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231,182 accepted species of which 222,060 checked (96%)
429,200 species names including synonyms
536,403 taxon names (infraspecies to kingdoms)
51,000 images of which 25,421 checked (50%)
Last update: 2 hours ago

About WoRMS

With WoRMS we aim to provide the most authoritative list of names of all marine species globally, ever published.

WoRMS is a contribution to Lifewatch, Catalogue of Life, Encyclopedia of Life,
Global Biodiversity Information Facility and the Census of Marine Life.


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A South African artist has ‘caught’ all fish names from WoRMS in an impressive artwork, with an environmental message
Added on: 2015-11-05 13:33:41 by Vandepitte, Leen
In January 2015, the WoRMS data management received an unusual request from a South African artist, Craig McClenaghan, who was searching for a full list of the world’s marine fish species. ... [Read more]
Biogeographic Atlas of the Southern Ocean published!
Added on: 2015-09-11 09:38:47 by Vandepitte, Leen
The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) has recently published the comprehensive “Biogeographic Atlas of the Southern Ocean”, as a legacy of the International Polar Year (2007-2009). ... [Read more]
MolluscaBase officially launched!
Added on: 2015-08-25 16:43:21 by Vandepitte, Leen
After more than a year of planning and preparations, the MolluscaBase portal is ready to be launched! ... [Read more]
New Steering Committee in place
Added on: 2015-08-25 13:09:44 by Vandepitte, Leen
The WoRMS Steering Committee welcomes Nicolas Bailly and Nicole Boury-Esnault as new SC members. ... [Read more]
Call for applications - LifeWatch money available to support data grants and to organize editor workshops
Added on: 2015-08-05 09:04:24 by Vandepitte, Leen
Through LifeWatch, The Flanders Marine Institute – host of the WoRMS database – has a budget available to financially support editors to address a number of priority gaps within WoRMS. This can be done either through (1) data grants or (2) the organization of an editor-workshop. ... [Read more]
LifeWatch support in 2014 made it possible to make WoRMS more complete
Added on: 2015-07-31 12:18:57 by Vandepitte, Leen
In 2014, LifeWatch funded several activities directly leading to the improvement and further completion of the World Register of Marine Species. LifeWatch has invested in data grants, meetings and workshops, leading to the addition of more than 7.600 new names to WoRMS, a revision of almost 19.000 names and the development of new portals and tools, helping the user and editor community in accessing and utilizing WoRMS. ... [Read more]
An update from the World Register of Deep-Sea Species (WoRDSS)
Added on: 2015-07-23 09:37:14 by Horton, Tammy
In December 2012 the deep-sea web portal 'World Register of Deep-Sea Species, WoRDSS’ was launched. Thanks to the superb efforts of many of the taxonomic editors we already have 24,977 species listed. More than 10% of known marine taxa are found deeper than 500m. But this is the largest environment on earth and we know there are more... ... [Read more]
Updating the Register of Antarctic Marine Species (RAMS)
Added on: 2015-07-07 11:56:02 by De Broyer, Claude
We noticed that in some taxonomic groups there are substantial gaps in the Southern Ocean species lists: most of the recently described species have not been registered, and for which the distribution of many taxa was largely underestimated ... [Read more]
Successful WoRMS Steering Committee meeting on June 8th – highlights
Added on: 2015-06-26 12:00:33 by Vandepitte, Leen
The WoRMS Steering Committee held its meeting on June 8th – World Oceans Day! – at the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) in Crete. ... [Read more]
WoRMS Steering Committee (SC) meeting 8 Jun 2015 in Crete, Greece
Added on: 2015-06-04 16:34:28 by Vandepitte, Leen
The next WoRMS SC meeting will be held on 2015-06-08, back to back with an EMODNet Marine Species Traits and EU-BON meeting. ... [Read more]
Obituary – Kristian Fauchald – WoRMS Polychaeta founding editor
Added on: 2015-04-29 10:25:36 by Vandepitte, Leen
Kristian Fauchald, emeritus research zoologist at Smithsonian, and a founding editor of the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) passed away the 5th April 2015. ... [Read more]
SMEBD dissolved by decision of the council
Added on: 2015-04-17 20:43:41 by SMEBD Council
