Nereis - nomenclature

Helmut Goerke hgoerke at
Mon Feb 9 13:09:18 EST 1998

In my view, Hediste, Neanthes and Nereis are subgenera of the genus Nereis
LINNE, 1758. The common characteristics outweigh the small differences in
the arrangement of setae by far. 
Subgenus Nereis has homogomph spinigers and homogomph falcigers in the
middle and posterior notopods. 
Subgenus Neanthes has only homogomph spinigers in the notopods.
Subgenus Hediste also has only homogomph spinigers in the notopods and one
homogomph falciger above the acicula in the middle and posterior neuropods
additionally. Shaft and apical element of this seta can be more or less
In my opinion Eunereis also belongs as subgenus to Nereis. Eunereis has
also homogomph falcigers in middle and posterior notopods as the subgenus
Nereis has. Subgenus Eunereis differs from the other subgenera by the weak
development of the paragnaths (they are very small and less numerous) in
the maxillar ring of the proboscis; occasionally they are even absent

All these differences are distinct, but they are small in comparison with
the many common Nereis characteristics. This is why the nomenclature
exemplified by Nereis (Hediste) diversicolor, Nereis (Neanthes) virens and
Nereis (Nereis) pelagica should be retained.

Gesa Hartmann-Schroeder


Since Dr. Gesa Hartmann-Schroeder has no access to "Annelida", I am
communicating her response to Erik Kristensen's inquiry. I shall send any
further notes on this topic by surface mail to her. 

The 2nd. revised edition of Annelida, Borstenwuermer, Polychaeta by Gesa
Hartmann-Schroeder, Part 58 of Die Tierwelt Deutschlands und der
angrenzenden Meeresteile nach ihren Merkmalen und nach ihrer Lebensweise,
Gustav Fischer Verlag, Jena, appeared in 1996. ISBN 3-437-35038-2.

Helmut Goerke
Alfred-Wegener-Institut fuer Polar- und Meeresforschung
D-27515 Bremerhaven, Germany
hgoerke at

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