World Nemertea Database

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World Nemertea Database

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1,340 accepted species, of which 100% checked
2,004 species names including synonyms


Approximately 1300 valid, described species of the phylum Nemertea, or ribbonworms, are known worldwide, inhabiting oceans, freshwaters, and land. Current field-work suggests that at least several times this number remain to be named or discovered. Nemerteans are unsegmented worms characterized by a unique and remarkable eversible proboscis. Some are colorful, while others are drab. They range from one millimeter to more than 30 meters long. Some are highly specialized predators while others are more eclectic, with diets that favor other worms, crustaceans, and mollusks. They are poorly known to non-specialists, because most nemerteans live in concealment and are difficult to collect, and because traditional taxonomy focuses significantly on internal anatomy based on histological study, while now we use genetic data extensively. However, many are common, abundant and can be key predators, while the phylum itself is important to understanding evolution of early invertebrate body plans. This site is intended to make these worms less enigmatic. The emphasis is on taxonomy, but the intent is to accommodate all aspects of nemertean biology.

9th ICNB – international conference of nemertean biology (held every third year)

The conference was held on the Isle of Sylt from August 13th to August 17th and housed by the Alfred-Wegener-Institute for Polar and Marine Research (AWI). Organizers were from the University of Bonn: Jörn von Döhren, Daria Krämer, Patrick Beckers and Thomas Bartolomeus, with support from DFG – Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft. The contributions (see program with abstracts) covered major aspects of the Nemertean biology, systematics, structure, function and phylogeny. Apart from many interesting talks and sessions, a low-tide nocturnal excursion gave several findings of Lineus viridis (Müller, 1774) and Lineus clandestinus Krämer et al 2016. The participants also had the possibility to discuss the higher ranks of Nemertean taxonomy which lead to a community-based publication in Zoologica Scripta (on-line October 2018): Nemertean taxonomy-Implementing changes in the higher ranks, dismissing Anopla and Enopla DOI: 10.1111/zsc.12317

The next, 10th, international conference of nemertean biology is planned to 2021, currently with two possible locations - in Brazil (suggested host Sònia Andrade) or Sweden (suggested host Malin Strand).


Usage of data from the World Nemertea Database in scientific publications should be acknowledged by citing as follows:

If the data from the World Nemertea Database constitute a substantial proportion of the records used in analyses, the chief editor(s) of the database should be contacted. There may be additional data which may prove valuable to such analyses.

Individual pages are individually authored and dated. These can be cited separately: the proper citation is provided at the bottom of each page.


Website and databases developed and hosted by VLIZ · Page generated 2024-05-26 · contact: Jon Norenburg