Distribution and diversity of Polychaeta (Phylum: Annelida) in the Northern coastal waters of Bay of Bengal


  • Zoological Survey of India, M Block, New Alipore, Kolkata − 700053
  • Zoological Survey of India, M Block, New Alipore, Kolkata − 700053
  • Zoological Survey of India, M Block, New Alipore, Kolkata − 700053
  • Presidency University, 86/1 College Street, Kolkata − 700073, West Bengal




Benthic, Faunistic Study, Marine, Polychaetes.


A compilation of polychaete species distributed along the East coast of India has been presented in this paper, which includes a total of 22 species belonging to 20 genera, 15 families, four orders and three subclasses; obtained during the summer monsoon survey of 2013. Subclass Errantia and Sedentaria comprised of 10 species each, while subclass Polychaeta incertae sedis consisted of only two species.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Alfisa Siddique, Zoological Survey of India, M Block, New Alipore, Kolkata − 700053






KOLKATA- 700053

Jasmine Purushothaman, Zoological Survey of India, M Block, New Alipore, Kolkata − 700053






KOLKATA- 700053

Aishee Bhowal, Zoological Survey of India, M Block, New Alipore, Kolkata − 700053






KOLKATA- 700053

Sumit Mandal, Presidency University, 86/1 College Street, Kolkata − 700073, West Bengal

Assistant Professor

Marine Ecology Laboratory

Department of Life Sciences

Presidency University

86/1 College Street,





How to Cite

Siddique, A., Purushothaman, J., Bhowal, A., & Mandal, S. (2022). Distribution and diversity of Polychaeta (Phylum: Annelida) in the Northern coastal waters of Bay of Bengal. Records of the Zoological Survey of India, 121(4), 453–463. https://doi.org/10.26515/rzsi/v121/i4/2021/148098





Abd-Elnaby, A.F. 2008. New recorded species of Magelonidae and Maldanidae (Annelida: Polychaeta) from EL-Tina Bay, Mediterranean coast of Egypt. Egypt. J. Aquat. Biol. Fish., 12(4):119-141. https://doi.org/10.21608/ejabf.2008.2008.

Anbuchezhian, R.M., Ravichandran, S., Murugesan, P. and Serebiah, J.S. 2012. Assessment of soft bottom polychaete diversity in Thondi, Palk Bay, India. J. Environ. Biol., 33:917.

Annenkova, N.P. 1937. Polychaete fauna of the Northern Sea of Japan. Issledovaniia moorei SSSR, 23:139-216 (in Russian).

Ansari, Z.A., Sreepada, R.A. and Kanti, A. 1994. Macrobenthic assemblage in the soft sediment of Marmugaoharbor, Goa (central west coast of India). Indian J. Mar. Sci., 23:225-231.

Arias, A. and Carrera-Parra, F.L. 2014. First record of the genus Kuwaita (Annelida: Lumbrineridae) in Europe with the description of a new species and new ultramorphological data for the genus. Zootaxa, 3887(1):068-078. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3887.1.4. PMid:25543924.

Balakrishnan, S. and Tudu, P.C. 2021. An updated checklist of polychaetes (Animalia, Annelida, Polychaeta) from Odisha and West Bengal coasts. Indian J. Geo-Mar. Sci., 50(06):507-510.

Blake, J.A. 2009. Redescription of Capitella capitata (Fabricius) from West Greenland and designation of a neotype (Polychaeta, Capitellidae). Zoosymposia, 2:55-80. https://doi.org/10.11646/zoosymposia.2.1.7.

Boesch, D.F. 1972. Species diversity of marine macrobenthos in the Virginia area. Chesap. Sci., 13:206-211. https://doi.org/10.2307/1351065.

Böggemann, M. 2015. Glyceriformia Fauchald, 1977 (Annelida: “Polychaetaâ€) from Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Zootaxa, 4019(1):70-97. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4019.1.7. PMid:26624067.

Brunel, P., Bosse, L. and Lamarche, G. 1998. Catalogue of the marine invertebrates of the estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence. Can. Fish. Aquat. Sci., 126:405.

Carrera-Parra, L.F. and Orensanz, J.M. 2002. Revision of Kuwaita Mohammad, 1973 (Annelida, Polychaeta, Lumbrineridae). Zoosystema, 24(2):273-281.

