Polychaetes: British Chrysopetaloidea, Pisionoidea and Aphroditoidea

Polychaetes are one of the world’s most widespread, abundant and diverse elements of the marine fauna. They occur in and around all types of substratum, in waters of all levels of salinity and at all depths in the ocean. Yet despite their ubiquity in the sea, there are few comprehensive identification guides. This volume covers species-level identification in three superfamilies within Order Phyllodocida. In addition there is a key to all polychaete orders and families.

Many polychaetes are intertidal. One of the simplest ways to find them is by turning over stones or by digging with a fork in sand and mud. Sift the sediment though the fingers to remove larger specimens, or gently wash the sediment through sieves for smaller worms. Prepare specimens for identification in the usual way. Polychaetes can be sorted into orders and families using a lower power stereomiscrocope. However for identification to genus and species, a higher power microscope (preferably x1000) will aid detailed morphological examination.

Synopses of the British Fauna is a series of identification guides. Each volume in the series is a detailed account of a group of animals. They bridge the gap between standard field guides and more specialised monograph or treatise. Since 1993 the the Field Studies Council has published these guides on behalf of the Linnean Society.

These volumes are suitable for the lab or field. The editors aim to keep them as user friendly as possible, with technical terminology at a minimum and a glossary of terms. However the complexity of the subject matter makes the books more suitable for the more experienced practitioner.