Order Branchiobdellida(Crayfish Worms)
Families of the Order Branchiobdellida Discovered
in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Can't find the families you are looking for? Note:
Families on this list are only those contained
in the ATBI database,
and do not neccessarily include
all Park families from historic park reports, literature,
or other sources that have not yet been entered in the Biodiversity Database.
Also note: where the family name ends with '_family', it means that the family
name has not yet been agreed upon by taxonomists for this group,
or that it was not identified to this level.
In Case You Didn't Know ...
Have you ever asked yourself, 'how does a crayfish clean the algae and other stuff off its back'? The answer is that it doesn't. Instead, a little-known type of worm called a Branchiobdellidan does this job for it. The worms get a supply of food and the crayfish gets a free cleaning.
Before DLIA encouraged worm experts to inventory this very specialized family of worms, the Park only knew of one species. Now 9 more crayfish worms have been added to the Smokies' list!