Tubifex tubifex (Muller)

Tubifex tubifex


The dorsal bundles with hair and pectinate chaetae. Only mature worms can be identified. A species without exceptional features and thus prone to over-identification as some of these exceptional features are easily missed on the other species. Anterior dorsal bundles have up to 6 hairs and 5 pectinate chaetae. Ventral bundles with 3 to 6 (10) bifid chaetae anteriorly falling to 2 posteriorly, the upper tooth thinner than the lower. There are no modified genital chaetae. The penis sheath is tub-like, thin, and indistinct. The atrium is crescent-shaped and the vas deferens long and annulated. It is most similar to Ilyodrilus templetoni, except for the less distinct, tub-shaped penis sheath, the more normal ventral chaetae of segment 2, and its larger size.


A large tubificid (20 - 200 mm). Most common in marginal habitats with few other species. Often in disturbed sites, but also in some pristine sites with naturally depauperate communities. This specis is the only known invertebrate vector of salmonid whirling disease.


A world-wide species that is widespread in the northern parts of North America. It is alreadly known to be widespread in Montana.

13 APR 1996, Updated on 24 APR 1996 D.L. Gustafson
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