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General references for polychaetes

These publications provide general introductions to polychaete diversity and biology. A references page linked to each family description provides more specific literature.

Beesley, P.L., Ross, G.J.B. and Glasby, C.J. 2000. Polychaetes & Allies: The Southern Synthesis. CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne. xii + 465 pp.
A recent overview of Polychaetes, and related groups including myzostomes (Myzostomida), pogonophorans (Pogonophora), echiurans (Echiura) and sipunculans (Sipuncula)

Day, J.H. 1967. A Monograph on the Polychaeta of Southern Africa. Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History): London. 2 vols: Pt 1, Erranta pp. 1-458; Pt 2, Sedentaria pp. 459-878 pp.
Now badly outdated, especially in the recognition given to supposedly cosmopolitan species and in generic classification. Many currently-recognised families are treated as subfamilies. However the figures accompanying the key to families are still useful and much easier to use for beginners than more recent and comprehensive (but highly technical) family keys.

Fauchald, K. 1977. The polychaete worms. Definitions and keys to the orders, families and genera. Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Science Series 28, 1-188.
The "pink book". Has been the first port of call for generic diagnoses and keys to genera, but now out of date for many families. However, for other families there is still no more recent systematic summary.

Fauchald, K. and Rouse, G. 1997. Polychaete systematics: past and present. Zoologica Scripta 26, 71-138.

Hutchings, P.A. and Fauchald, K. 2000. Class Polychaeta: Definition and general description. pp. 1-3 in Beesley, P.L., Ross, G.J.B. and Glasby, C.J. (eds), Polychaetes and Allies: the Southern Synthesis. . CSIRO Publishing: Melbourne.

Rouse, G.W. and Fauchald, K. 1995. The articulation of annelids. Zoologica Scripta 24, 269-301.

Rouse, G. and Fauchald, K. 1997. Cladistics and polychaetes. Zoologica Scripta 26, 139-204.

Rouse, G.W. and Pleijel, F. 2001. Polychaetes. Oxford University Press: Oxford.