The list of polychaetes was compiled from several published and unpublished lists. Among the most important published sources were Castelli et al. (1995), Ariño (1987), Mackie and Erseus (1997), and Holte and Brattegard (1997). Publications on the polychaete fauna of Germany (Hartmann-Schröder 1996, Böggemann 1998), and many short papers too numerous to cite here, were also used. Unpublished lists of polychaetes of the Mediterranean and Black Seas established by Dr K. Arvanitidis (Heraklion, Greece), for the English Channel, the French Atlantic, and northern coast of Spain, by Dr J.C. Dauvin and F. Gentil, and Dr G. Bachelet (Inventory of the Annelid Polychaetes of the Gulf of Gascogne de l'Iroise à la côte nord de l'Espagne, côte de Galice jusqu'au 09° W), respectively, have provided unpublished lists. H. G. Hansson provided information concerning Iceland and Greenland. Dr’s R. Barnich and D. Fiege generously helped in correcting the general list and especially the Aphroditidae, Polynoidae, Acoetidae, Pholoidae, Eulepethidae, Sigalionidae, Magelonidae, Owenidae and the Serpulidae. Dr Mary E. Petersen reviewed the list in general and especially the Chaetopteridae, Cirratulidae, Cossuridae, Ctenodrilidae, Fauveliopsidae, Longosomatidae, Pholoidae and some Spionidae. The compiler is extremely grateful to all that assisted.The classification of polychaete families into orders have changed significantly in recent years and it is likely that these changes will continue to occur.
The ERMS project has tended to be conservative in relation to classifications to minimise confusing non-specialist readers. Therefore systematic hierarchy has been delimited to family level and families, genera and species have been arranged in alphabetic order. The Pogonophora have been reduced to the rank of Family within the Polychaeta by Rouse and Fauchald (1997), who revert them to the name Siboglinidae Caullery, 1914 within the Order Sabellida. However, few non-specialists will be aware of this change so the Pogonophora have been kept distinct in this volume.
However due to this kind of compilation from very different origins, it was necessary to decide among several nomenclatural denominations of genus and species. In fact, only few families have been recently studied taking into account all the species of the ERMS geographical extension. This list is expected to be improved in terms of taxonomy and also in terms of the validity of some species with future research. Therefore apart from the printed version please check the web site for updated information.
- Ariño, A.H. 1987. Bibliografìa iberica de Poliquetos. Base de datos y Catàlogo de especies.(Iberian bibliography about Polychaeta. Data Base and Catalogue of Species). Publicaciones de Biologia de la Universidad de Navarra Serie Zoologica, 16.
- Arvanitidis, C. 2000. Polychaete fauna of the Aegean Sea: Inventory and new information. Bulletin of Marine Sciences, 66: 73-96
- Böggemann, M. 1998. Polychaeten aus der Deutschen Bucht. Courier Forschunginstitut Senckenberg 202, 315 p.
- Castelli, A., Abbiati, M., Badalamenti, F., Bianchi, C.N., Cantone, G., Gambi, M.C., Giangrande, A., Gravina, M.F., Lanera, P., Lardicci, C., Somaschini, A. & Sordino, P. 1995. Annelida Polychaeta, Pogonophora, Echiura, Sipunculida. 45 pp. In: Checklist delle specie della fauna italiana,. 19. Calderini, Bologna 1-45.
- Hartmann-Schröder, G. 1996. Annelida, Borstemwürmer, Polychaeta. Die Tiewelt Deutschland 58, Teil, 648 p. Mit 295 Abbildungen, 2 neuarbeittete Auflage.
- Holte, T. & Brattegard, T. 1997. Class Polychaeta (phylum Annelida). pp. 115-129 In:
- Brattegard, T. & Holthe, T. 1997. Distribution of marine, benthic macroorganisms in Norway. A tabulated catalogue. Preliminary Edition. . Research Report for Directorate for Nature Management. 409 pp.
- Mackie, A.S.Y. & Erséus, C. 1997. Annelida. In: Howson C. M. and Picton B. E. (eds), The Species Directory of the Marine Fauna and Flora of the British Isles and surrounding Seas. Marine Conservation Society, Ross-on-Wye, pp 109-146.
- Rouse, G.W. & Fauchald, K. 1997. Cladistics and polychaetes. Zoologica Scripta 28, 139-204.