Marine Invertebrates II

Polychaeta of the Socotra Archipelago

In spring 2000 Thomas Wehe participated in the UNDP/GEF funded project „Conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity of Socotra Archipelago“, the marine part of which is led by Senckenberg. He collected ca. 650 polychaetes comprising 19 families with about 40 scale worms among them. These were studied by him in the scope of his PhD thesis. 

Altogether specimens from more than 20 different localities were collected, including the smaller, less accessible islands of the archipelago. This material has only been partly analysed, but within the family Sabellariidae a new record for a genus could be verified for the Arabian region.

Additional taxa are analysed by Danny Eibye-Jacobsen, Copenhagen (Spionidae), Charlotte Watson, Darwin (Chrysopetalidae) and Markus Böggemann, Osnabrück (Goniadidae). A new species of Namanereididae found in a brackish waterhole 700m above sealevel was described by Dieter Fiege and Kay Van Damme (Brussels). With work progressing another new species of Namanereis was described. A faunal census of the Syllidae form Socotra has meanwhile been completed in cooperation with Guillermo San Martín and Yolanda Lucas-Rodriguez (both Madrid). 

Additional new records and species are expected as work proceeds. Socotra Archipelago is especially interesting wirh respect to its polychaete fauna because it has never been studied before.


Fiege, D. & Van Damme, K. (2002): Namanereis gesae a new species of polychaete (Polychaeta: Nereididae: Namanereidinae) from the Socotra Archipelago, Yemen. Fauna of Arabia 19: 239-244. pdf

Glasby, C, Fiege, D., & Van Damme, K. (2014): Stygobiont polychaetes: notes on the morphology and the origins of groundwater Namanereis (Annelida, Nereididae, Namanereidinae), with the description of two new species. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 171: 22-37.

Lucas Rodríguez, Y., San Martín, G. & Fiege, D. (2018): Two new species of Branchiosyllis Ehlers, 1887 and redescription of Branchiosyllis exilis (Gravier, 1900), from Socotra Archipelago (Yemen, Indian Ocean). Marine Biodiversity 48: 1519-1527. DOI 10.1007/s12526-017-0657-8.

Lucas Rodríguez, Y., San Martín, G. & Fiege, D. (2019): A new species and nine new records of Syllidae (Annelida) from Socotra Archipelago (Indian Ocean). Zootaxa 4651 (2): 235–258.

Lucas Rodríguez, Y., San Martín, G. & Fiege, D. (2020): New species and records of the genus Syllis Savigny in Lamarck, 1818 (Annelida: Syllidae) from Socotra Archipelago (Indian Ocean). Zootaxa 4742 (1): 73-88.