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About Polychaetes
Worms that are not polychaetes
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Using interactive keys
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Acknowledgements and authorship

We have worked as both authors and editors of this publication, which has benefited from the collaboration of many of our colleagues. Authorship of particular interactive keys and associated descriptions is thus given separately. Citation of the entire publication should be given as:

    RS Wilson, PA Hutchings and CJ Glasby (eds) 2003. Polychaetes: An Interactive Identification Guide. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.
Citation of an individual DELTA Intkey data set should be as a chapter, eg:
    PA Hutchings & RT Johnson. 2003. Australian Aphroditidae (Polychaeta) - a DELTA database of genera and Australian species. In RS Wilson, PA Hutchings and CJ Glasby (eds) Polychaetes: An Interactive Identification Guide. CSIRO Publishing, Melbourne.

This publication would not have been possible without the DELTA taxonomic database data standard and software, developed by Mike Dallwitz, Eric Zurcher and Toni Paine at CSIRO Entomology over more than 20 years. Mike, Eric and Toni, as well as numerous subscribers to the DELTA listserver, have repeatedly helped us with technical problems over many years, even when institutional support was withdrawn. Other software has and continues to be developed but none yet fully supports the functionality of the DELTA programs (data management and import/export to other software; interactive identification; natural language generation). We are deeply indebted to Mike, his colleagues, and to the DELTA community, and will strive to ensure continuing support for the vast legacy of biodiversity data stored in DELTA format throughout the world.

We are very grateful for the support of our institutions, and to the following agencies who have helped fund this project:

Their support helped to provide salaries for Robin Wilson, Rick Johnson, Kate Nolan, Joanne Taylor and Genefor Walker-Smith at various stages of this project.

We would also like to thank the following colleagues who provided input into the various data bases, Markus Böggemann, Harry ten Hove, Guillermo San Martin, Mary Peterson, Hannelore Paxton, Charlotte Watson-Russell, Anna Murray, Kristian Fauchald and Fredrik Pleijel. Vasily Radashevsky and Greg Rouse provided comments on characters for, respectively, Spionidae and Sabellidae and we also appreciate that input. As with any other taxonomic synthesis, the published work of a vast number of our colleagues and predecessors is also incorporated into the various interactive keys; although this input is less direct it is no less important, and the references page for each family lists these important sources.

Kate Attwood at the Australian Museum and Val Hogan at Museum Victoria assisted with numerous library searches and checking of bibliographic citations.

The editorial staff at CSIRO Publishing, especially Kevin Jeans, Paul Reekie and Vanessa Muir have encouraged us to expand the scope of the project and have provided much valuable guidance as we worked to complete it.

We are very grateful to the large number of publishers and other copyright holders have generously granted permission to reproduce images in this publication. They are listed separately.

Our aim with this project was to bring together the vast amount of scattered information on polychaete systematics, and thus to make identifications more efficient and accurate. Undoubtedly this first attempt is incomplete (though we have tried to show where), and inevitably will contain errors (though we have done our best to eradicate them). Still, we hope it is a better option for most biologists than trying to assemble and interpret their own copies of the voluminous and scattered primary literature. We welcome feedback ...

Robin Wilson
Museum Victoria
GPO Box 666E
Melbourne Vic 3001


Pat Hutchings
Australian Museum
6 College Street
Sydney NSW 2010


Chris Glasby
Museum & Art Galleries of the Northern Territory
GPO Box 4646
Darwin NT 0801