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Phylum Ctenophora: list of all valid species names
Mills, C.E. Internet 1998-present. Phylum Ctenophora: list of all valid species names. Electronic internet document available at Published by the author, web page established March 1998, last updated (see date at end of page).

Availability: Creative Commons License This dataset is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

A world checklist of Ctenophora composed by Claudia E. Mills. more

Because the scientific literature on the Ctenophora is widely dispersed and much of it is difficult to locate, a list of all classes, orders, families, genera and species of ctenophores that seem to be in use at the present time, was compiled. This List of Ctenophora is the result of an extensive search of the literature. The phylogenetic order used in this list is derived primarily from the morphological work of Richard Harbison (1984, 1996) and Harbison and Madin (1982). There is little question that some of the species listed are the same as others, but in most cases, no author has dealt with the problem species in the peer-reviewed, published literature, so the redundant names are still "current" and valid. Recent work by Steve Haddock and others using molecular genetic techniques to study relationships between ctenophore species has shown that the present phylogenetic framework on which we hang the names of known ctenophore species needs to be radically revised. Until that is done, however, the list here is what is available and in use. Nearly 200 species names that seem to be valid today are listed. Only some of the additional 50 or so now-synonomized old names ("nominal") no longer in use, are included (in parentheses on the line following the presently-accepted name). There must be many other synonyms in this list of valid names (the genus Beroe, for instance, has many names that might ultimately be synonomized in future studies, but that may be a very distant future for lack of study). It is suspected that there are actually 100-150 good species of described ctenophores, of which 30-35 (the platyctenids) are benthic in habitat. There are probably at least 25 more known, but undescribed, ctenophores, many of them in the deep-sea. A number of other lists of ctenophores, many of which seem to derive from this one, can be found elsewhere on the web; the author of this list does not claim to be the only authority determining which names are presently in use for the Ctenophora. One of the purposes of this page is to give accurate access to the spelling, as well as the describing author and date, for each species name. It is estimated that we may now know about half of the ctenophores in the sea. Use of deep-sea submersibles and ROVs have greatly extended our view into the oceans in the last three decades, and with this has already come the discovery of more than 25 new deep-sea species. C.N. Dawydoff spent five years in Vietnam and subsequently published descriptions of 23 new species from those waters, between 1929 and 1946. Dawydoff's species haven't been studied since, and surely there are many similarly unexplored corners of the world's oceans. Claude and Danielle Carré discovered four new ctenophore species in the well-studied surface waters off southeastern France during the 1980s and 1990s in the course of careers spent studying planktonic animals there. It took several years to put this list together and therefore it would really be appreciated it if you cite it as an electronic publication if you use it in your studies (see suggested citation). The list is an ongoing work and is subject to modification at any time. The author considers it her intellectual property and does not want to find it dumped wholesale onto someone else's web page - links to it are fine. Any additions or corrections that anyone may wish to make are welcome - please contact the author at In order to be true to its in-progress nature, the author left her personal shorthand in the electronic manuscript, so any entry preceeded by . Means that she has not yet been able to check the original citation for accuracy.

Biology, Biology > Ecology - biodiversity, Biology > Invertebrates
Marine/Coastal, Classification, Marine invertebrates, Species, Taxonomy, World Waters, Ctenophora

Geographical coverage
World Waters [Marine Regions]

Temporal coverage
From 1758 on [In Progress]

Taxonomic coverage
Ctenophora [WoRMS]


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Related datasets
(Partly) included in:
WoRMS: World Register of Marine Species, more

Dataset status: In Progress
Data type: Data
Data origin: Literature research
Metadatarecord created: 2012-08-28
Information last updated: 2013-04-11
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