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Spionidae Grube, 1850

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Grube, Adolf Eduard. (1850). Die Familien der Anneliden. <em>Archiv für Naturgeschichte, Berlin.</em> 16(1): 249-364., available online at
page(s): 314; note: originally as Spiodea [details]   
Read, G.; Fauchald, K. (Ed.) (2024). World Polychaeta Database. Spionidae Grube, 1850. Accessed through: Nozères, C., Kennedy, M.K. (Eds.) (2024) Canadian Register of Marine Species at: on 2024-02-24
Nozères, C., Kennedy, M.K. (Eds.) (2024). Canadian Register of Marine Species. Spionidae Grube, 1850. Accessed at: on 2024-02-24
2004-12-21 15:54:05Z
2008-03-26 11:36:43Z
2018-06-24 14:11:57Z

original description Grube, Adolf Eduard. (1850). Die Familien der Anneliden. <em>Archiv für Naturgeschichte, Berlin.</em> 16(1): 249-364., available online at
page(s): 314; note: originally as Spiodea [details]   

identification resource Blake, J.A. 1980. Polychaeta Spionidae from American and Antarctic Seas. American Zoologist 20(4): 264. [details]   

identification resource Maciolek Blake, Nancy. 1983: Systematics of Atlantic Spionidae (Annelida: Polychaeta) with special reference to deep-water species. Ph. D. thesis. Boston University  [details]   

identification resource Abe, Hirokazu; Sato-Okoshi, Waka. (2021). Molecular identification and larval morphology of spionid polychaetes (Annelida, Spionidae) from northeastern Japan. <em>ZooKeys.</em> 1015: 1-86., available online at
note: keys and photos of larvae [details]  Available for editors  PDF available 

identification resource Fauchald, K. (1977). The polychaete worms, definitions and keys to the orders, families and genera. <em>Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County: Los Angeles, CA (USA), Science Series.</em> 28:1-188., available online at [details]   

identification resource Blake, J.A. 1996. Family Spionidae Grube, 1850. pages 81-223. IN: Blake, James A.; Hilbig, Brigitte; and Scott, Paul H. Taxonomic Atlas of the Benthic Fauna of the Santa Maria Basin and Western Santa Barbara Channel. 6 - The Annelida Part 3. Polychaeta: Orbiniidae to Cossuridae. Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History. Santa Barbara [details]   
 Present  Inaccurate  Introduced: alien  Containing type locality 
From editor or global species database
Classification Classification of Spionidae into subfamilies has been relatively little used as, apart from the Polydora-group of genera, the groupings are not obvious. The Polydora-group are also seen as tribe Polydorini (polydorins) following Benham (1896) who created Polydoridae solely for the genus Polydora, based on the chaetiger 5 spines and a lack of branchiae on chaetigers 1-5.
Mesnil (1896) analysed the relationship of existing spionid genera, but did not assign subgroup names to them. Mesnil (1897) removed Disoma (now Trochochaeta) from Spionidae to Disomidae (now Trochochaetidae).

Söderström (1920) created subfamilies Spioninae, Nerininae, and Laonicinae.
Spioninae Söderström included Spio, Microspio, Pygospio, and Polydora (Boccardia was not mentioned, but it would also include Boccardia and the other Polydora-group genera). According to Blake (1996:82) these genera had thin-membraned eggs, long-headed sperm, and egg capsules, whereas all other spionids had thick-membraned eggs and short-headed sperm.
Nerininae Söderström included Nerine (now Scolelepis or Malacoceros), Colobranchus (now Malacoceros), Scolecolepis (now Scolelepis), and Aonides. Thus the current genera are Scolelepis, Malacoceros, and Aonides.
Laonicinae Söderström included Laonice, Prionospio, and Spiophanes.

As there are now about 40 valid Spionidae genera, Söderström's classification would require a new analysis to apply it further. Blake & Arnofsky (1999) could confirm only a clade for subfamily Spioninae in their morphological analysis. As yet (May 2021) there appears to be no molecular analysis which examines the relationship of the main spionid genera, or genera in apparently closely related families.

English spiosspionidsspionid worms  [details]
German Haarwürmer  [details]
Japanese スピオ科  [details]
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