Revista de Biología Tropical ISSN Impreso: 0034-7744 ISSN electrónico: 2215-2075

How false is Nereis falsa (Annelida, Phyllodocida, Nereididae)?


cosmopolitan species
exotic species
pharynx areas
type localities
especies cosmopolitas
especies exóticas
áreas faríngeas
localidades tipo

How to Cite

Salazar-Vallejo, S. I., Gillet, P., & Surugiu, V. (2017). How false is Nereis falsa (Annelida, Phyllodocida, Nereididae)?. Revista De Biología Tropical, 65(3), 847–857.


There are many taxonomic problems in polychaete species names and solving confusing or inadequate taxonomic procedures is both time-demanding and extremely important. Our objective in this contribution was to analyse what is the current taxonomic situation for Nereis falsa de Quatrefages, 1866; it was based upon Nereis pulsatoria? Rathke, 1837 from the Black Sea, and it is currently regarded as having a very wide distribution. The species has been collected from different benthic substrates and even can be found on floating objects or marine turtles. Nereis falsa has been recorded from the Mediterranean Sea, the Eastern Atlantic along Africa, the Western Atlantic (Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, Brazil), and the Indian Ocean. However, despite the fact N. falsa was proposed as a species from the Black Sea, it has not yet been found there. How can we explain that a species is able to attain a very wide distribution and yet be missing from its type locality? After a careful study of previous publications and with our understanding of the systematics of nereidid polychaetes, we clarify the current situation by examining several related species and pointed out some nomenclatural issues. Our analysis indicates there is more than one species included under the same name, and in this contribution we propose some means to promote discussion and actions, and suggest some basic research for solving this issue.


Aliani, S., & Meloni, R. (1999). Dispersal strategies of benthic species and water current variability in the Corsica Channel. Scientia Marina, 63, 137-145. Retrieved from

Aliani, S., & Molcard, A. (2003). Hitch-hiking on floating marine debris: macrobenthic species in the Western Mediterranean Sea. Hydrobiologia, 503, 59-67. Retrieved from

Alós, C., Laborda, J., Núñez, J., Parapar, J., Besteiro, C., Moreira, J., San Martín, G., & Alonso-Zarazaga, M. A. (2004). Nomenclatura: Lista de sinónimos y combinaciones. Fauna Ibérica, 25, 495-521.

Amaral, A. C. Z., Nallin, S. A. H., Steiner, T. M., Forroni, T. O., & Filho, D. G. (2013). Catálogo das Espécies de Annelida Polychaeta do Brasil. Retrieved from

Amoureux, L. (1973). Quelques annélides polychètes d’Afrique occidentale et équatoriale. Cahiers ORSTOM, 11, 41-65.

Amoureux, L. (1976). Une intéressante collection de Néréidiens (annélides polychètes) des côtes marocaines du détroit de Gibraltar. Nereis moroccensis, espèce nouvelle pour la Science. Bulletin du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, Paris, 3e série, Zoologie, 258, 370, 337-349.

Andrea, P., & Giancarlo, M. J. (2003). La Fauna del Parco Nazionale del Circeo. Progetto “Parchi in qualità” ovvero “applicazione pilota del Sistema di Gestione Ambientale nelle aree naturali protette”. ENEA, 1-81.

Audouin, J. V., & Milne-Edwards, H. (1832). Classification des Annélides et description de celles qui habitent les côtes de la France. Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Paris, 27, 337-447. Retrieved from

Audouin, J. V., & Milne-Edwards, H. (1833). Classification des Annélides, et description de celles qui habitent les côtes de la France. Quatrième famille: Néréidiens. Annales des Sciences Naturelles, Paris, 29, 195-269 (issued also as a book, 1834, volume 2, part 1). Retrieved from

Audzijonyte, A., Ovcarenko, I., Bastrop, R., & Väinölä, R. (2008). Two cryptic species of the Hediste diversicolor group (Polychaeta, Nereididae) in the Baltic Sea, with mithocondrial signatures of different population histories. Marine Biology, 155, 599-612. Retrieved from

Augener, H. (1918). Polychaeta. Beitrage zur Kenntnis des Meeresfauna West-Afrikas. Herausgegeben von W. Michaelsen. Z.L. Friedrerichsen & Co., Hamburg 2, 67-625, 6 Pls. Retrieved from

Bobretzky, N. (1881). [Additions to the annelid fauna of the Black Sea]. Zapiski Kievskogo Obshchestva Estestvoispytatelej, 6, 183-212, 2 Pls.

