World Database of Free-Living Marine Nematodes

Linked to the Marine Biology Section, UGent


Free-living marine nematodes represent one of the most diverse groups of organisms present in the marine ecosystem. Species richness estimates range from 10,000 up to > 1,000,000 (Mokievsky & Azovsky 2002, Lambshead & Boucher 2003). Appeltans et al. (2012) suggest that about 85% of the marine nematode species are still unknown to science.

Free-living marine nematodes inhabit basically all marine soft sediments, but they can be present on secondary biofilms and/or hard substrates as well (Moens et al. 2013). They can be very abundant (>10 000 individuals in 10 cm² of sediment) in organically enriched sediments such as those found in cold seeps (Van Gaever et al. 2006), polar coastal waters (Vanhove et al. 1999) and estuarine mudflats (Heip et al. 1985)


New NeMys chief editor: Katja Guilini
Added on: 2015-10-08 21:34:49 by Vanaverbeke, Jan
I will be leaving the Marine Biology Research Group, to take up a position at the Royal Belgian Institute for Natural Sciences, from 1 November 2015 onwards. As the Marine Biology Research Group has a long standing tradition with NeMys, I decided that it would not be fair to take the editor-responsabilities with me to the new institute. ... [Read more]
NeMys editors workshop (Feb 2015) report available online
Added on: 2015-03-27 17:19:00 by Vandepitte, Leen
Please find the here the link of the workshop report of the NeMys meeting that took place at VLIZ end of February 2015. [Read more]
NeMys editors got off to a flying start!
Added on: 2015-03-02 10:57:50 by Vandepitte, Leen
On February 24-26, experts on free-living marine nematodes have gathered at the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ), host institute of the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS), to give the re-newed NeMys a kick-start and to discuss future plans. ... [Read more]


History of the database

The original NeMys database was set up by dr. Tim Deprez (Marine Biology Research Group, Ghent University) as a generic marine biodiversity information system. It was designed to link taxonomic information, taxonomic and ecological literature, and identification keys. Data on free-living marine nematodes have been added to NeMys by collaborators of the Marine Biology Research Group of Ghent University through a series of projects funded by OSTC (now: Belspo) (project 'Aanmaak van een taxonomische databank van de meiofauna van de Noordzee (2001-2002), MN/XX/806'), Fund for scientific Research - Flanders (project ‘Het benthos in Antarctica : structurele en functionele biodiversiteit (1997-2000), 3G0046.97’) and the EU Network of Excellence MarBEF (subproject MANUELA).

In 2014, the part on free-living marine nematodes of NeMys was integrated in the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS). The functionalities of NeMys are maintained and additional links to external data sources (i.e. GenBank) have been added when available.

The taxonomy of NeMys is edited by a group of editors, with the help of the WoRMS data management team and collaborators at the Marine Biology Research Group.

Past contributors to NeMys include Maaike Steyaert, Maarten Raes, Guy De Smet, Jeroen Ingels, Saskia Van Gaever, Giovanni dos Santos, Gustavo Fonseca and Tania Nara Bezerra.


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

Heip C, Vincx M, Vranken G (1985) THE ECOLOGY OF MARINE NEMATODES. Oceanography and Marine Biology 23:399-489

Lambshead PJD, Boucher G (2003) Marine nematode deep‐sea biodiversity–hyperdiverse or hype? Journal of Biogeography 30:475-485

Moens T, Braeckman U, Derycke S, Fonseca G, Galluci F, Gingold R, Guilini K, Ingels J, Leduc D, Vanaverbeke J, Van Colen C, Vanreusel A, Vincx M (2013) Ecology of free-living marine nematodes. In: Schmidt-Rhaesa A (ed) Handbook of Zoology, Volume 2 Nematoda. De Gruyter, p 109-152

Mokievsky V, Azovsky A (2002) Re-evaluation of species diversity patterns of free-living marine nematodes. Marine ecology Progress series 238:101-108

Van Gaever S, Moodley L, Beer Dd, Vanreusel A (2006) Meiobenthos at the Arctic Håkon Mosby Mud Volcano with a parental caring nematode thriving in sulphide-rich sediments. Marine Ecology Progress Series 321

Vanhove S, Arntz W, Vincx M (1999) Comparative study of the nematode communities on the southeastern Weddell Sea shelf and slope (Antarctica). Marine Ecology-Progress Series 181:237-256

Quick search

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De Man (1904, pl. 04), author: J. G. De ManNot public

De Man (1904, pl. 01), author: J. G. De ManNot public

Nematoda, author: Schratzberger, MichaelaNot public

Cite NeMys itself as

Vanaverbeke J, Bezerra TN, Braeckman U, De Groote A, De Meester N, Deprez T, Derycke S, Gilarte P, Guilini K, Hauquier F, Lins L, Maria T, Moens T, Pape E, Smol N, Taheri M, Van Campenhout J, Vanreusel A, Wu X, Vincx M (2016). NeMys: World Database of Free-Living Marine Nematodes. Accessed at on 2016-02-10

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.

Web interface and database structure initially created by Tim Deprez; now hosted and maintained by VLIZ
Page generated 2016-02-10 · contact: Jan Vanaverbeke or