Key to Australian Freshwater and Terrestrial Invertebrates

Phylum Annelida
Class Clitellata
Family Capilloventridae

Common names: capilloventrids


A poorly studied group, the relationship of the Capilloventridae to the rest of the Clitellata is unresolved. The unique feature of the family is the presence of hair setae in ventral bundles.

Distribution and diversity

There are only five species from a single genus, Capilloventer, described worldwide. Two of these are marine, one from Brazil and the other from Antarctica. The other three species are described from freshwater in Australia. C. australis was described from NSW, whilst C. acheronensis and C. longicapitus are found in Victoria.

Life cycle

Capilloventrids are hermaphroditic, but little else is known about their biology or reproductive processes.


Little is known about the feeding behaviours of the Capilloventridae.


Freshwater Capilloventridae inhabit streams, rivers and upper reaches of estuaries, usually with sandy sediments.