An update from the World Register of Deep-Sea Species (WoRDSS)

[From the INDEEP mailing list]

In December 2012 the deep-sea web portal ‘World Register of Deep-Sea Species, WoRDSS’ was launched, funded by INDEEP. Thanks to the superb efforts of the WoRMS taxonomic editors and OBIS we already have 25,005 species listed.  More than 10% of known marine taxa are found deeper than 500m. But this is the largest environment on earth and we know there are more…

WoRDSS is an ongoing  project and we would welcome further input from the deep-sea community who wish to contribute to the project. 

It is very likely that the current list of deep-sea species for many taxa will be incomplete.  The initial dataset was based on records in OBIS and SYNDEEP and  it was clear from the outset that rarer species (e.g. those only reported once in older literature) may not be in these databases.

In 2014 we carried out focussed projects to collate data on particular taxa (see ; namely Isopoda: Asellota; Polychaeta: Siboglinidae, Ampharetidae, Polynoidae & Dorvilleidae; and Echinodermata: Holothuroidea.

These projects have together added 30 newly published species to WoRMS, added 1391 new deep-sea distributions to WoRDSS, linked or added over 122 identification references to WoRMS and WoRDSS (not including the many original descriptions & context sources added) and made available 74 good quality images for use on WoRDSS and the iOS app. We have also worked to remove erroneous non-deep-sea taxa. 

We would like to continue working with you to improve the dataset and therefore ask for your help:

  • Send a pdf of any new taxa not already featured on WoRDSS to, and we will add the taxa to WoRDSS and include a context source.
  • We are about to launch updates to our popular app, DeepSea ID (already 16,600 downloads!) and will launch an android version in September. Therefore if you have quality specimen images you would be willing to share please email

All images are properly credited and copyright can be retained, but we are encouraging contributors to use a creative commons license.

Thanks for all your efforts so far, we look forward to hearing from you.

Tammy, Adrian, & Nick and the VLIZ team. 

This portal was developed as part of a project funded by INDEEP ( and led by Adrian Glover, Nick Higgs (NHMUK) and Tammy Horton (NOC), alongside marine database specialists at VLIZ.

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