The Amphipoda of the North East Atlantic and Mediterranean

Rachael King 1, Alan Myers 1 and David McGrath 2

1. Department of Zoology and Animal Ecology, University College, Cork, Ireland.

2. Department of Biological Sciences, Galway and Mayo Institute for Technology, Ireland.


The amphipod fauna of the North Eact Atlantic and Mediterranean region is arguably one of the best known in the world seas. By the end of the nineteenth century, a very firm base of amphipod taxonomy had been established in the region by G.O. Sars (1895) and Antonio Della Valle (1893). In the early twentieth century, works by Chevreux and Fage (1925), Stephensen (1942), Schellenberg (1942) and in the later half of the century by Lincoln (1979) and Ruffo et. al. (1982, 1989, 1993 and 1998) have all helped to put the fauna on a firm basis. Despite this fact, the identification of amphipods remains difficult for non specialists and a great need exists for easily useable interactive keys to the species.

To this end, a series of interactive, illustrated keys to the Amphipoda of the North East Atlantic and Mediterranean are being produced using DELTA (DEscriptive Language for TAxonomy) software. These keys will be published on the www, family by family, as they become available and form part of the Amphipoda of the World sub-project of the Crustacea of the World programme hosted by the Australian Museum, Sydney. The work on the North East Atlantic and Mediterranean amphipods is being carried out at the Environmental Research Institute of University College, Cork, funded by the Higher Education Authority of Ireland.

The number of described species of amphipod in the region is in excess of 800 in over 70 Families.

Cite this publication as: 'King, R. & A.A. Myers (2001 onwards). Mediterranean Amphipoda: Aoridae. Version 1: 1 September 2001.'. Dallwitz (1980) and Dallwitz, Paine and Zurcher (1993, 1995, 2000) should also be cited (see References).