An illustrated identification key to the eutardigrade species (Tardigrada, Eutardigrada) presently known from European soils

  • Jana Bingemer Senckenberg Museum für Naturkunde Görlitz, Am Museum 1, PF 300154, 02806 Görlitz, Germany
  • Karin Hohberg Senckenberg Museum für Naturkunde Görlitz, Am Museum 1, PF 300154, 02806 Görlitz, Germany
Keywords: Eutardigrada, Identification key, Soil tardigrades


The present paper aims at providing a practical identification tool for soil zoologists. It shall facilitate taxonomic examination of tardigrade communities in order to encourage further investigations and by this expand our scarce knowledge on soil tardigrades. From faunistic studies on soil tardigrades a list of the eutardigrade species presently known from European soils was gathered comprising 22 genera, 58 species, 3 species groups. Based on the most important standard works and on up-to-date nomenclature an illustrated key to the eutardigrade genera of European soils was created. Genus descriptions and identification keys to the soil species were added while those genera that hold only one or two soil species were accomplished with short species descriptions. Additional information is given on the relevant determination features, such as claws and bucco-pharyngeal apparatus. Difficulties in tardigrade identification and taxonomy are discussed. Due to the comparably small number of studies that so far exist on soil tardigrades, the key will most likely not cover all species present in European soils, but shall provide a basis to facilitate further research.



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How to Cite
Bingemer , J., & Hohberg, K. (2017). An illustrated identification key to the eutardigrade species (Tardigrada, Eutardigrada) presently known from European soils. SOIL ORGANISMS, 89(3), 127–149. Retrieved from