Collection Data

Page Contents: Section | Significance | Background | Location & Dates | Taxonomic Contents | Documentation | Description of Collection | Collection Inventory | Collection Assets

Naga Expedition, Viet Nam 1959–1961

Section Responsible for Processing



One of or possibly the largest collection of Vietnamese polychaete held in the United States.


The Naga Expedition (1959-1961) was a joint survey undertaken by the United States, Thailand, and Viet Nam with the following objectives: 1. "To demonstrate the importance of oceanography and marine biology in relation to fisheries." 2. "To train oceanographic and fisheries scientists and technicians, to develop scientific understanding and appreciation and to accelerate the progress of science in the Gulf of Thailand and adjacent portions of the South China Sea." 3. "To lay scientific and administrative groundwork for early and continued development of marine resources in the Gulf of Thailand and adjacent portions of the South China Sea." (quoted material from Faughn, 1974). The Scripps Institute of Oceanography led the U.S. portion; U.S. support came from the federal International Cooperation Administration, the University of California, Office of Naval Research, U.S. Public Health Service, the George Vanderbilt Foundation of Stanford University, and the National Science Foundation.

Dr. Victor A. Gallardo (University of Concepcion, Chile), was a principal investigator for biological research. He was based at the Oceanographic Institute of Nhatrang (Viet Nam) while surveying Nha Trang Bay. The OIN supplied a small boat the R/L MAO TIEN for collecting & transport as well as housing & research facilities; some of the deeper collecting was done from SIO’s R/V STRANGER. Using the Naga polychaetes as his subject Gallardo obtained his Ph.D. under Dr. Olga Hartman (Allan Hancock Foundation, University of Southern California). One polychaete family, the Nephtyidae, was published on by Dr. Kristian Fauchald who was at that time another student of Dr. Hartman’s. The polychaete specimens were eventually divided between 3 institutions. Holotypes, 1 set of paratypes & most non-type material remained at the AHF (transferred in 1988 to this museum) while other sets of paratypes & non-type specimens went to the University of Concepcion, Chile, and to the Zoological Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark.

Collection Location and Dates

364 grab & dredge samples were taken in the South China Sea, Viet Nam, within & adjacent to Nha Trang Bay, between January & September 1960.

Taxonomic Contents

Collection consists of 178 species (including 3 subspecies & 8 forms not named) of polychaetes in 51 families including 1 new genus & 39 new species. Other new genera were subsequently described from the material.


Electronic data compilations & hard copies are held by the Polychaete Section. Information about the survey & the polychaetes can be found in the reports listed below.

Fauchald, K. 1968. Nephtyidae (Polychaeta) from the Bay of Nha Trang, South Viet Nam. Naga Report, 4(3): 1-33.

Faughn, J.L. 1963. Final report of Naga Expedition. SIO Reference 63-11, 45 pp.

Faughn, J.L. 1974. Scientific results of marine investigations of the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand 1959-1961. Naga Report, vol. 1: 1-177.

Gallardo, V. A. 1967. Polychaeta from the Bay of Nha Trang, South Viet Nam. Naga Report 4(3): p. 35-279.

Description of Collection

Wet preserved collection. Specimens were original fixed in 5% formalin & later transferred to 70% ethanol.

Collection Inventory

835 lots including types.

Collection Assets

No collection assets available.

Curatorial Status (Click to view)