Chakraborty, S.K. and Choudhury, A. 1994. Community structure of macrobenthic polychaetes of intertidal region of Sagar Island, Hooghly Estuary, Sundarbans, India. Trop. Ecol., 35:97-104.

Çinar, M.E. 2005. Polychaetes from the coast of northern Cyprus (Eastern Mediterranean Sea), with two new records for the Mediterranean Sea. Cah. Biol. Mar., 46:143-161.

Costello, M.J., Emblow, C.S. and White, R. 2001. European Register of Marine Species. A check-list of the marine species in Europe and a bibliography of guides to their identification. Patrim. Nat., 50:1-463.

Day, J.H. 1967. Sedentaria. In: A monograph on the Polychaeta of Southern Africa, Part 2, 656: 459-842 (Published by Br. Mus. Nat. Hist., London).

Delgado-Blas, V.H. 2014. Redescriptions and re-establishments of some species belonging to the genus Prionospio (Polychaeta, Spionidae) and descriptions of three new species. Helgol. Mar. Res., 68:113-132. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10152-013-0372-1.

Desai, B.N. 1973. Benthic productivity in the Indian Ocean. Mahasagar, 6(2):128-132.

Devi, L.P., Natarajan, P., Ammal, G.S. and Azis, P.K. 1996. Water quality and benthic fauna of the Kayamkulam backwaters and Arattupuzha coast along southwest coast of India. Indian J. Mar. Sci., 25:264-267.

Ehlers, E. 1908. Die bodensässigenAnnelidenaus den Sammlungen der deutschen Tiefsee-Expedition. In: Chun, C. (Ed.), Wissenschaftliche Ergebnisse der DeutschenTiefsee-Expedition auf dem Dampfer ‘’Valdivia’’ 1898-1899, 16(1):1-168, plates I-XXIII.

Fauchald, K. 1967. Nephtyidae (Polychaeta) from the Bay of Nha Trang, South Vietnam. In: Brinton, E., Schaefer, B.M. and Wooster, S.W. (Eds.), Naga Report, Scientific Results of Marine Investigations of the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. California, USA, Frye & Smith Ltd., 4:1-34.

Fauchald, K., Granados-Barba, A., Solís-Weiss, V. 2009. Polychaeta (Annelida) of the Gulf of Mexico. In: Felder, D.L. and Camp, D.K.

(Eds.), Gulf of Mexico Origin, Waters, and Biota. Texas A&M University Press, College Station, Texas, 1:751-788.

Fauchald, K. and Hancock, D.R. 1981. Deep-water polychaetes from a transect off central Oregon. Allan Hancock Monogra. Mar. Biol., 11:1-73.

Fauvel, P.M. 1932. Annelida Polychaeta of the Indian Museum, Calcutta. Mem. Indian Mus., 12:1-262.

Fauvel, P.M. 1939. Annélidespolychètes de l’Indochinerecueillies par M. C. Dawydoff. Commentationes Pontifica Academia Scientarum, 3:243-368.

Flint, R.W. and Rabalais, N.N. 1980. Polychaete ecology and niche patterns: Texas continental shelf. Mar. Ecol. Prog. Ser., 3(3):193-202. https://doi.org/10.3354/meps003193.

Pleijel, F. 1993. Phylogeny of Phyllodoce (Polychaeta, Phyllodocidae). Zool. J. Linn. Soc., 108(4):287-299. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1096-3642.1993.tb00300.x.

Hayward, P.J. and Ryland, J.S. 2017. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199549443.001.0001

Hessler, R.R. and Jumars, A.P. 1974. Abyssal community analysis from replicate cores in the central North Pacific. Deep-Sea Res.

Oceanogr. Abstr., 21(3):185-209. https://doi.org/10.1016/0011-7471(74)90058-8.

Horst, R. 1921. A review of the family of Hesionidae with a description of two new species. Zool. Meded., 6(6):73-83.

Hutchings, P. 1998. Biodiversity and functioning of polychaetes in benthic sediments. Biodivers. Conserv., 7(9):1133-1145. https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1008871430178.

Jagadeesan, P. and Ayyakkannu, K. 1992. Seasonal variation of benthic fauna in marine zone of Coleroon estuary and inshore waters, southeast coast of India. Indian J. Mar. Sci., 21:67-69.

