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Type: Review
Published: 2021-05-28
Page range: 190–211
Abstract views: 942
PDF downloaded: 327

Segmented worms (Phylum Annelida): a celebration of twenty years of progress through Zootaxa and call for action on the taxonomic work that remains

Institute of Biology, Federal University of Bahia, Salvador, 40170-115, Bahia, Brazil.
Australian Museum Research Institute, Australian Museum, Sydney, NSW. Australia. Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, North Ryde, NSW 2019, Australia.
Departamento de Zoología, Instituto de Biología, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Tercer circuito s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, 04510, Mexico City, Mexico.
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Taxonomy and Phylogeny, 29 rue Vautier, B-1000 Brussels, Belgium.
IfAB Institute for Applied Soil Biology, Hamburg, Germany.
Illinois Natural History Survey, Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Forbes Natural History Building, MC-652, 1816 S. Oak Street, Champaign, Illinois 61820 USA.
Department of Marine Sciences, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Aquatic Research & Consulting, Duxbury, Massachusetts 02332 USA.
Institute of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte, 31270-901, Brazil.
Department of Biology, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY 02125 USA.
Annelida biodiversity polychaetes oligochaetes leeches sipunculans echiurans


Zootaxa has been the leading journal on invertebrate systematics especially within Annelida. Our current estimates indicate annelids include approximately 20,200 valid species of polychaetes, oligochaetes, leeches, sipunculans and echiurans. We include herein the impact of Zootaxa on the description of new annelid species in the last two decades. Since 2001, there have been over 1,300 new annelid taxa published in about 630 papers. The majority of these are polychaetes (921 new species and 40 new genera) followed by oligochaetes (308 new species and 10 new genera) and leeches (21 new species). The numerous papers dealing with new polychaete species have provided us a clear picture on which polychaete families have had the most taxonomic effort and which authors and countries have been the most prolific of descriptions of new taxa. An estimated additional 10,000+ species remain to be described in the phylum, thus we urge annelid workers to continue their efforts and aid in training a new generation of taxonomists focused on this ecologically important group.



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