New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1998) 22(1): 95- 97

Burrowing behaviour of the New Zealand indigenous earthworm Octochaetus multiporus (Megascolecidae : Oligochaeta)

Research Article
J. A. Springett  
R. A. J. Gray  
  1. Grassland Research Centre, AgResearch, Tennent Dr, Private Bag 11008, Palmerston North, New Zealand

Mature Octochaetus multiporus in pots of sieved soil created a network of burrows with a diameter of about 10 mm which did not open to the surface. Several chambers 15 to 20 mm wide and 20 to 50 mm long were found within the burrow network; some worms were found curled within these chambers which also contained a quantity of loose cast material. Octochaetus multiporus responded to the presence of plants by burrowing nearer to the surface under white clover and nearer to bottom of the pot under chicory.