Latest updates

December 15, 2023 / by Olaf Bánki

Monthly Release December 2023

Permanent identifier:

Catalogue of Life (COL) is an assembly of expert-based global species checklists with the aim to build a comprehensive catalogue of all known species of organisms on Earth. As a global consortium, we aim to address the needs of researchers, policy-makers, environmental managers and the wider public for a consistent and up-to-date listing of all the world’s known species. We are happy to announce that we have just published the COL Checklist December 2023 online!

The COL Checklist contains over 2,1 million accepted species. About 1.99 million are living species, and the rest are extinct. A large community of taxonomists, over 500 experts globally, representing 164 data sources is underpinning this global species list. Although the COL Checklist aspires to cover all described extant species, there are still deficiencies for particular taxonomic groups.

A detailed list of source changes can be found in ChecklistBank where you can also view changes between other releases.

Stable identifiers

The last October 2023 release wrongly contained 1.244.280 temporary identifiers which were caused by a bug in the system. With this release COL has reverted to the stable taxon identifiers that were used in the past years. All future releases will also not use these temporary identifiers again.

You can identify temporary IDs by their length. True COL identifiers only have a length of 3-6 alphanumeric upper case characters, e.g. 4CGXP. The temporary ones either are UUIDs with 36 characters like 800a45f8-6c31-4ce7-926f-78e71478f179 or are made up of 19-22 alphanumerical characters in a more condensed form, e.g. 2WCzPyn85NO4BdYFo8RJ.

See github for more details and our name-ids and stable-ids posts for more information about stable COL identifiers.

What’s new in the December edition?

77 checklists updated:

  • 3i Auchenorrhyncha
  • Bryonames
  • Entiminae
  • GLI (Lepidoptera)
  • ITIS (incl. a new global checklist for mite superfamily Caeculoidea)
  • Scarabs
  • SF Isoptera
  • SF Orthoptera
  • WCO (Opiliones)
  • WOL (Odonata)
  • World Ferns
  • World Plants
  • WoRMS, 65 checklists

Other changes:

  • of Apr 2023, Species Fungorum Plus of Jan 2023, Systema Dipterorum ver. 4.2.2 of May 2023, ThripsWiki of 2022-10-07, WCVP-Fabaceae ver. 2023v.4 of 2023-08-02 re-synced