Çinar, M. E., Katağan, T., Koçak, F., Öztürk, B., Ergen, Z., Kocatas, A., Önen, M., Kirkim, F., Bakir, K., Kurt, G., Dağli, E., Açik, S., Doğan, A., & Özcan, T. (2008). Faunal assemblages of the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis in and around Alsancak Harbour (Izmir Bay, eastern Mediterranean) with special emphasis on alien species. Journal of Marine Systems, 71, 1-17. Retrieved from

Claparède, E. (1868). Les Annélides Chétopodes du Golfe de Naples. Mémoires de la Société de Physique et d'Histoire naturelle de Genève, 19, 313-584. Retrieved from

Claparède, É. (1870). Les annélides chétopodes du Golfe de Naples. Supplément. Mémoires de la Société de physique et d'histoire naturelle de Genève, 20, 365-542. Retrieved from

Conde-Vela, V. M., & Salazar-Vallejo, S. I. (2015). Redescriptions of Nereis oligohalina (Rioja, 1946) and N. garwoodi González-Escalante & Salazar-Vallejo, 2003, and description of N. confusa sp. n. (Annelida, Nereididae). ZooKeys, 518, 15-49. Retrieved from

Daas, T., Younsi, M., Daas-Maamcha, O., Gillet, P., & Scaps, P. (2011). Reproduction, population dynamics and production of Nereis falsa (Nereididae Polychaeta) of the rocky coast of El Kala, National Park, Algeria. Helgoland Marine Research, 65, 165-173. Retrieved from

Daas, T., Younsi, M., Daas-Maamcha, O., & Scaps, P. (2010). Ovogénèse de Nereis falsa Quatrefages, 1866 de la région de El-Kala, Algérie. Bulletin de la Societé Zoologique de France, 135, 131-141. Retrieved from

Day, J. H. (1962). Polychaeta from several localities in the western Indian Ocean. Proceedings of the Zoological Society, London, 139, 627-656. Retrieved from

Day, J. H. (1967). A Monograph on the Polychaeta of Southern Africa. British Museum (Natural History) Publications, 656, 38+878 pp. Retrieved from

Day, J. H., & Morgans, J. F. C. (1956). The Ecology of South African estuaries, 7. The Biology of Durban Bay. Annals of the Natal Museum, 13, 259-312.

de Blainville, H. (1825). Néréide, Nereis. Dictionnaire des Sciences Naturelles, 34, 408-455. Retrieved from

de León-González, J. A., Solís-Weiss, V., & Ochoa-Rivera, V. (1999). Nereidids (Polychaeta) from the Caribbean Sea and adjacent Coral Islands of the Southern Gulf of Mexico. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 112, 667-681. Retrieved from

de Quatrefages, A. (1866). Histoire naturelle des Annelés marins et d'eau douce. Annélides et Géphyriens. Librarie Encyclopédique de Roret. Paris, Volume 1, 588 pp. Retrieved from

Ehlers, E. (1908). Die Bodensässigen Anneliden aus den Sammlungen der deutschen Tiefsee-Expedition. Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der deutschen Tiefsee-Expedition auf dem Dampfer 'Valdivia' 1898-1899, 16, 1-168. Retrieved from

Ehlers, E. (1913). Die Polychaeten-Sammlungen der Deutschen Südpolar-Expedition 1901-1903. Deutsche Südpolar-Expedition, 1901-1903, 13, 397-598, Pls 26-46. Retrieved from

Fauvel, P. (1913). Quatrième note préliminaire sur les Polychètes provenant des campagnes de l'Hirondelle et de la Princesse-Alice, ou deposées dans le Musée Océanographique de Monaco. Bulletin de l'Institut Océanographique de Monaco, 270, 1-80. Retrieved from

Fauvel, P. (1916). Annélides polychètes pélagiques provenant des Campagnes de l’Hirondelle et de la Princesse-Alice (1885-1910). Résultats des Campagnes Scientifiques accomplies sur son Yacht par Albert 1er, Prince Souverain de Monaco, 48, 1-152, 9 Pls. Retrieved from

Fauvel, P. (1919). Annélides polychètes de Madagascar, de Djibouti et du Golfe Persique. Archives de Zoologie Expérimentale et Générale, 58, 315-473.

Fauvel, P. (1923). Polychètes errantes. Faune de France, 5, 1-488. Retrieved from

Fauvel, P. (1936). Contribution a la faune des annélides polychètes du Maroc. Mémoires de la Société des Sciences Naturelles du Maroc, 43, 1-143. Retrieved from

Fauvel, P., (1937). Les fonds de pèche près d’Alexandrie, 11. Annélides polychètes. Direction des Recherches des Pêcheries, Notes et Mémoires, Cairo, 19, 1-60. Retrieved from

Fauvel, P. (1950). Contribution à la faune des annélides polychètes du Sénégal. Bulletin de l’Institut Français d’Afrique Noire, 12, 335-394.

