Marine Annelida of India: taxonomy and status evaluation and an updated checklist

Main Article Content

Sanitha K. Sivadas
Russell Carvalho


 We present an updated checklist of marine annelids from the Indian subcontinent.  Records of annelid species were obtained from published and grey literatures and online databases.  Our review of annelid publications was restricted to the Indian continental shelf region.  This paper also discusses the taxonomic status of marine annelid species recorded from this region and problems that impede its research.  The updated list comprises of 727 species belonging to 334 genera and 72 families.  A total of 152 species have their type locality in India including 88 species that are endemic to the region.  The current checklist indicates that 25% (183 species) of the records are questionable and require further examination.  Our results highlight that marine annelid richness of the Indian sub-continent is underestimated with many of the native undescribed species being most likely concealed under ‘erroneous’ or ‘cosmopolitan’ records.  With a combination of factors that include a lack of experts, funding, and failure to update regional literature has resulted in an incomplete state of knowledge for the marine annelid biodiversity from this region.  Therefore, there is an urgent need for extensive and intensive sampling to discover new species, conduct detailed re-examinations of doubtful records and, collaborate within the local and international institutes and organizations to improve the regional biodiversity studies.

Article Details

Author Biographies

Sanitha K. Sivadas, National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR), Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), NIOT Campus, Pallikaranai, Chennai, Tamil Nadu 600100, India.

Dr. Sanitha K Sivadas works as a Scientist D at the National Centre of Coastal Research, Chennai. Primary research area is centred on marine benthic functional ecology from intertidal to deep sea habitat.  Other research interest includes marine benthic biogeography pattern, preparing benthic species inventory and, marine litter and microplastics. 

Russell Carvalho, Santa Margarita Catholic High School, Science Department, 222062 Antonio Parkway Rancho, Santa Margarita, CA 92688, USA.

Dr. Russell Carvalho is a Science Teacher at Santa Margarita Catholic high school (SMCHS) and also an Adjunct Professor at Santa Ana College in Southern California, USA. The author is an avid marine biologist and benthic expert. He loves to conduct field trips and educational camps for students and kids of all ages.


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