Name a New Species

Support marine biodiversity research by choosing the name of a newly discovered species


Every year, Scripps Benthic Invertebrate Collection Curator Greg Rouse and collaborators discover new species of marine life, especially during exploratory expeditions to mysterious and fascinating deep-sea habitats.

Traditionally, the person who first describes a newfound animal is entitled to name it, but now, Scripps is inviting the public to share in this process of discovery, by choosing the name of a newly discovered species. For example, you may wish to name a species after your own first and/or last name, as a unique gift for a friend or family member, to honor the memory of a loved one, or simply to express your creativity.  

The cost to name a newly discovered Scripps species starts at $5,000. Donors who name a species will receive:

  • a framed print of their named organism
  • a personal tour of the Scripps Benthic Invertebrate Collection, and
  • a copy of the scientific publication in which the newly named species is first described.

Your donation supports the research and preservation required to establish your species in the scientific record permanently. The gift funds are used toward research supplies for DNA sequencing and microscopy, publication fees, shipping costs to exchange specimens with collaborators, and maintenance of the Benthic Invertebrate Collection. Gifts are directed to the Scripps Oceanographic Collections Fund and distributed 80% to laboratory research and 20% to the Benthic Invertebrate Collection. The complete process from research to peer-reviewed publication typically takes about two years, but your framed print and tour opportunity will be available right away.


For more information about how you can support the Scripps Oceanographic Collections by naming a species, or to join us for a tour, please contact us at (858) 822-1865 or

Updated JUNE 12, 2024





Pisionidens new species from Baja CALIFORNIA, Mexico

This new annelid worm species is from the beach sands of the Gulf of California. It lives right in the surf zone and was first collected from San Francisquito.


Dysponetus new species from off California

Dysponetus new species from off California
This new species was found in deep sea sediments at a seamount off California called Patton Ridge. It is a member of Chrysopetalidae but has golden spines instead of plates refers to the golden plates covering the back of the body.


Anguillosyllis new species

Anguillosyllis new species from off California
This new species was found in deep sea sediments near methane seeps off the Pacific coast of central America. Anguillosyllis have an interesting evolutionary placement in their family Syllidae and we will doing some sequencing of its genome as well as naming it.


Protodorvillea new species from off Australia

Protodorvillea new species from off Australia
This new species was found in shallow sediments near Lord Howe Island, off the east coast of the Australian mainland. Protodorvillea is part of a very diverse group, Dorvilleidae, found from shallow to deep sea, but this will only be the 10th species of Protodorvillea to be named.


Macellicephala new species

This new species was found off California living symbiotically on a sea cucumber. Macellicephala are often associated with other animals.
Macellicephala new species



Macellicephala new species

This new species was found off California at 500-1000 m living symbiotically on a carnivorous sponge. Macellicephala are often associated with other animals.


SERICOSURA new species

This new species of sea spider (Pycnogonida) was found off California at 500-1000 m at a methane seep off Del Mar. Here is a living specimen covered with filamentous bacteria.

Biremis new species 

Biremis new species
This species is ​​​​​a very unusual terebellid (spaghetti worm) in that it swims and doesn’t live in a tube. Its closest relative, Biremis blandi, was named in 1973 from deep water off the Bahamas. We discovered this second, new species of Biremis from deep water off Central America.
Biremis new species




Bathymodiolus spp.

These three species of deep-sea Pacific mussels are found at methane seeps with distinctive depth ranges. Bathymodiolus earlougheri (left) is named in memory of Robert Charles “Chuck” Earlougher by his daughter Jan and her husband Jim Hawkins. Bathymodiolus billschneideri (middle) and Bathymodiolus nancyschneiderae (right) are named in memory of San Diego nature enthusiasts, shell collectors, and collection supporters Bill and Nancy Schneider. (Read the scientific publication here.)


Chaetopterus dewysee

This parchment worm, Chaetopterus dewysee, lives in submarine canyons and coastal habitats in southern California, but was "hidden in plain sight" for over a century until Scripps researchers recognized it as a new species, distinct from its Atlantic relatives. It is named for research supporter Mary "Dewy" White, tying in the German word "See" (sea) for her love of the ocean. (Read the scientific publication here.)



Laminatubus paulbrooksi


Laminatubus joycebrooksae

Laminatubus joycebrooksae (top) and Laminatubus paulbrooksi (bottom) are two deep-sea tubeworms from methane seeps off Central America. They are named after Joyce and Paul Brooks, Friends of the Scripps Collections. (Read the scientific publication here.)


Ophryotrocha bohnorum

Ophryotrocha bohnorum is a small deep-sea worm with mighty jaws, found at hydrothermal vents near Tonga. It is named in recognition of Jeffrey and Brenda Bohn and their family. (Read the scientific publication here.)


Peinaleopolynoe mineoi

Peinaleopolynoe mineoi is a scaleworm that lives at deep-sea organic falls off the Central American Pacific. It is named in honor of Ronald M. Mineo, MD, with support from the Mineo family. (Read the scientific publication and the press release.)


Polygordius kurthcarolae
Polygordius kurthsusanae

Polygordius kurthcarolae (top) and Polygordius kurthsusanae (bottom) are two iridescent "knot worms," presented as wedding gifts from Janice and Matt Kurth to their daughters Carol and Susan. These worms are found in the sandy beaches of French Polynesia and the Great Barrier Reef. (Read the scientific publication here.)


Trilobodrilus Ellenscrippsae

Trilobodrilus ellenscrippsae​​​​​, a microscopic worm found among the sand grains of La Jolla Shores, is named after Scripps Institution of Oceanography benefactor Ellen Browning Scripps (1836-1932). (Read the scientific publication and the press release.)