Polychaetes: British Amphinomida, Spintherida and Eunicida


Polychaetes are one of the most widespread, abundant and diverse elements of the British - and indeed the world - marine fauna. They dominate many habitat types, occur in or on all types of substratum, in waters of all levels of salinity, and at all depths in the ocean.

This Synopsis, the first in a planned series on the class Polychaeta (phylum Annelida), covers the groups known in older literature as the amphinomids, spintherids and eunicids – groups including genera notoriously difficult to identify. For additional orders of polychaetes, see Synopsis 44 and Synopsis 54.

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