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Polychaete or macrofaunal identification

You need a cost-effective alternative for your marine environmental work.  We can accommodate your macrofaunal identification and analysis needs through a general service contract or periodic basis (no perpetual lab overheads for you).  Use us to augment your own team to capture more extensive private and municipal contracts.


We provide very rapid turn-around times for polychaetes identified to family.  Familiarity with many New Zealand estuarine and shelf species means genus or species-level idenfication in these areas is often just as fast.  If your samples are mixed, we provide appropriate taxonomic resolution or parataxonomy services for other groups. 


Yes, we WILL make a reference collection for you if you wish! There are always more macrofaunal out there, so we like to expand the number of workers in the field.  One of our favourite things to do is to properly separate, diagram, describe, and photograph your taxa to create a properly indexed reference collection and dichotomous key that your lab can use in its own monitoring work. 


  • Polychaetes (Family Level) can be done on almost any reasonably-well preserved samples
  • Polychaetes (Genus Level) requires properly collected, fixed, and shipped material. Please contact us for guidance.
  • Polychaetes (Species Level) requires proper material handling, relaxation, fixation, and preservation.  If the taxa are unfamiliar then local information, reference materials, and time for comparative anatomy may be required.
  • Mixed Macrofauna study requirements and budget determine the appropriate level of taxonomic resolution required. We will optimise your budget by quickly working through all material and then focus our efforts on the taxa appropriate to your hypotheses or monitoring aims.
  • Meiofauna studies can often provide spatiotemporal benefits over macrofaunal monitoring in some environments, but handling and processing protocols are very specific. Please contact us for details.

Ophryotrocha adherens, Hawaii

Ophryotrocha adherens (Paavo et. al. 2000) depositing eggs.