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A ‘Three-Tailed’ Earthworm E-mail
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Monday, 03 September 2007
A ‘Three-Tailed’ Earthworm

A Report on Hatchling of a ‘Three-Tailed’ Earthworm

(Polypheretima Elongata) From India

P. S. Chaudhuri and Gautam  Bhattachrrjee*


Dept. of Zoology, M.B.B. College, Agartala 799004,Tripura, India.

*State Forensic Science Laboratory

Narsingarh, Tripura

The anomalies of structure and malformation in Oligochaeta with reference to bifurcation and  twining , segmentation, the translation or absence of external sexual characters and of internal organs are not uncommon ( Stephenson,1930).During our laboratory observation on cocoon hatching one juvenile with three tails of Polypheretima elongata ( Perrier). Probably this is the first report on the occurrence of extra tails  in P.elongata. The cocoon that hatched had no abnormality externally compared to other cocoons except that its development time was 17 days more than the average development time (49 days) of Polypheretima cocoon .. The abnormal juvenile, 26 mm in length, had 3 slenden cylindrical body parts(called tails) radiating from a   slightly swollen portion of the worm- body so that the worm looked like ‘Y’.This monstrous juvenile lived for 21 days only and was a case of compound bifurcation due to congenital abnormality as found in other Oligochaetes

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