The SMEBD council would like to officially inform you that the Society for the Management of Electronic Biodiversity Data (SMEBD) has been dissolved by decision of the council. ... [Read more]
LifeWatch supports the Catalogue of Life Global Team meeting @VLIZ
Added on: 2015-04-07 11:01:28 by Dekeyzer, Stefanie
The Global Team and Board of Directors of the Catalogue of Life have met at the Flanders Marine Institute to discuss the strategic plan for the Catalogue and how these goals can be accomplished. Back-to-back with these meetings, a mini-symposium was organized, offering a discussion platform to users, providers and related networks and initiatives to the Catalogue of Life. ... [Read more]
Obituary - Roger Bamber - WoRMS Pycnogonida editor
Added on: 2015-04-02 14:18:39 by Vandepitte, Leen
Roger Bamber, the WoRMS chief taxonomic editor of the sea-spiders has recently passed away. ... [Read more]
World Register of Marine Introduced Species (WRIMS) officially launched
Added on: 2015-03-17 08:46:21 by Vandepitte, Leen
WRIMS – a database of introduced and invasive alien marine species – has officially been released to the public. It includes more than 1,400 marine species worldwide, compiled through the collaboration with international initiatives and study of almost 2,500 publications. ... [Read more]
PRESS RELEASE: Four newly discovered marine species added to world list WoRMS every day
Added on: 2015-03-11 18:03:44 by Vandepitte, Leen
The World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) confirms that currently 228,450 marine animal and plant species are known. A critical analysis has identified almost half the names assigned over two and a half centuries to ocean dwelling creatures as redundant aliases; they turned out to be synonyms. But still every day new species are discovered and described. In 2014 alone, some 1,451 new-to-science marine creatures were added to WoRMS — an average of four per day. ... [Read more]
NeMys editors got off to a flying start!
Added on: 2015-03-02 10:57:50 by Vandepitte, Leen
On February 24-26, experts on free-living marine nematodes have gathered at the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), host institute of the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS), to give the re-newed NeMys a kick-start and to discuss future plans. ... [Read more]
FreshGEN: the Freshwater Gastropods of the European Neogene – a new thematic database
Added on: 2014-11-21 13:55:20 by Vandepitte, Leen
The FreshGEN database contains species information on Neogene freshwater Gastropoda and has kindly offered to share its information with both MolluscaBase and WoRMS. Through this, MolluscaBase is taking an excellent start regarding the fossil component of the database, as no less than 4.360 new taxa were added. ... [Read more]
NeMys – the World Database of Free-Living Marine Nematodes – has joined forces with WoRMS
Added on: 2014-11-17 11:26:40 by Vandepitte, Leen
NeMys has recently been integrated into the World Register of Marine Species. In addition to all the WoRMS-functionalities, it also holds a number of online identification keys. ... [Read more]
WoRMS goes viral!
Added on: 2014-11-04 09:13:17 by Vandepitte, Leen
The goal of WoRMS is to deal with all marine organisms and – up till now – viruses have been completely overlooked. In collaboration with members of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV), WoRMS has leaped into the world of these fascinating tiny creatures and has made available the names of 129 marine virus species, including the link with their host organisms. ... [Read more]
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Who is using WoRMS?

An overview of who is using WoRMS is available on our users webpage.


We ask you to cite the individual global or regional species lists, or species pages as appropriate. Their citations are shown on their web pages. The database as a whole is to be cited as follows:

WoRMS Editorial Board (2015). World Register of Marine Species. Available from http://www.marinespecies.org at VLIZ. Accessed 2015-11-30

[full citation]

Citations (Google scholar)

Citations for "World Register of Marine Species": 2,935

[view publications]


The editorial board maintains this register, but is aware that it is not complete and undoubtedly contains errors. The board cannot be made responsible for any errors or misuse of data contained in this register. Comments from our users are more than welcome, so if you come across any error or incomplete information or you are willing to contribute to this initiative please contact us at info@marinespecies.org.