When marine natural sciences began to be the concern of most European scientists, in the middle of the 19th century, Marseille, in southern France, was no exception. The creation, ca. 150 years ago, of the first Zoology Laboratory of the Faculty of Sciences of Marseille took place in 1868. Under the leadership of Antoine-Fortuné Marion, it soon led to the creation of the Station Marine d’Endoume (SME) in 1889. Marion’s pioneering work survived both world wars and was then taken to another dimension by Jean-Marie Pérès, head of the marine station from 1948 to 1983. This institution is still alive to date. We here inventoried all the taxa described by SME scientists (1870 to 2021) and arranged them in a public database. Three main periods of activity at the SME are described, as well as the focus made through time to different groups of taxa, selected ecosystems, or biogeographic areas. Through many examples, it was possible to document how these naturalistic, taxonomic descriptions contributed to a broader scientific knowledge within this period. Finally, we discussed trends in taxonomic and naturalistic research, based on the SME experience.