World Register of Marine Species

The World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) is a taxonomic database that aims to provide an authoritative and comprehensive list of names of marine organisms.[1]

World Register of Marine Species
WoRMS (World Register of Marine Species) - logo - 01
HeadquartersOstend, Belgium
Coordinates51°13′40.25″N 2°56′28.07″E / 51.2278472°N 2.9411306°E


The content of the registry is edited and maintained by scientific specialists on each group of organism. These taxonomists control the quality of the information, which is gathered from the primary scientific literature as well as from some external regional and taxon-specific databases. WoRMS maintains valid names of all marine organisms, but also provides information on synonyms and invalid names. It is an ongoing task to maintain the registry, since new species are constantly being discovered and described by scientists; in addition, the nomenclature and taxonomy of existing species is often corrected or changed as new research is constantly being published.

Subsets of WoRMS content are made available, and can have separate badging and their own home/launch pages, as "subregisters", such as the World List of marine Acanthocephala, World List of Actiniaria, World Amphipoda Database, and so on. As of December 2018 there were 60 such taxonomic subregisters, including a number presently under construction.[2] A second category of subregisters comprises regional species databases such as the African Register of Marine Species, Belgian Register of Marine Species, etc., while a third comprises thematic subsets such as the World Register of Deep-Sea species (WoRDSS), World Register of Introduced Marine Species (WRiMS), etc. In all of these cases, the base data are entered and held once only as part of the WoRMS data system for ease of maintenance and data consistency, and are redisplayed as needed in the context of the relevant subregister or subregisters to which they may also belong.

Certain subregisters expand content beyond the original "marine" concept of WoRMS by including freshwater or terrestrial taxa for completeness in their designated area of interest; such records can be excluded from a standard search of WoRMS by selecting appropriate options in the online search interface.


WoRMS was founded in 2008 and grew out of the European Register of Marine Species and the UNESCO-IOC Register of Marine Organisms (URMO), which was compiled by Jacob van der Land (and several colleagues) at the National Museum of Natural History, Leiden [3] It is primarily funded by the European Union and hosted by the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) in Ostend, Belgium. WoRMS has established formal agreements with several other biodiversity projects, including the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and the Encyclopedia of Life. In 2008, WoRMS stated that it hoped to have an up-to-date record of all marine species completed by 2010, the year in which the Census of Marine Life was completed.[4]

As of February 2018, WoRMS contained listings for 480,931 marine species names (including synonyms) of which 240,633 are valid marine species (95 % checked). Their goal is to have a listing for each of the approximately more than 240,000 marine species.[5][6]

VLIZ also hosts the Interim Register of Marine and Nonmarine Genera (IRMNG), using a common infrastructure.[7]

See also


  1. ^ "Towards a World Register of Marine Species". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2009-02-16.
  2. ^ subregisters
  3. ^ "About". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved August 24, 2013.
  4. ^ Catherine Brahic (2008-06-25). "How many species live in the sea?". New Scientist.
  5. ^ "WoRMS - World Register of Marine Species". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2018-02-11.
  6. ^ Costello, MJ; Bouchet, P; Boxshall, GW; Fauchald, K; Gordon, DP; et, al. (2013). "Global coordination and standardisation in marine biodiversity through the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) and related databases". PLOS ONE. 8 (1): e51629. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051629. PMC 3541386. PMID 23505408.
  7. ^ "Interim Register of Marine and Nonmarine Genera (IRMNG)". Lifewatch regional portal. LifeWatch. Retrieved 10 December 2018.

External links


Alvania is a genus of minute sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks or micromollusks in the family Rissoidae.


Caenogastropoda (from Ancient Greek caeno- meaning "recent") is a taxonomic clade, a large diverse group which are mostly sea snails and other marine gastropod mollusks, but also includes some freshwater snails and some land snails.

Caenogastropoda contains many families of shelled marine molluscs – including the periwinkles, cowries, wentletraps, moon snails, murexes, cone snails and turrids – and constitutes about 60% of all living gastropods.


Calliotropis is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Eucyclidae.


Cerithiopsidae are a family of very small and minute sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs or micromollusks in the informal group Ptenoglossa. Gastropods in this family are known as cerithiopsids.

These tiny snails have shells that are very high-spired and consist of multiple whorls.


