Anna Lanen


Morphological characterization of adult and juvenile lumbricid earthworm specimen (both Fitzingeria platyura) using micro-CT-scanning

MSc Student
Advisor: Gerhard Steiner

Unit for Integrative Zoology, Department of Evolutionary Biology
University of Vienna


This thesis aims to compare the morphology of an adult and juvenile Fitzingeria platyura (Oligochaeta: Lumbricidae) specimen using micro-CT-scanning and DNA-barcoding. In contrast to traditional dissection of specimen, micro-CT-scanning might yield promising images that allow for more detailed morphological analysis. This is especially relevant for the attempt of displaying the reproductive anatomy, which is used in the characterization of species. As mentioned in previous research, juvenile lumbricid earthworm specimen often remain uncharacterized due to their undeveloped reproductive organs. When using micro-CT-scanning, however, these might be visible in their earlier developmental stages. The juvenile anatomy will then be compared to the anatomy of an adult specimen of the same species. DNA-barcoding was used to characterize all specimen based on their CO1 sequence. Together, both characterizations might offer a new approach to analyzing juvenile earthworm characteristics. Finally, a detailed 3D reconstruction of relevant morphological features in the adult specimen will be made accessible.