World Database of Nematodes

Linked to the Marine Biology Section, UGent


Nematodes constitute one of the most numerous and widespread groups of animals, inhabiting seas, fresh water, soil or living as parasites of animals and plants. Apparently simple organisms, nematodes possess astounding plasticity to adapt to a wide range of conditions and habitats. Nematodes are most widely known as parasites of plants and animals but they are even more numerous as free inhabitants of soil and water. Although nematodes look very similar in general structure, their morphology is very diverse, ranging from cylindrical to aberrant body shapes, which implies different locomotion patterns, while different mouth morphology relates to their feeding ecology.

Nemys offers documentation on free-living marine, brackish, fresh-water and terrestrial nematodes, mainly providing taxonomical information but also ecological information, including literature on type species which can be consulted by the registered users of this online tool.

Nemys is integrated into the World register of Marine Species (WoRMS) hosted at the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), and managed by an international team of taxonomic editors with the help of the WoRMS – Aphia data management team.



Identification Course of Aquatic Nematodes (ICAN)

Added on: 2018-12-12 23:18:53 by Campinas Bezerra, Tânia
The first of the two weeks course “ICAN - Identification Course of Aquatic Nematodes, offered by the Department of Biology of Ghent University – Nematology and Marine Biology” started! ...

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Background and evolution

  • 80’s – Difficulties with identification and access to literature, without internet, led to the necessity of creating a compilation of dedicated information. An extensive work reuniting copies of parts of taxonomical literature was initiated by Nic Smol, followed by other contributors working in the Marine Biology Research Group. The files formed the species library, an ongoing work called -– “Nematotheek”.
  • 1999 – Following previous discussions, a generic system for storage of relevant information on “species” was built by Tim Deprez to host Nematodes, Mysida, Amphibians and Pepperonia – NeMys
  • 2004 – Intensive scanning work done by Gustavo Fonseca and Tania Nara Bezerra, made the files on nematodes species stored at the Marine Biology Research Group available on line.
  • 2005 onwards – Data on free-living marine nematodes were added to NeMys by collaborators of the Marine Biology Research Group of Ghent University through a series of projects funded by OSTC (now: Belspo) and voluntary work. Yearly updates were done with work of the MarBiol’ nematologists – “NeMys Task Force”. These projects include:
  • 2009 – System crashed – the storage system was not prepared for the amount of information that ended up there. The problem was fixed.
  • 2010 – After the crashing followed by the data recovering, the software was “hacked” and NeMys had to go offline – lot of information was lost (PDF’s, methodology protocols, images, keys, distribution…).
  • 2013 – October – November: Jan Vanaverbeke from the Marine Biology research group, had first discussions over the possibility to transfer Nemys to Aphia database at the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) as part of WoRMS database.
  • 2014 – January – February: begin of transfer: NeMys database moved to VLIZ – WoRMS – Aphia Data Management Team.
  • 2014 – March – August: transfer of all NeMys data to Aphia + quality control.
  • 2014 – September – December: development of interface, similar to ‘old’ NeMys interface; implementation of identification keys; set-up of login system to allow access to all publications; communication on NeMys transfer; building a NeMys editor network + first thoughts about the first workshop.
  • 2015 – 24th-26th February: First NeMys editors workshop in Oostende.
  • 2015 – November: Katja Guilini became chief editor, replacing Jan Vanaverbeke.
  • 2016 – July: During the Meiofauna Conference in Crete an informal reunion with the editors gave the opportunity to discuss some issues.
  • 2018 – January: Katja Guilini passed on her chief editor responsibilities to Ann Vanreusel and Tania Nara Bezerra.
  • 2018 – 05th-07th September: Second Nemys editors workshop in Ghent.


Appeltans W et al. (2012) The Magnitude of Global Marine Species Diversity. Current biology : CB 22:2189-2202

Chitwood B.G. & Chitwood M.B. (1977) Introduction to Nematology, University Park Press. 334 pp. ISBN 0-8391-0697-1

Eyualem-Abebe, I Andrássy, W Traunspurger (2006) Freshwater nematodes: ecology and taxonomy Edited by: Eyualem-Abebe, I Andrássy, W Traunspurger. 2006. Xallinford, Oxfordshire, UK: CABI Publishing. 752pp.

Malakhov, V.V. (1994) Nematodes: Structure, Development, Classification and Phylogeny. Translated by George V. Bentz and Edited by W. Duane Hope. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, 286pp. ISBN 1-56098-255-1

Miljutin, D. M.; Gad, G.; Miljutina, M. M.; Mokievsky, V. O.; Fonseca-Genevois, V.; Esteves, A. M. (2010). The state of knowledge on deep-sea nematode taxonomy: how many valid species are known down there? Marine Biodiversity. 40(3): 143-159.

Platt, H.M. & Warwick, R.M. (1983): Free-living marine nematodes. Part I British Enoplids. Cambridge University Press : 307pp.

Platt, H.M. & Warwick, R.M. (1988): Free-living marine nematodes. Part II British Chromadorids. Synopsis of the British fauna (New series) No 38: 502pp. Brill , Leiden

Schmidt-Rhaesa, A. (2014) Handbook of zoology Gastrotricha, cycloneuralia and gnathifera. Volume 2. Nematoda (2014) Edited by A. Schmidt-Rhaesa - 2014 - Berlin, Germany: De Gruyter. 759pp.

Warwick, R.M. , Platt, H.M. & Somerfield P.J. (1998): Free-living marine nematodes. Part III Monhysterids. Synopsis of the British fauna (New series) No 53. Cambridge University Press: 296pp.


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De Man (1904, pl. 03), author: J. G. De Man

Part: lip, author: Poss?

Cite Nemys itself as

Bezerra, T.N.; Decraemer, W.; Eisendle-Flöckner, U.; Hodda, M.; Holovachov, O.; Leduc, D.; Miljutin, D.; Mokievsky, V.; Peña Santiago, R.; Sharma, J.; Smol, N.; Tchesunov, A.; Venekey, V.; Zeng, Z.; Vanreusel, A. (2018) Nemys: World Database of Nematodes. Accessed at on 2018-12-13


Editors are responsible for entries and decision on validity of names.
Corrections and omissions can be communicated with

How to cite data in Nemys:

To give due credit to the original authors, please cite data taken from Nemys by the datasource reference of each respective record.
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Web interface and database structure initially created by Tim Deprez; now hosted and maintained by VLIZ
Page generated 2018-12-13 · contact: Tânia Campinas Bezerra or