Joydas, T.V. and Damodaran, R. 2009. Infaunal macrobenthos along the shelf waters of the west coast of India, Arabian Sea. Indian J. Mar. Sci., 38(2):191-204.

Khan, S.A. and Murugesan, P. 2005. Polychaete diversity in Indian estuaries. Indian J. Mar. Sci., 34(1):114-119.

Kitamori, R. 1960. Two new species of cirratulid and Nephthydidae (Annelida: Polychaeta). Bull. Jpn. Soc. Sci. Fish., 26(11):1082-1085. https://doi.org/10.2331/suisan.26.1082.

Kohn, A.J. and Lloyd, M.C. 1973. Polychaetes of truncated reef limestone substrates on eastern Indian Ocean coral reefs: Diversity, abundance, and taxonomy. Int. Rev. Hydrobiol., 58(3):369-400. https://doi.org/10.1002/iroh.19730580306.

López, E. and Sikorski, A. 2017. The Paraonidae (Annelida: Sedentaria) from Norway and adjacent seas, with two new species, four new records, and a redescription of Paraonides nordica Strelzov, 1968 based on type material. Zootaxa, 4320(1):41-67. https://doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.4320.1.3.

Mackie, A.S.Y. and Oliver, P.G. 1996. Marine macrofauna: polychaetes, molluscs and crustaceans. In: Hall G.S. (Ed.), Methods for the examination of organismal diversity in soils and sediments, CAB International, New York, Wallingford, p. 63-284.

Mackie, A.S.Y., Parmiter, C. and Tong, L.K.Y. 1997. Distribution and diversity of Polychaeta in the southern Irish Sea. Bull. Mar. Sci., 60(2):467- 481.

Malmgren, A.J. 1866. Nordiska Hafs-Annulater Oefv. Forhandlinger Videnskabsselskabeti Kristiania, 22:334-410.

Marenzeller, E. 1879. Südjapanische Anneliden, I. Denkschriften der Akademie der Wissenschaften, Wien Klasse, 41:109-154.

Misra, A., Chakraborty, R.K. and Soota, T.D. 1981. Polychaete Fauna of Gujarat Coast. Rec. zool. Surv. India, 79:93-104.

Misra, A., Chakraborty, R.K. and Soota, T.D. 1987. Polychaete. In: Fauna of Orissa Coast, State Fauna Series, 1:69-89 (Published by the Director, Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata).

Mortimer, K. and Mackie, A.S.Y. 2009. Magelonidae (Polychaete) from Hong Kong, China, with discussions on related species and redescriptions of three species. In: Maciolek, N.J. and Blake J.A. (Eds.), Proceeding of the Ninth International Polychaete Conference, Auckland, New Zealand. Zoosymposia, 2:179-199. https://doi.org/10.11646/zoosymposia.2.1.15.

Musale, A.S. and Desai, D.V. 2011. Distribution and abundance of macrobenthic polychaetes along the South Indian coast. Environ.

Monit. Assess., 178:423-436. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10661-010-1701-3. PMid:20848309.

Orth, R.J. 1973. Benthic infauna of eelgrass, Zostera marina, beds. Chesap. Sci., 14:258-269. https://doi.org/10.2307/1350754

Paxton, H. 1986. Generic Revision and Relationships of the Family Onuphidae (Annelida: Polychaeta). Rec. Aust. Mus., 38:1-74. https://doi.org/10.3853/j.0067-1975.38.1986.175.

Prabhu, H.V., Narayana, A.C., Katti, R.J. 1993. Macrobenthic fauna in nearshore sediments off Gangolli, west coast of India. Indian J. Mar. Sci., 22:168-171.

Rajasekaran, R. and Fernando, O.J. 2012. Polychaetes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. In: Venkataraman, K, Raghunathan, C. and Sivaperuman, C (Eds.), Ecology of Faunal Communities on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, p.122. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-28335-2_1.

Rao, D.S., Rao, M.S. and Annapurna, C. 2009. Polychaete community structure of Vasishta Godavari estuary, east coast of India. J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. India, 51:137-144.

Rao, D.S. and Sarma, D.V.R. 1983. Abundance and distribution of intertidal Polychaetes in the Vasishta Godavari estuary. Mahasagar, 16:327-340.