Fauvel, P., & Rullier, F. (1957). Nouvelle contribution à la faune des annélides polychètes du Sénégal. Bulletin de l’Institut Français d’Afrique Noire, 19, 24-97.

Fauvel, P., & Rullier, F. (1959). Contribution à la faune des annélides polychètes du Sénégal et de la Mauritanie. Bulletin de l’Institut Français d’Afrique Noire, 21, 477-533. Retrieved from

Faulwetter, S. (2010). Check-list of marine Polychaeta from Greece. Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Assembled in the framework of the EU FP7 PESI project.

Felder, D. L., & Camp, D. K. (2009). Gulf of Mexico: Origins, Waters, and Biota. Biodiversity. Texas: Texas A&M Press, College Station.

Gillet, P. (1986). Contribution à l’étude écologique des annélides polychètes de l’Estuaire du Bou Regreg (Maroc) (Thèse de doctorat). Université d’Aix Marseille, France.

Gillet, P. (1988). Structure des peuplements intertidaux d’annélides polychètes de l’Estuaire du Bou Regreg (Maroc). Bulletin d’Ecologie, 19, 33-42.

Gillet, P. (1990). Note sur les annélides polychètes du Banc d’Arguin (Mauritanie) et description de Marphysa mauritanica n. sp. Beaufortia, 40(4), 73-84. Retrieved from

González-Escalante, L. E., & Salazar-Vallejo, S. I. (2003). A new estuarine species, Nereis garwoodi (Polychaeta: Nereididae) from Bahía Chetumal, Mexican Caribbean coast. Revista de Biología Tropical, 51, 155-164. Retrieved from

Gravina, M. F., Lezzi, M., Bonifazi, A., & Giangrande, A. (2015). The genus Nereis L., 1758 (Polychaeta, Nereididae); state of the art for identification of Mediterranean species. Atti della Società Toscana di Scienze Naturali, Memorie, serie B, 122, 147-164. Retrieved from

Grube, A. E. (1840). Actinien, Echinodermen und Würmer des Adriatischen- und Mittelmeers, nach eigenen Sammlungen beschrieben. J.H. Bon, Königsberg, 92 pp. Retrieved from

Grube, A. E. (1873). Die Familie der Lycorideen und die Aufstellung fon Gruppen in der Gattung Nereis. Einundfünfzigster Jahres-Bericht der Schlesischen Gesellschaft für vaterländische Cultur Breslau, 51, 56-73. Retrieved from

Guerra-García, J. M., Gonzáles-Vila, F. J., & García-Gómez, J. C. (2003). Aliphatic hydrocarbon pollution and macrobenthic assemblages in Ceuta harbour: a multivariate approach. Marine Ecology Progress Series, 263, 127-138. Retrieved from

Hartman, O. (1959). Catalogue of the Polychaetous Annelids of the World, Pt. 1. Allan. Hancock Occasional Papers, 23, 1-353.

Hartwich, G. (1993). Die Polychaeten-Typen des Zoologisches Museums in Berlin. Mitteilungen der Zoologischen Museum, Berlin, 69, 73-154. Retrieved from

ICZN (1999). International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (4th edn). International Trust for Zoological Nomenclature (The Natural History Museum), London, 306 pp. Retrieved from http://

Lamarck, J. B. (1818). Histoire naturelle des Animaux sans Vertèbres, préséntant les caractères généraux et particuliers de ces animaux, leur distribution, leurs classes, leurs familles, leurs genres, et la citation des principales espèces qui s'y rapportent; precedes d'une Introduction offrant la determination des caracteres essentiels de l`Animal, sa distinction du vegetal et des autres corps naturels, enfin, l'Exposition des Principes fondamentaux de la Zoologie. Paris, Deterville, volume 5, 612 pp. Retrieved from

Miloslavich, P., Díaz, J. M., Klein, E., Alvarado, J. J., Díaz, C., Gobin, J., Escobar-Briones, E., Cruz-Motta, J. J, Weil, E., Cortés, J., Bastidas, A. C., Robertson, R., Zapata, F., Martín, A., Castillo, J., Kazandjian, A., & Ortiz, M. (2010). Marine Biodiversity in the Caribbean: Regional Estimates and Distribution Patterns. PLoS ONE 5(8), e11916. Retrieved from

Núñez, J. (2004). Familia Nereididae Savigny, 1822. Fauna Ibérica, 25, 293-390.

