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)



Nemys: saying goodbye to its chief editor and major plans to move forward

Added on: 2018-02-15 09:09:27 by Vandepitte, Leen
Katja Guilini is passing on her chief editor responsibilities after leading Nemys since 2015. Meanwhile, the register will evolve towards a fully global initiative, soon to include freshwater and terrestrial representatives. ...

NeMys launches two new identification keys: Rhynchonema & Monhysteridae

Added on: 2016-03-30 14:51:04 by Guilini, Katja
While the editorial team is working hard behind the scene to have the list of free-living marine nematodes as complete and up-to-date as possible by this summer, one of the first accomplishments was reached from the long run aims. That is adding new identification keys based on up to date taxonomic information. ...

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. ...

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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.

Editorial team

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


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

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Holotype male, author: Holovachov, Oleksandr

author: Campinas Bezerra, Tania Nara

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 2018-09-25

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 2018-09-25 · contact: Tânia Campinas Bezerra or