Polychaete taxonomy

The identification of species can be regarded a fundamental precondition for conducting research in life sciences. In the marine environment the Polychaeta often dominate among macrozoobenthic taxa in soft sediments. But there are also larval stages and few taxa that can be found in the plankton.

Our work focuses on Spionidae. They usually live in tubes in soft sediments or attached to hard surfaces. The polydorids also bore in calcarous substrates (e.g. mollusc shells or corals). Spionids are widespread and occur from intertidal depths to the deepsea.

Dealing with spionid taxonomy not only the description of new species
but also the discovery of new morphological characters is a particular challenge. Here the inclusion of histological studies is promising.

Spio filicornis (Spionidae)
Infauna Taxonomie
SEM image of Spio (Spionidae), collected in Greenland
Infauna Taxonomie
TEM-study of Spiophanes spp.