Ramisyllis multicaudata is a member of Syllidae (Annelida, Errantia, Phyllodocida) with a remarkable branching body plan. Using a next-generation sequencing approach, the complete mitochondrial genomes of R. multicaudata and Trypanobia sp. are sequenced and analysed, representing the first ones from Syllidae. The gene order in these two syllids does not follow the order proposed as the putative ground pattern in Errantia. The phylogenetic relationships of R. multicaudata are discerned using a phylogenetic approach with the nuclear 18S and the mitochondrial 16S and cox1 genes. Ramisyllis multicaudata is the sister group of a clade containing Trypanobia species. Both genera, Ramisyllis and Trypanobia, together with Parahaplosyllis, Trypanosyllis, Eurysyllis, and Xenosyllis are located in a long branched clade. The long branches are explained by an accelerated mutational rate in the 18S rRNA gene. Using a phylogenetic backbone, we propose a scenario in which the postembryonic addition of segments that occurs in most syllids, their huge diversity of reproductive modes, and their ability to regenerate lost parts, in combination, have provided an evolutionary basis to develop a new branching body pattern as realised in Ramisyllis.