Cypraea is a genus of medium-sized to large sea snails or cowries, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Cypraeidae, the cowries.


Daphnella is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Raphitomidae.Not to be confused with Daphnella Baird, 1850, a synonym of Diaphanosoma Fischer, 1850 belonging to the Sididae, a family of ctenopods.


Favartia is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Muricidae, the murex snails or rock snails.


Gemmula, common name the gem turrids, is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Turridae, the turrids.These snails have been recorded as fossils from the Paleocene to the Quaternary (from 66.043 to 0.012 Ma). Fossils have been found all over the world.

They are venomous with disulfide-rich polypeptides in their venom ducts.

These bioactive peptides are likely to become a resource for novel pharmacologically active compounds


Heterodonta is a taxonomic subclass of saltwater clams, marine bivalve molluscs. This subclass includes the edible clams, the cockles and the Venus clams.


Latirus is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Fasciolariidae, the spindle snails, the tulip snails and their allies.


Mangelia is a large genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Mangeliidae. There have been many described species, many of which have become synonyms. Among the remaining accepted names a good number are still in doubt and are little known. They are only tentatively placed within the genus Mangelia.

This genus was named Mangelia by Leach and accepted by Risso in 1826. Later, some authors, such as Lovén in 1846, spelled it inadvertently as Mangilia, to honor the Italian malacologist Mangili Guiseppe (1767-1829). This had led to some confusion.


Marginella is a genus of small tropical and temperate sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the family Marginellidae, the margin snails. It is the type genus of the family.The shells of species in this genus are rounded, smooth and glossy, with a large aperture that appears to be toothed because it shows the edge of the columellar folds. In many species the shells are colorful. The glossy surface of the shell results from the fact that the mantle covers most of the shell when the animal is active. As is typical in the Neogastropoda, the animal has a long siphon. When the animal is active, the foot extends much further out than the edge of the shell.

As is also typical for the Neogastropoda, species in this genus are carnivorous and predatory.


Miltromorpha is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Mitromorphidae, in the superfamily Conoidea the cone snails and their allies.. This genus was originally described by Carpenter off the west coast of the United States. The species occur mainly on the continental shelf and in insular environments. Their real diversity is poorly understood. Mitromorpha was previously categorized under the family Conidae, subfamily Clathurellinae..

The genus Mitrolumna Bucquoy, Dautzenberg & Dollfus, 1883 is currently treated as a synonym or subgenus of Mitromorpha, but is available for the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean species, if these are considered to form a distinct radiation. The same genus is also used for a number of extinct species:

Mitrolumna atypica Lozouet, 2015 †

Mitrolumna hortiensis Lozouet, 1999 †

Mitrolumna oligomiocenica Lozouet, 2015 †

Mitrolumna peyroti Lozouet, 2015 †

Mitrolumna raulini Peyrot, 1928 †

Mitrolumna titanocola Lozouet, 1999 †

Mitrolumna ventriosa Lozouet, 2015 †


Murex is a genus of medium to large sized predatory tropical sea snails. These are carnivorous marine gastropod molluscs in the family Muricidae, commonly called "murexes" or "rock snails".The common name murex is still used for a large number of species in the family Muricidae which were originally given the Latin generic name Murex in the past, but have more recently been regrouped into different newer genera.

The word murex was used by Aristotle in reference to these kinds of snails, thus making it one of the oldest classical seashell names still in use by the scientific community.


Pleurotomella is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Raphitomidae.


Raphitoma is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Raphitomidae.


Splendrillia is a genus of sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Drilliidae.Fossils from this old genus have been found in Eocene strata of Antarctica, Oligocene and Miocene strata of Australia, Miocene strata of Germany, Japan and New Zealand and Quaternary strata of the United States; age range: 55.8 to 0.012 Ma.


The Trochidae, common name top-snails or top-shells, are a taxonomic family of very small to large sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs in the clade Vetigastropoda (according to the taxonomy of the Gastropoda by Bouchet & Rocroi from 2005).

This family is commonly known as the "top-snails" because in many species the shell resembles a toy spinning top.


Turritella is a genus of medium-sized sea snails with an operculum, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Turritellidae.They have tightly coiled shells, whose overall shape is basically that of an elongated cone.

The name Turritella comes from the Latin word turritus meaning "turreted" or "towered" and the diminutive suffix -ella.

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