The 2008 Annual Checklist

2007 Annual Checklist CD-ROM front cover

The 2008 Annual Checklist contains contributions from 52 databases with information on 1,105,589 species and 86,426 infraspecific taxa, and also includes 720,040 synonyms and 461,182 common names covering the following groups:

Viruses • Viruses and Subviral agents from ICTV.

Bacteria and Archaea from BIOS • Blue-green algae (Cyanobacteria) from AlgaeBase.

Chromista • Chromistan fungi from Species Fungorum • Chromistan algae from AlgaeBase.

Protozoa • Major groups from ITIS and AlgaeBase • Protozoan fungi from Species Fungorum and Trichomycetes database • NEW!

Fungi • Various taxa in whole or in part from CABI Bioscience databases (Species Fungorum, Phyllachorales, Rhytismatales and Zygomycetes databases) and from three other databases covering Xylariaceae, Glomeromycota and Trichomycetes

Plantae (Plants) • Mosses from MOST • Conifers from Conifer Database • Cycads and 6 flowering plant families from IOPI-GPC and 94 families from World Checklist of Selected Plant Families (NEW SECTORS: gnetophytes & monocots) • Custard Apple family from AnnonBase • Legumes from ILDIS • Cranesbills from RJB Geranium • Brazil Nut family from LecyPages

Animalia (Animals) • Sponges from Porifera database • Marine invertebrates (13 phyla & 7 classes) and chordates (4 classes) from URMO • Sea anemones from the Hexacorallians of the World • Rotifers from Rotifera database • Spiders from SpidCat • Ticks from TicksBase • Krill from ETI WBD • Diplopods, centipedes, pauropods and symphylans from SysMyr and ChiloBase • Dragonflies from the Odonata database • Crickets, grasshoppers, locusts, and katydids from the OSF • Stick and leaf insects from PSF NEW! • Cockroaches from BSF NEW! • Planthoppers from FLOW • Froghoppers from COOL NEW! • Scale insects from ScaleNet • Bees and wasps from ITIS, UCD and ZOBODAT • Scarab beetles from the World Scarabaeidae Database • Longhorn beetles from TITAN • Weevils from WTaxa • Fleas from Parhost • Flies, craneflies, mosquitoes, bots, midges and gnats from BDWD, CCW, CIPA and ITIS • Butterflies and moths from LepIndex, Tineidae NHM, World Gracillariidae NEW! • and GloBIS/GART • Snails and slugs (some groups) from AFD and ITIS • Fishes from FishBase • Reptiles from TIGR Reptiles • Amphibians, birds and mammals from ITIS.

PLUS additional species of many groups from ITIS.

Structure of the Annual Checklist

The goal is to list every distinct species in each group of organisms. At present, some groups are globally complete, some are represented by global sectors that are nearing completion, and others are represented by partial sectors. The global sectors, whether complete or not, are provided by selected, peer reviewed global species databases (GSDs - see definition below) in the Species 2000 federation or by equivalent global sectors of ITIS. The partial sectors are supplied principally by ITIS (N America), but also Species Fungorum and the Australian Faunal Directory, with the result that N American species are sometimes the only species represented for these incomplete groups.

Definition of a Global Species Database (GSD)

GSDs aspire to the following properties:
Cover one taxon worldwide
Contain a taxonomic checklist of all species within that taxon
Deal with species as taxa, and contain synonymy and taxonomic opinion
Have an explicit mechanism for seeking at least one responsible/consensus taxonomy, and for applying it consistently
Cross-index significant alternative taxonomies in their synonymy

Each species is listed with an accepted scientific name, a cited reference and its family and/or position in the hierarchical classification. Additional common names and synonyms may be provided, but these data are not complete, and for some species none may exist. The complete list of fields (known as the Catalogue of Life Standard Dataset) is given below:

The Catalogue of Life Standard Dataset

(1) Accepted scientific name (and reference)
(2) Synonyms (and references)
(3) Common names (and references)
(4) Latest taxonomic scrutiny (name of person and date)
(5) Source database
(6) Additional data (optional)
(7) Family to which species belongs
(8) Classification above family, and highest taxon in database
(9) Distribution
(10) Reference(s) (optional)

More detailed information about the Standard Dataset is available on the Species 2000 website (

Each species is linked via the genus and family to the taxonomic classification. Above the node of attachment of each data sector this classification has been agreed by Species 2000 and ITIS as a practical management tool to provide access to the Catalogue, the Catalogue of Life Taxonomic Classification Edition 1. This top level classification has remained unchanged in 2005-2008. However, below the node of attachment the classification originates from the supplier databases and so may change from year to year. Because of this lower level changes there are therefore annual versions of Edition 1 for 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.

Where available from the suppliers, infraspecific taxa such as subspecies and varieties have also been included but this coverage is variable between taxonomic sectors.

Where possible, a web link back to the supplier's own database is provided at the bottom of each species detail page.

Functionality of the Annual Checklist

• Species (and infraspecific taxa) can be located either by searching by name or by tracking down through the hierarchical classification.
• Searching by name can be done using accepted scientific name, synonym or common name. Automatic synonymic and common name indexing takes the user directly to the species under its accepted name. The search can use part names, or be restricted to complete words.
• Tracking down the tree or classification uses accepted names for taxa.
• On each species details page the relevant higher taxa are listed, and provide a link to the relevant node of the hierarchical classification.
• The species details pages link to the source database, usually showing further information.

This CD contains the Annual Checklist dataset and the software identical to that used on the Web. The structure of the Annual Checklist database has been optimised for performance with the user interface but is not ideal for importing to other systems. The content may be copied subject to the copyright conditions given on the inside cover of this booklet.

The 2008 Annual Checklist Editors

The Catalogue of Life programme combines the outputs of the Species 2000 programme (led by Frank Bisby from Reading, UK) and the ITIS programme (led by Thomas Orrell from Washington, USA). Assembly and publication of the Annual Checklist is managed by Yuri Roskov in Reading working with colleagues around the world:

Frank Bisby, Species 2000 Executive Director and Team member, at the Species 2000 Secretariat, Reading, UK.

Yuri Roskov, Executive Editor at the Species 2000 Secretariat, Reading, UK.

Thomas Orrell, Acting Director, ITIS at the ITIS Secretariat, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA.

David Nicolson, ITIS Data Development Coordinator, USGS/Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA.

Luvie Paglinawan, Annual Checklist Dataset Compiler, at the Species 2000 Philippines Office, WorldFish Center, Los-Baños, Philippines.

Nicolas Bailly, Species 2000 Philippines Office Manager at the WorldFish Center, Los-Baños, Philippines.

Paul Kirk, Taxonomic Editor of Fungi and Chromista sectors at CABI, Egham, UK.

Thierry Bourgoin, Museum National díHistoire Naturelle, Paris, France.

Jorrit van Hertum, Software and User Interface Programmer at ETI BioInformatics, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.