About the current COL Checklist

Asplenium trichomanes L. - Photo CC By Markus Döring


This is version 2021-04-05 of the COL Checklist.


The 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. Continuous progress is made towards completion, but for now, it probably includes just over 80% of the world’s known species. The Catalogue of Life estimates 2.2M extant species on the planet recognised by taxonomists at present time. This means that for many groups it continues to be deficient, and users may notice that many species are still missing from the Catalogue.

What’s new in this edition (April 2021)?

There is a new taxonomic checklist:

47 checklists have been updated:

  • Alucitoidea (third update)
  • ITIS (seventh update since AC19). New global checklists for families Varroidae (Mesostigmata), Cimicidae, Polyctenidae & Acanthosomatidae (Hemiptera), and for infraorders Astacidea, Glypheidea & order Lophogastrida (Malacostraca).
  • Pterophoroidea (third update since AC19)
  • Scarabs (eighth update since AC19)
  • World Ferns (fourth update since AC19)
  • World Plants (third update since AC19)

Plus, pilot update of 41 WoRMS checklists:

Catalogue of Life, et al. (2021). Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life, 2021-04-05. Digital resource at Species 2000: Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands. ISSN 2405-8858.

Please also read the recommended citations for individual datasets contributing to the COL Checklist.

Data Downloads

You can download this version of the COL checklist either as a

For other versions please see the COL downloads site.