MarBEF Data System

The European Register of Marine Species

What is ERMS

The European Register of Marine Species (ERMS) is an authoritative taxonomic list of species occurring in the European marine environment, defined as up to the strandline or splash zone above the high tide mark and down to 0.5 (psu, ppt) salinity in estuaries. The register is actively maintained and daily updated in the framework of the MarBEF EU Network of Excellence by a board of taxonomic editors, which are world experts on the taxonomy of their relevant taxa. It is anticipated that the Register will become a standard reference (and technological tool) for marine biodiversity training, research and management in Europe.

ERMS is served from a relational database. The most recent version of the data will always be available through this search interface. At regular intervals, a snapshot of the database will be archived; these archive copies will be kept available through the ERMS web site.

ERMS logo

   ERMS Latest additions

Scope of ERMS

The project covers species of the kingdoms Animalia, Plantae, Fungi and Protoctista occurring in the marine environment. Bacteria and marine viruses are not included. The area covered by the project is all the continental shelf seas of Europe, from the Canaries and Azores to Greenland and north west Russia, including the Mediterranean shelf, Baltic Seas and deep-sea areas. Click here to view the map covered by ERMS.


People interested, especially those with expertise in marine taxa, are invited to contact the co-ordinator or other participants to get on the project circulation list. Also relevant ecological information and pictures of taxa, listed in ERMS, are more than welcome. Approved editors of species lists are able to access ERMS online, such that the register will be changing according to need and editorial diligence. Simultaneously, the name of the editor and the revision date for each species or taxon is shown.

Download database

We see the web interface as the main means of access to information in the ERMS database. However, in some cases this web interface might be too limited, especially for those building off-line applications. If you want to get an electronic copy of the ERMS database, please contact the Database Management Team.

History of ERMS

The European Register of Marine Species (ERMS) was created in 1998 by a project funded under the European Union MAST research programme. It resulted in a species list for European marine waters. This first version has been published as a book (Costello et al, 2001).


Usage of data from the ERMS in scientific publications should be acknowledged by citing as follows:

  • Costello, M.J.; Bouchet, P.; Boxshall, G.; Arvanitidis, C.; Appeltans, W. (2024). European Register of Marine Species. Accessed at on 2024-02-25
If the data from the ERMS constitute a substantial proportion of the records used in analyses, the chief editor(s) of the database should be contacted. There may be additional data which may prove valuable to such analyses.

Individual pages are individually authored and dated. These can be cited separately: the proper citation is provided at the bottom of each page.

ERMS Editorial Board

The editorial board of ERMS consists of an Executive Commitee and Associate Editors. Each taxonomic group is represented by an Associate editor, responsible for the quality and content of large taxonomic groups. Associate editors can appoint review editors who are responsible for smaller phyla and families.



  • Prof. Dr Artois, Tom
    Universiteit Hasselt; Centre for Environmental Sciences; Onderzoeksgroep Dierkunde: Biodiversiteit en Toxicologie

    Acoela - Kalyptorhynchia - Platyhelminthes - Proseriata - Prostoma - Rhabditophora - Turbellaria
  • Prof. Dauvin, Jean-Claude
    Université de Caen; Morphodynamique Continentale et Côtière

    Ampeliscidae - Amphipoda
  • Prof. Huys, Rony
    Natural History Museum; Department of Zoology

    Copepoda - Harpacticoida - Tantulocarida
  • Dr Costello, Mark
    Nord University; Faculty of Bioscience and Aquaculture

    Amphipoda - Biota
  • Dr Jaume, Damià
    Universitat de les Illes Balears; Instituto Mediterraneo de Estudios Avanzados

    Bogidiellidae - Crustacea - Eriopisidae - Melitidae - Pseudoniphargidae - Thermosbaenacea
  • Dr Arvanitidis, Christos
    Hellenic Centre for Marine Research; Institute of Marine Biology, Biotechnology and Aquaculture

  • Dr van Soest, Rob
    Naturalis Biodiversity Center

    Alcyonium - Porifera - Thaliacea
  • Dr Bailly, Nicolas
    Quantitative Aquatics, Inc.

