Species of Eunice are distributed worldwide, inhabiting soft and hard marine bottoms. Some of these species play significant roles in coral reef communities and others are commercially important. Eunice is the largest and most poorly defined genus in Eunicidae. It has traditionally been subdivided in taxonomically informal groups based on the colour and dentition of subacicular hooks, and branchial distribution. The monophyly of Eunice and of its informal subgroups is tested here using cladistic analyses of 24 ingroup species based on morphological data. In the phylogenetic hypothesis resulting from the present analyses Eunice and its subgroups are paraphyletic; the genus may be divided in at least two monophyletic groups, Eunice s.s. and Leodice, but several species do not fall inside these two groups. Most of the traditional characters used in the taxonomy of Eunice are homoplasies; however, characters used for the first time in this study, such as certain jaw characters and characters derived from a close examination of chaetal variation along the body, are promising sources of phylogenetic signal.