Pfaller, J. B., Bjorndal, K. A., Reich, K. J., Williams, K. L., & Frick, M. G. (2006). Distribution patterns of epibionts on the carapace of loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Marine Biodiversity Records, 1(e36), 1-4. Retrieved from

Ramsay, L.N.G. (1914). Report on the scientific results of the voyage of S.Y. "Scotia" during the years 1902, 1903 and 1904, under the leadership of William S. Bruce, 8. Polychaeta of the family Nereidae, collected by the Scottish National Antarctic Expedition. Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 50, 41-48. Retrieved from

Rathke, H. (1837). Zur Fauna der Krym. Mémoires de l'Academie Impériale des Sciences de St.Pétersbour (Mémoirs des Savants Étrangers), 3, 290-454, Pls 1-10. Retrieved from

Rullier, F., & Amoureux, L. (1969). Nouvelle contribution à l'étude de la faune des annélides polychètes du Maroc. Bulletin de la Société des Sciences Naturelles et Physiques du Maroc, 49, 109-142.

Şahin, G. K., & Çinar, M. E. (2012). A check-list of polychaete species (Annelida: Polychaeta) from the Black Sea. Journal of the Black Sea/Mediterranean Environment, 18, 10-48. Retrieved from

Salazar-Vallejo, S. I., Carrera-Parra, L. F., González, N. E., & Salazar-González, S. A. (2014). Biota portuaria y taxonomía. In A. Low-Pfeng, P. A. Quijón, & E. M. Peters-Recagno (Eds.), Especies Invasoras Acuática: Casos de Estudio en Ecosistemas de México. México, Semarnat, INECC, & Univ. Prince Edward Island. Retrieved from

Salazar-Vallejo, S. I., & Jiménez-Cueto, M. S. (1997). Neréididos (Polychaeta) del Caribe mexicano con una clave para las especies del Gran Caribe. Revista de Biología Tropical, 44, 361-377. Retrieved from

Sánchez-Moyano, J. E., García-Adiego, E. M., Estacio, F. J., & García-Gómez, J. C. (2001). Influence of the density of Caulerpa prolifera (Chlorophyta) on the composition of the macrofauna in a meadow in Algeciras Bay (Southern Spain). Ciencias Marinas, 27, 47-71. Retrieved from

Savigny, J. C. (1822). Système des annélides, principalement de celles des côtes de l'Égypte et de la Syrie, offrant les caractères tant distinctifs que naturels des Ordres, Familles et Genres, avec la description des Espèces. Description de l'Égypte, Histoire Naturelle, 1(3), 1-128. Retrieved from

Sourie, R. (1954). Contribution à l'étude écologique des côtes rocheuses du Sénégal. Mémoire de l’Institut Français d’Afrique Noire, 38, 1-342 p.

Surugiu, V. (2005). Inventory of inshore polychaetes from the Romanian coast (Black Sea). Mediterranean Marine Science, 6, 51-73. Retrieved from

Taylor, J. L. (1984). Family Nereididae Johnston, 1845. In J. M. Uebelacker & P. G. Johnson (Eds.), Taxonomic Guide to the Polychaetes of the Northern Gulf of Mexico (pp. 31.1-31.42). Final report to the Minerals Management Service, contract 14-12-001-29091. Barry A. Vittor & Associates, Mobile, Alabama.

Thiel, M., & Guttov, L. (2005). The ecology of rafting in the marine environment, 2. The rafting organisms and community. Oceanography and Marine Biology, Annual Review, 43, 279-418. Retrieved from

Virgilio, M., Fauvelot, C., Constantini, F., Abbiati, M., & Backeljau, T. (2009). Phylogeography of the common ragworm Hediste diversicolor (Polychaeta: Nereididae) reveals cryptic diversity and multiple colonization events across its distribution. Molecular Ecology, 18, 1980-1194. Retrieved from

Von Marenzeller, E. (1874). Zur Kenntnis der adriatishen Anneliden. Sitzungsberichte der Kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien, Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Klasse, 69, 407-482. Retrieved from

Wiktor, J. (1980). Type-specimens of Annelida Polychaeta in the Museum of Natural History of the Wroclaw University. Annales Zoologici, 35, 267-283.

WoRMS (2016). Nereis falsa. In G. Read, & K. Fauchald (Ed.), World Polychaeta Database. on 2016-01-22



Download data is not yet available.