SIO Benthic Invertebrate Collection

Latest version published by Scripps Institution of Oceanography on Sep 23, 2019 Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Download the latest version of this resource data as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) or the resource metadata as EML or RTF:

Data as a DwC-A file download 51,637 records in English (4 MB) - Update frequency: as needed
Metadata as an EML file download in English (19 KB)
Metadata as an RTF file download in English (11 KB)


The Scripps Institution of Oceanography Benthic Invertebrate Collection (SIO-BIC) is a research repository housing more than 50,000 lots, representing more than 800,000 specimens and more than 7,600 species from marine environments worldwide.

The Collection includes extensive holdings from deep-sea environments (>1,000 m), chemosynthetic ecosystems (hydrothermal vents, hydrocarbon seeps, whale falls), Antarctica, and the eastern Pacific. Materials have been collected through a range of techniques, from intertidal hand collecting and SCUBA to trawls and deep-sea submersibles.

SIO-BIC contains more than 700 type lots and considerable material properly preserved for genomic studies (95% ethanol and ultracold storage). Multiple preparation types are often available for each lot (e.g., fluid voucher, ethanol subsample, dry material). The searchable electronic database, including a map search feature and specimen images, is updated weekly and publicly accessible online at

SIO-BIC supports scientific research by providing specimens for study of the taxonomy, biogeography, and evolution of benthic invertebrates, including the description of many new species. Specimens are available for examination at Scripps and for loan to researchers at recognized institutions worldwide, consistent with our loan policies. Collection staff and materials also support education and public outreach via undergraduate and graduate classes, school programs, guest lectures, artist collaborations, and exhibits and events at the Birch Aquarium.

Data Records

The data in this occurrence resource has been published as a Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A), which is a standardized format for sharing biodiversity data as a set of one or more data tables. The core data table contains 51,637 records.

This IPT archives the data and thus serves as the data repository. The data and resource metadata are available for download in the downloads section. The versions table lists other versions of the resource that have been made publicly available and allows tracking changes made to the resource over time.


The table below shows only published versions of the resource that are publicly accessible.

How to cite

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

Scripps Institution of Oceanography Benthic Invertebrate Collection


Researchers should respect the following rights statement:

The publisher and rights holder of this work is Scripps Institution of Oceanography. To the extent possible under law, the publisher has waived all rights to these data and has dedicated them to the Public Domain (CC0 1.0). Users may copy, modify, distribute and use the work, including for commercial purposes, without restriction.

GBIF Registration

This resource has been registered with GBIF, and assigned the following GBIF UUID: a267b6a7-91f9-457c-889a-481e7aa920b6.  Scripps Institution of Oceanography publishes this resource, and is itself registered in GBIF as a data publisher endorsed by U.S. Geological Survey.


Occurrence; Specimen


Charlotte Seid
  • Metadata Provider
  • Originator
  • Point Of Contact
Collection Manager
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive #0244
92093-0244 La Jolla
Greg Rouse
  • Principal Investigator
University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive #0202
92093-0202 La Jolla
David Bloom
  • Programmer
Project Coordinator
John Wieczorek
  • Programmer
Information Architect
Greg Rouse
  • Principal Investigator
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California San Diego, 9500 Gilman Drive #0202
92093-0202 La Jolla

Geographic Coverage

Marine habitats worldwide, with emphasis on the eastern Pacific, Antarctic, and deep sea (>1,000 m).

Bounding Coordinates South West [-90, -180], North East [90, 180]

Taxonomic Coverage

Marine invertebrates, primarily benthic but including some pelagic representatives.

Phylum Annelida (segmented worms), Arthropoda (arthropods), Brachiopoda (lamp shells), Bryozoa (moss animals), Cnidaria (cnidarians), Ctenophora (comb jellies), Echinodermata (echinoderms), Mollusca (mollusks), Nemertea (ribbon worms), Nematoda (round worms), Platyhelminthes (flat worms), Porifera (sponges), Xenacoelomorpha (xenacoelomorphs)
Subphylum Crustacea (crustaceans), Chelicerata (sea spiders, horseshoe crabs, etc.), Tunicata (tunicates)
Class Crinoidea (crinoids), Asteroidea (sea stars), Ophiuroidea (brittle stars, basket stars), Holothuroidea (sea cucumbers), Echinoidea (sea urchins), Bivalvia (bivalves), Gastropoda (gastropods), Polyplacophora (chitons), Cephalopoda (cephalopods), Monoplacophora (monoplacophorans), Aplacophora (aplacophorans), Calcarea (calcareous sponges), Demospongiae (demosponges), Hexactinellida (glass sponges), Homoscleromorpha (sponges)

Temporal Coverage

Formation Period 1902-current

Collection Data

Collection Name SIO Benthic Invertebrate Collection
Specimen preservation methods Alcohol,  Deep frozen,  Dried,  Formalin,  Microscopic preparation

Additional Metadata and

Alternative Identifiers a267b6a7-91f9-457c-889a-481e7aa920b6