Polychaeta of the Southern Ocean LifeDesk records the biodiversity and taxonomy of Antarctic and Subantarctic polychaetes (Annelida: Polychaeta).

The Southern Ocean encircling Antarctica hosts a diverse polychaete fauna.  The first benthic samples  of polychaetes were taken on the voyage of H.M.S. Erebus & Terror, under the command of Captain Sir James Clark Ross. Ross reached the sea that bears his name in 1841. Many expeditions from many nations have visited Antarctic seas since, and over 700 named species have been recorded for Antarctica’s shelf, slope and deep-sea benthos, mainly from the Ross Sea and the Antarctic Peninsula / Weddell Sea areas.  Given this effort over the years the circum Antarctic region has been sampled repeatedly in some places.  However, new samples taken on board research vessels continue to yield new, unknown species, and there are large extents of ocean where little sampling has been done.

The 551 accepted species names in the classification tree are from the Antarctic seas taxa list of  WoRMS

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    Neanthes kerguelensis from Bunurong, Victoria, southern Australia, MV F183053
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