The phylogenetic relationships of the benthic phyllodocid genera are estimated by a parsimony analysis based on 26 morphological characters. It is concluded that the cephalization within Eteone has led to a reduction of segment 1 and loss of the first pair of tentacular cirri. Biramous parapodia (like in Austrophyllum and Notophyllum) constitute an ancestral state, which has evolved independently also within Phyllodoce. A new subfamily, Notophyllinae, is erected, and the two additional subfamilies, Phyllodocinae and Eteoninae, are redefined. Pareteoninae is treated as a junior synonym to Phyllodocinae, and Lugiinae as a nomen dubium. A number of genera are redefined and new combinations introduced. Based on type material Zverlinum and Phyllouschakovius are synonymized with Phyllodoce, Nipponophyllum with Notophyllym, Vitiaziphyllum with Eumida, Pareteone, Eulalia (Euphylla) and Compsanaitis with Paranaitis. More tentatively proposed synonymizations include Bergstroemia with Austrophyllum, Prophyllodoce with Phyllodoce, and Pseudeulalia with Protomystides. Eulalia lapsus is proposed as a replacement name for E. anoculata Fauchald, 1972, junior homonym to E. anoculata Hartman & Fauchald, 1971, and a number of species are synonymized and new combinations introduced. A checklist of phyllodocids together with information on the location of their type specimens is included.