    Agnatha - Chaetognatha - Chondrichthyes - Holocephali - Osteichthyes - Pisces
  • Dr Dolan, John
    Sorbonne Université; Sorbonne Université/CNRS, Laboratoire d'Océanographie de Villefranche

  • Agatha, Sabine
    Universität Salzburg; Department of Organismic Biology

    Choreotrichia - Ciliophora - Oligotrichia
  • Dr Bellan-Santini, Denise
    Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique; Mediterranean Institute of marine and terrestrial Biodiversity and Ecology

    Ampeliscidae - Amphipoda
  • Prof. Boxshall, Geoff
    Natural History Museum; Department of Zoology

    Amphionidacea - Arthropoda - Branchiopoda - Branchiura - Cephalocarida - Copepoda - Crustacea - Mystacocarida - Pentastomida - Remipedia - Rhizocephala - Tantulocarida
  • Dr Bray, Rod
    Natural History Museum; Department of Zoology

    Cestoda - Monogenea - Platyhelminthes - Trematoda
  • Dr Gibson, David
    Natural History Museum; Department of Zoology

    Acanthocephala - Aspidogastrea - Cestoda - Monogenea - Nematoda - Neodermata - Trematoda
  • Gofas, Serge
    University of Málaga; Faculty of Sciences; Departamento de Biología Animal

    Mollusca - Xenoturbellida
  • Dr Horton, Tammy
    University of Southampton; National Oceanography Centre, Southampton; Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystems

    Amphipoda - Biota - Ingolfiellida - Isopoda - Lysianassoidea
  • Dr Hoeksema, Bert
    Naturalis Biodiversity Center; Department of Marine Zoology

    Anthozoa - Cnidaria - Milleporidae - Scleractinia - Stylasteridae
  • Williams, Gary
    California Academy of Sciences; Department of Invertebrate Zoology & Geology

  • Stöhr, Sabine
    Swedish Museum of Natural History; Department of Invertebrate Zoology

    Asterias - Ophiuroidea
  • Saiz Salinas, José Ignacio
    University of the Basque country; Department of zoology and animal cell dynamics

    Echiura - Sipuncula
  • Dr Kullander, Sven
    Swedish Museum of Natural History

    Actinopterygii - Agnatha - Elasmobranchii - Holocephali - Pisces
  • Dr Petrescu, Iorgu
    Muzeul National de Istorie Naturala Grigore Antipa

  • Dr d'Hondt, Jean-Loup
    Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle; Département Milieux et Peuplements Aquatiques

  • Dr Neuhaus, Birger
    Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity; Museum für Naturkunde

    Cephalorhyncha - Kinorhyncha
  • Mapstone, Gill
    Natural History Museum

  • Schierwater, Bernd
    School of veterinary medicine Hannover; Institute of animal ecology and cell biology; ITZ, Ecology and Evolution

    Ctenophora - Placozoa
  • Sterrer, Wolfgang
    Bermuda Natural History Museum

    Biota - Gnathostomulida
  • Dr Nielsen, Claus
    University of Copenhagen; Zoological Museum

  • Dr Collins, Allen
    Smithsonian Institution; National Museum of Natural History; Department of Invertebrate Zoology

    Ctenophora - Cubozoa - Scyphozoa - Staurozoa
  • Gravili, Cinzia
    University of Salento; Dipartimento di Scienze e Tecnologie Biologiche e Ambientali; National Interuniversity Consortium For Marine Sciences; Laboratory of Zoology and Marine Biology

  • Dr Glasby, Christopher
    Northern Territory Government; Natural Sciences, Museum & Art Gallery of the Northern Territory

    Nereididae - Terebellidae
  • Sicinski, Jacek
    University of Lodz; Dept. Invertebrate Zoology & Hydrobiology; Laboratory of Polar Biology and Oceanobiology

    Polychaeta - Siboglinidae
  • Dr Musco, Luigi
    Stazione Zoologica 'Anton Dohrn' of Naples; Integrative Marine Ecology

  • Smit, Harry
    Naturalis Biodiversity Center

    Pontarachnidae - Prostigmata
  • ten Hove, Harry
    Naturalis Biodiversity Center

    Polychaeta fossils incertae sedis - Serpulidae
  • Dr Picton, Bernard
    National Museums of Northern Ireland; Ulster Museum

    Heterobranchia - Porifera
Dendronotus frondosus Picture: L. Kotwicki
Alcyonium glomeratum, Axinella dissimilis and Holothuria forskali Picture: BE Picton
Echinocardium cordatum Picture: M. Decleer
Laminaria hyperborea  Picture: NIVA
Pagurus bernhardus Picture: M. Decleer
Epinephelus marginatus Picture: JG Harmelin
Pleuronectes flesus Picture: M. Decleer
Cerastoderma edule Picture: M. Decleer
Prostheceraeus vittatus Picture: A. Pedersen
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