The present study is the first attempt to describe beta-diversity patterns in polychaetes of the Caribbean Sea, analysing depth changes in species composition of the Eunicida and Amphinomida inhabiting dead coral in Chinchorro Bank, southern Mexican Caribbean. In April 2008, dead coral fragments were collected by scuba diving in eight stations along two bathymetric gradients (4–9 m and 7–16.2 m depth); 755 individuals from 53 species of the families Amphinomidae, Dorvilleidae, Eunicidae, Lumbrineridae, Oenonidae and Onuphidae were identified. The highest number of species (32) and individuals (514) were found in the family Eunicidae. The Northern transect harboured 36 species, on average 18.75 ind. L−1, which decreased linearly with depth; the Central transect had 43 species, on average 19.01 ind. L−1, which increased at middle depths. The species inhabiting both these zones were moderately different (βsor = 0.603): 49.06% of the fauna occurred on both transects, but the components of beta-diversity, turnover and nestedness, displayed distinct patterns: in the Northern one replacement was the dominant factor (βsim = 0.3–1; βnes = 0–0.091), practically representing all faunal differences (βsor = 0.391–1); in the Central, dissimilarity due to nestedness increased (βnes = 0.031–0.829), mainly at the shallowest stations, but from 5 m depth, beta-diversity was almost completely explained by species replacement (βsim = 0.417–0.5; βnes = 0.031–0.318). Faunal differences were mostly related to higher abundances of Lysidice caribensis, Eunice goodei and Lumbrineris floridana in the Northern zone, and Lumbrineris perkinsi, Nicidion obtusa, Lysidice caribensis, Lumbrineris floridana, Lysidice unicornis and Eunice mutilata in the Central zone.