Marine bristle worms (Polychaeta, Annelida) are one of the most abundant and diverse groups of benthic invertebrates. So far (2021) close to 800 species have been found in Norway. This is a guide to the 20 most common species found in Norwegian ports. The aim of this guide is to provide diagnostic features and closely related species comparisons to aid the species identification of the ones you most likely encounter in Norwegian ports and marinas, but most likely also in some more natural environments.
This identification guide is based on results from the project Polychaetes in Norwegian Ports financed by The Norwegian Taxonomy Initiative (Artsprosjektet). The selected common species are those with a general broad distribution along the coast, but also species abundant in the surveyed areas in this project. All species are accompanied by photographs of live individuals and some of the diagnostic characteristics. Comparisons of these and other similar looking species are made to ease the identification process.
More from the project Polychaets in Norwegian Ports (in Norwegian)
Capa M and Bakken T. Marine bristle worms in Norwegian ports. www.artsdatabanken.no/Pages/316126. Downloaded <year-month-day>.