Marine Invertebrates

Map showing the countries represented by marine invertebrate specimens in the collection

Museum staff collect specimens both onshore and offshore

Traditional drawing techniques and photography along with more advanced imaging such as SEM are used to help identify, describe and analyse specimens

The Department of Natural Sciences holds a wide and diverse collection of marine invertebrates (including marine and terrestrial Mollusca). The majority of the collection comprises Annelida, Arthropoda and Echinodermata along with small numbers of the other minor marine phyla.

The collection is dynamic and constantly growing through surveys and fieldwork as well as donations of specimens.


  • A large collection of nearly a quarter of a million registered specimens; representing 20 different marine phyla.
  • Our collections include spirit collections, frozen tissue samples and dry collections of Crustacea and corals.
  • Over half of the collection is made up of Polychaeta (marine bristleworms), reflecting current staff expertise.
  • Although predominantly British, over 60 different countries are represented by type material of both Crustacea and Polychaeta.
  • A significant part of the collection is drawn from Amgueddfa Cymru’s own marine benthic survey work around Wales and the Irish Sea as well as further afield in the Seychelles, Hong Kong and the Falkland Islands.
  • We hold reference collections from oil and gas survey work in the UK and around the world.


  • Our main taxonomic expertise is in marine bristleworms (Anneilda: Polychaeta). Over 30 new taxa have been discovered and described since 2000, utilizing both molecular and morphological techniques.
  • We employ drawing, SEM, photography, dissection and DNA analysis in our work.
  • Current projects include research on Magelonidae and also on Falkland Islands Polychaeta.
  • Other projects include surveys of polychaete diversity in the Isles of Scilly and observations on behavior and use of abdominal pouches in Magelonidae.

Marine Invertebrates

Dr Teresa Darbyshire

Senior Curator: Invertebrate Biodiversity (Marine Invertebrates)
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Katie Mortimer-Jones

Senior Curator: Invertebrate Biodiversity (Marine Invertebrates)
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