334 (1–3): 185–191. DOI: 21CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Grigorovich I.A., Korniushin A.V., Gray D.K., Duggan I.C., Colautti R.I. & MacIsaac H.J. 2003. Lake Superior: an invasion coldspot? Hydrobiologia 499 (1–3): 191–210. DOI: Scholar
  13. Hermanowicz W., Dojlido J., Dożańska W., Koziorowski B. & Zerbe J. 1999. Fizyczno-chemiczne badanie wody i ścieków [Physico-chemical surveys of water and sewages]. Arkady Warszawa, 556 pp. ISBN: 83-213-4067-9, 9788321340678Google Scholar
  14. Hoek T.H. van den & Verdonschot P.F.M. 2005. Distribution and ecology of Aulodrilus japonicus in the Netherlands (Oligochaeta: Tubificidae). Nederlandse Faunistische Mededelingen. 23: 103–112.Google Scholar
  15. Ilyashuk B.P. 1999. Littoral oligochaete (Annelida: Oligochaeta) communities in neutral and acidic lakes in the Republic of Karelia, Russia. Boreal Environment Research 4: 277–284.Google Scholar
  16. Irmler U. 1989. Population ecology and migration of Dero multibranchiata Stieren, 1892 (Naididae, Oligochaeta) in the Central Amazon inundation forest. Amazoniana 11 (1): 31–52.Google Scholar
  17. Jung J. 2012. New record of a naidid oligochaete species, Ripistes parasita (Annelida: Clitellata: Naididae) from Korea. Animal Systematics, Evolution and Diversity (ASED) 28 (2): 137–139. DOI: Scholar
  18. Kahl K. 1982. Nowe stanowisko rzadkiego gatunku Ripistes parasita (Schmidt, 1847) w Polsce [New locality of the rare species Ripistes parasita (Schmidt, 1847) (Oligochaeta, Naididae) in Poland]. Przegląd Zoologiczny 26: 253–255.Google Scholar
  19. Klemm D.J. 1985. Methods of collecting and processing; museum depository for annelids, pp. 4–9. In: Klemm D.J. (ed), A guide to the freshwater Annelida (Polychaeta, naidid and tubificid Oligochaeta and Hirudinea) of North America Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company, Dubuque, IA, 198 pp. ISBN-13: 978-0840335777, ISBN-10: 0840335776Google Scholar
  20. Kołodziejczyk A. & Koperski P. 2000. Bezkręgowce słodkowodne Polski. Klucz do oznaczania oraz podstawy biologii i ekologii makrofauny [Freshwater macroinvertebrates of Poland. The key to the identification and biology and ecology of macrofauna]. Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego, Warszawa, 250 pp. ISBN: 83-235-0192-0Google Scholar
  21. Krodkiewska M. 2006. Freshwater Oligochaeta in mining subsidence ponds in the Upper Silesia Region of Southern Poland. J. Freshwater Ecol. 21 (1): 177–179. DOI: Scholar
  22. Krodkiewska M. 2007. The occurrence of rare in Europe and new to Poland species Aulodrilus japonicus Yamaguchi, 1953 (Oligochaeta, Tubificidae) in two fishponds. Pol. J. Ecol. 55 (3): 615–619.Google Scholar
  23. Ladle R.J. & Todd P.A. 2006. Sex or sanctuary: how do asexual worms survive the winter? Hydrobiologia 559 (1): 395–399. DOI: Scholar
  24. Lafont M., Camus J.C. & Rosso A. 1996. Superficial and hyporheic oligochaete communities as indicators of pollution and water exchange in the River Moselle, France. Hydrobiologia 334: 147–155. DOI: Scholar
  25. Learner M.A., Lockhead G. & Hughes B.D. 1978. A review of the biology of British Naididae (Oligochaeta) with emphasis on the lotic environment. Freshwater Biol. 8 (4): 357–375. DOI: Scholar
  26. Liljaniemi P., Vuori K., Ilyashuk B. & Luotonen H. 2002. Habitat characteristics and macroinvertebrate assemblages in boreal forest streams: relations to catchment silvicultural activities. Hydrobiologia 474 (1-3): 239–251. DOI: Scholar
  27. Loden M.S. 1981. Reproduction ecology of Naididae (Oligochaeta). Hydrobiologia 83 (1): 115–123. DOI: Scholar
  28. Löhlein B. 1999. Assessment of secondary production of Naididae (Oligochaeta): an example from a North German lake. Hydrobiologia 406: 191–198. DOI: Scholar
  29. McElhone M.J. 1978. A population study of littoral dwelling Naididae (Oligochaeta) in a shallow mesotrophic lake in North Wales. J. Anim. Ecol. 47 (2): 615–626. DOI: Scholar
  30. McNaughton S.J. & Wolf L.L. 1979. General ecology. Second ed., Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., New York, 702 pp. ISBN-10: 0030198011, ISBN-13: 9780030198014Google Scholar
  31. Montz G.R. 1988. The occurrence of Ripistes parasita (Oligochaeta: Naididae) in Minnesota and its implications for benthic sampling. J. North Am. Benthol. Soc. 7 (2): 160–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Nicolet P., Ruggiero A. & Biggs J. 2007. Second European Pond Workshop: Conservation of pond biodiversity in a changing European landscape. Ann. Limnol. — Int. J. Limn. 43 (2): 77–80. DOI: Scholar
  33. Odum E.P. 1971. Fundamentals of Ecology. Third ed. WB. Saunders Co, Philadelphia, PA, 574 pp. ISBN: 9780721669410Google Scholar
