Pencil and watercolour illustration (D466) of the type specimens of the Giant Gippsland Earthworm, Megascolides australis, from Brandy Creek, Gippsland, by Arthur Bartholomew, 3 October 1873. This work was commissioned by Frederick McCoy, the first Director of The National Museum of Victoria, for Plate 7 in 'The Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria; Figures and descriptions of the living species of all classes of the Victoria indigenous animals'.

The Prodromus account is McCoy's original description of the Giant Gippsland Earthworm, Megacolides australis, and the type specimens (syntypes) are registered as NMV F 40135, in the Museum's Invertebrate Zoology Collection. The species, which has declined in its distributional range, is protected in Victoria, and was the first invertebrate to be listed as Vulnerable under Commonwealth legislation.

Bartholomew's illustration forms part of the much larger Prodromus Collection. Many of the original illustrations and prints in the collection informed the production of The Prodromus, the first major publication of the National Museum of Victoria. Between 1878 and 1890, McCoy published his zoology 'Prodromus' as 20 parts in two volumes, with each part comprising 20 plates. Unfortunately, almost 90 plates in the collection remain unpublished, and hundreds of illustrations were either not completed or not printed.

Description of Content

Giant Gippsland Earthworm, Megascolides australis, by Arthur Bartholomew. Drawing, pencil, watercolour and ink on paper, 3rd Oct 1873, 17cm x 26cm. Drawing for Plate 7 in The Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria by Frederick McCoy.

More Information

  • Collection Names

    Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria

  • Collecting Areas

    Scientific Art & Observation

  • Artist

    Arthur Bartholomew, 3 Oct 1873

  • Place specimen collected

    Brandy Creek, Victoria, Australia

  • Format


  • Technique

    Scientific illustration

  • Plate Number


  • Drawing Number


  • State


  • Primary Inscriptions

    A Bartholomew. Oct 3rd/73 / No.466

  • Secondary Inscriptions

    [dimensions & scale]

  • Tertiary Inscriptions

    Worm found in earth at Brandy Creek / Megascolides australis (McCoy) [McCoys hand]

  • Classification

    Scientific artwork, Illustration, Paper

  • Taxon Name

    Megascolides australis

  • Author and date of publication

    McCoy, 1878

  • Type Status


  • Preferred Common name

    Giant Gippsland Earthworm

  • Phylum


  • Class


  • Family


  • Genus


  • Species Name


  • Identified By

    Frederick McCoy

  • Date Identified


  • Category

    Natural Sciences

  • Discipline

    Scientific Artwork

  • Type of item


  • Overall Dimensions

    26 cm (Width), 17 cm (Height)

  • References

    [Book Series] McCoy, Frederick. 1878-1890. Natural History of Victoria: Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria or Figures and Descriptions of the Living Species of All Classes of the Victorian Indigenous Animals. 1-2.
    [Article] Yen, Alan L., et al. 2001. McCoy's Prodromus of the Zoology of Victoria: an unfinished task. Vic. Nat. 118 (6): 242-255.