Rao, N.A.C. 1995. Annelida: Polychaete. In: Fauna of Chilka Lake, Wetland Ecosystem Series, 1:319-336 (Published by the Director, Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata).

Rao, N.A.C. 2001. Polychaeta: Annelida. In: Fauna of Godavari Estuary, Estuarine Ecosystem Series, 4:21-32 (Published by the Director, Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata).

Rao, T.S.S. 1973. Zooplankton Studies in the Indian Ocean. In: Zeitzschel, B. and Gerlach, S.A. (Eds.), The Biology of the Indian Ocean. Ecol. Stud., Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg, 3:243-255. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-65468-8_19.

Ravichandran, S. and Rameshkumar, G. 2008. Macrobenthos-indicator of the wellbeing of mangroves. Seshaiyana, 16:4.

Read, B.G. 2000. Taxonomy and distribution of a new Cossura species (Annelida: Polychaeta: Cossuridae) from New Zealand. Proc. Biol. Soc. Wash., 113(4):1096-1110.

Reish, D.J. 1971. Effect of pollution abatement in Los Angeles Harbours. Mar. Pollut. Bull., 2:71-74. https://doi.org/10.1016/0025326X(71)90226-8.

Åžahin, G.K., DaÄŸli, E. and Sezgin, M. 2017. Spatial and temporal variations of soft bottom polychaetes of Sinop Peninsula (southern Black Sea) with new records. Turk. J. Zool., 41(1):89-101. https://doi.org/10.3906/zoo-1510-15.

Simboura, N., Nicolaidou, A. and Thessalou-Legaki, M. 2000. Polychaete communities of Greece: An ecological overview. Mar. Ecol., 21:129-144. https://doi.org/10.1046/j.1439-0485.2000.00684.x.

Sivaleela, G. and Venkataraman, K. 2012. Distribution of marine polychaetes of India. Rec. Zool. Surv. India, 112:113-126.

Srikrishnadhas, B., Ramamoorthi, K. and Balasubrahmanyan, K. 1987. Polychaetes of Porto Novo waters. J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. India, 29:134-139.

Tampi, P.R.S. 1958. Anatomy of Armandia leptocirris Grube (Polychaeta). J. Zool.Soc. India, 10:15-32.

Treadwell, A.L. 1936. Polychaete annelids from Amoy, China. Proc. U.S. Natl. Mus., 83:261-279. https://doi.org/10.5479/si.00963801.832984.261.

Venkataraman, K., Raghunathan, C. and Sivaperuman, C. 2012. Ecology of faunal communities on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Springer-Verlag, Berlin and Heidelberg, p. 1-340. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-28335-2.

Vizakat, L., Harkantra, S.N. and Parulekar, A.H. 1991. Population ecology and community structure of sub-tidal soft sediment dwelling macroinvertebrates of Konkan, west coast of India. Indian J. Mar. Sci., 20:40-42.

Wafar, M., Venkataraman, K., Ingole, B., Khan, S.A., Loka Bharathi, P. 2011. State of Knowledge of Coastal and Marine Biodiversity of Indian Ocean Countries. PLoS ONE, 6(1):e14613. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0014613. PMid:21297949 PMCid:PMC3031507.

Wehe, T. and Fiege, D. 2002. Annotated checklist of the polychaete species of the seas surrounding the Arabian Peninsula: Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Gulf of Oman, Arabian Gulf. Fauna of Arabia, 19:7-238.

Wilson, D.P. 1958. The polychaete Magelona alleni n. sp. and a re-assessment of Magelona cincta Ehlers. J. Mar. Biol. Assoc. U.K., 37:617-626. https://doi.org/10.1017/S002531540000566X.

Wilson, S.R. 1990. Prionospio and Paraprionospio (Polychaeta: Spionidae) from Southern Australia. Mem. Mus. Vic., 50(2):243-274. https://doi.org/10.24199/j.mmv.1990.50.02.

Zaâbi, S., Gillet, P., Chambers, S., Afli, A. and Boumaiza, M. 2012. Inventory and new records of polychaete species from the Cap Bon peninsula, North East coast of Tunisia, Western Mediterranean Sea. Mediterr. Mar. Sci., 13:36-48. https://doi.org/10.12681/mms.22.