Four New Records of Eunicidae (Annelida: Polychaeta) from the Western Philippines Islands


During December 2010, an expedition was conducted to the Philippines Islands aiming to collect coastal polychaetes in the area. Among the abundant material, 593 individuals belonging to the family Eunicidae (Annelida; Polychaeta) were found and studied, and their identification yielded seven species. Four of them were new records to Philippines, enlarging the list of eunicid polychaetes of the country from 32 to 36 species; moreover, two of the species new for these islands were also new records to South China Sea. Additionally, the taxonomic status of one of them is modified, by transferring it from genus Eunice Cuvier, 1817 to Leodice Lamarck, 1818. Eunicids are especially abundant and diverse in benthic environments of tropical seas, were they act mainly as predators and scavengers or as herbivores. Some species are important in coral reefs because their boring abilities make them key organisms in the bioerosion processes. In this respect, knowledge on the composition of their communities is of capital for the understanding of ecological structure of the system.

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Data Availability

All the specimens herein studied were deposited at the Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales de Madrid and accession numbers for material are provided.


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We wish to express our gratitude to Guillermo San Martín, Maite Aguado, Patricia Álvarez (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain) and Charlotte Watson (Museum and Art Gallery of Northern Territory, Australia), for providing us the material examined for this study. In this respect also Virgilio Palpal-latoc (National Museum of the Philippines), Raffy G. Cabate, Minda Go, and Levi A. Ladioray (Municipality of El Nido) are to be acknowledged for their help in the application for permits to samples in the Philippines Islands.


This study was supported by the project “Caracterización Taxonómica y Sistemática de la familia Syllidae (Polychaeta) basada en datos moleculares y morfológicos. El problema de las especies cosmopolitas y Biodiversidad en el Pacífico” funded by the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación of the Spanish Government, Project number CGL2009–12292 BoS.

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AD conducted the examination and identification of specimens, compiled the data, and led writing of the paper. EL performed the illustrations, reviewed the identifications, and co-wrote the paper. Both authors read and approved the final manuscript.

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Correspondence to Eduardo López.

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Since neither live animals for experimentation nor biological material (be it genetically modified or not) were used for the current study, approval from the “Cómite de Ética en la Investigación” (Ethics Committee for Research) of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid was not required, as established in the University, regional and national normatives.

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Díaz, A., López, E. Four New Records of Eunicidae (Annelida: Polychaeta) from the Western Philippines Islands. Thalassas (2020).

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  • Polychaeta
  • Eunicidae
  • New records
  • Philippines
  • South China Sea