  34. Oertli B., Joye D.A., Castella E., Juge R., Cambin D. & Lachavanne J.B. 2002. Does size matter? The relationship between pond area and biodiversity. Biol. Conserv. 104 (1): 59–70. DOI: Scholar
  35. Ohtaka A. & Nishino M. 1999. Studies on the aquatic oligochaete fauna in Lake Biwa, central Japan.II. Records and taxonomic remarks of nine species. Hydrobiologia 406: 33–47. DOI: Scholar
  36. Poddubnaya T.L. 1980. Characteristics of the life cycle of Tubificidae and Naididae, pp. 97–104. In: Kothekar V.S. (ed.), Aquatic Oligochaeta Worms: Taxonomy, Ecology and Faunistic Studies in the USSR. Amerind Publishing Co., New Delhi, 211 pp. (Translated from Russian, Trudy Vsesojuznogo Gidrobiologicheskogo Obshchestva 17)Google Scholar
  37. Rodriguez P. & Reynoldson T.B. 2011. The Pollution Biology of Aquatic Oligochaetes. Springer Science+Business Media B.V., Dordrecht, Netherlands, 265 pp. DOI:, ISBN: 978-94-007-1717-6CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Särkkä J. 1987. The occurrence of oligochaetes in lake chains receiving pulp mill waste and their relation to eutrophication on the trophic scale. Hydrobiologia 155 (1): 259–266. DOI: Scholar
  39. Simpson K.W. & Abele L.E. 1984. Ripistes parasita (Schmidt) (Oligochaeta: Naididae), a distinctive oligochaete new to North America. Freshwater Invertebrate Biology 3 (1): 36–41. DOI: Scholar
  40. Skalskaya I.A. 1987. Naididy (Naididae, Oligochaeta) v zooperifitone pribrezhieia rybinskogo vodokhranilisha [The naidids (Naididae, Oligochaeta) in zooperiphyton of littoral of the Rybinsk reservoir]. Bulletin IBIW Academic Sciences USSR 75: 30–33.Google Scholar
  41. Skalskaya I.A. 2013. Taxonomic and trophic structures of dominants in the zooperiphyton of waterbodies and watercourses of the Upper Volga Basin. Inland Water Biol. 6 (2): 139–149. DOI: Scholar
  42. Smith M.E. 1986. Ecology of Naididae (Oligochaeta) from an alkaline bog stream: life history patterns and community structure. Hydrobiologia 133 (1): 79–90. DOI: Scholar
  43. Spencer D.R. & Hudson P.L. 2003. The Oligochaeta (Annelida, Clitellata) of the St. Lawrence Great Lakes Region: an Update. Journal of Great Lakes Research 29 (1): 89–104. DOI: Scholar
  44. Spyra A. 2011. Autochthonic and allochthonic plant detritus as zoobenthos habitat in anthropogenic woodland ponds. Oceanol. Hydrobiol. Stud. 40 (1): 27–35. DOI: Scholar
  45. Spyra A. & Krodkiewska M. 2013. The significance of woodland ponds in the conservation of rare species: A case study of Placobdella costata (F. Müller, 1846) (Hirudinida: Glossiphoniidae). Pol. J. Ecol. 61 (3): 613–619.Google Scholar
  46. Studinski J.M. & Grubbs S.A. 2007. Environmental factors affecting the distribution of aquatic invertebrates in temporary ponds in Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky, USA. Hydrobiologia 575 (1): 211–220. DOI: Scholar
  47. Scheffer M., van Geest G.J., Zimmer K., Jeppesen E., Sondergaard M., Butler M.G., Hanson M.A., Declerck S. & De Meester L. 2006. Small habitat size and isolation can promote species richness: second-order effects on biodiversity in shallow lakes and ponds. Oikos 112 (1): 227–231. DOI: Scholar
  48. Timm T. 1970. On the fauna of the Estonian Oligochaeta. Pedobiologia 10: 42–78.Google Scholar
  49. Timm T. 1999. Distribution of freshwater oligochaetes in the west and east coastal regions of the North Pacific Ocean. Hydrobiologia 406: 67–81. DOI: Scholar
  50. Timm T. 2009. A guide to the freshwater Oligochaeta and Polychaeta of northern and central Europe. Lauterbornia 66: 1–235.Google Scholar
  51. Timm T. 2012. Life forms in Oligochaeta: a literature review. Advances of the 5th International Oligochaeta Taxonomy Meeting Zoology in the Middle East, Supplementum 4: 071–082.Google Scholar
  52. Timm T., Kangur K., Timm H. & Timm V. 1996. Macrozoobenthos of Lake Peipsi-Pihkva: taxonomical composition, abundance, biomass and their relations to some ecological parameters. Hydrobiologia 338 (1-3): 139–154.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Timm T., Seire A. & Pall P. 2001. Half a century of oligochaete research in Estonian running waters. Hydrobiologia 463: 223–234. DOI: Scholar
  54. Wang H. & Cui Y. 2007. On the studies of Microdrile Oligochaeta and Aeolosomatidae (Annelida) in China: brief history and species checklist. Acta Hydrobiol. Sin. 31, Suppl.: 87–98.Google Scholar
  55. Williams P., Whitfield M., Biggs J., Bray S., Fox G., Nicolet P. & Sear D.A. 2004. Comparative biodiversity of rivers, streams, ditches and ponds in an agricultural landscape in Southern England. Biol. Conserv. 115 (2): 329–341. DOI: Scholar

Copyright information

© Slovak Academy of Sciences 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Hydrobiology, Faculty of Biology and Environmental ProtectionUniversity of SilesiaKatowicePoland

Personalised recommendations