The Aquatic Annelid Fauna of the San Marcos River Headsprings, Hays County, Texas
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The San Marcos River in Central Texas has been well studied and has been demonstrated to be remarkably specious. Prior to the present study, research on free-living invertebrates in the San Marcos River only dealt with hard bodied taxa with the exception of the report of one gastrotrich, and one subterranean platyhelminth that only incidentally occurs in the head spring outflows. The remainder of the soft-bodied metazoan fauna that inhabit the San Marcos River had never been studied. Our study surveyed the annelid fauna and some other soft-bodied invertebrates of the San Marcos River headsprings. At least four species of Hirudinida, two species of Aphanoneura, one species of Branchiobdellida, and 11 (possibly 13) species of oligochaetous clitellates were collected. Other vermiform taxa collected included at least three species of Turbellaria and one species of Nemertea. We provide the results of the first survey of the aquatic annelid fauna of the San Marcos Springs, along with a dichotomous key to these annelids that includes photos of some representative specimens, and line drawings to elucidate potentially confusing diagnostic structures.