Reptile Database

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The Reptile Database is a scientific database that collects taxonomic information on all living reptile species (i.e. no fossil species such as dinosaurs). The database focuses on species (as opposed to higher ranks such as families) and has entries for all currently recognized ~13,000 species [1] and their subspecies, although there is usually a lag time of up to a few months before newly described species become available online. The database collects scientific and common names, synonyms, literature references, distribution information, type information, etymology, and other taxonomically relevant information.

Contents

History

The database was founded in 1995 as EMBL Reptile Database [2] when the founder, Peter Uetz, was a graduate student at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) in Heidelberg, Germany. Thure Etzold had developed the first web interface for the EMBL DNA sequence database which was also used as interface for the Reptile Database. In 2006 the database moved to The Institute of Genomic Research (TIGR) and briefly operated as TIGR Reptile Database [3] until TIGR was merged into the J Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) where Uetz was an associate professor until 2010. Since 2010 the database has been maintained on servers in the Czech Republic under the supervision of Peter Uetz and Jirí Hošek, a Czech programmer. [4]

Content

Number of reptile genera with a given number of species. Most genera have only one or a few species but a few may have hundreds. Based on data from the Reptile Database (as of May 2015). Number of reptile genera with a given number of species.png
Number of reptile genera with a given number of species. Most genera have only one or a few species but a few may have hundreds. Based on data from the Reptile Database (as of May 2015).

As of September 2020, the Reptile Database lists about 11,300 species (including another ~2,200 subspecies) in about 1200 genera (see figure), and has more than 50,000 literature references and about 15,000 photos. The database has constantly grown since its inception with an average of 100 to 200 new species described per year over the preceding decade. [5] Recently, the database also added a more or less complete list of primary type specimens. [6]

Relationship to other databases

The Reptile Database has been a member of the Species 2000 project that has produced the Catalogue of Life (CoL), a meta-database of more than 150 species databases that catalog all living species on the planet. [7] The CoL provides taxonomic information to the Encyclopedia of Life (EoL). The Reptile Database also collaborates with the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS), the citizen science project iNaturalist, [8] and has links to the IUCN Redlist database. The NCBI taxonomy database links out to the Reptile Database.

Related Research Articles

<i>Cyrtodactylus</i> genus of reptiles

Cyrtodactylus is a diverse genus of Asian geckos, commonly known as bent-toed geckos or bow-fingered geckos. It has at least 250 described species at present, which makes it the largest of all gecko genera.

Albert Günther Anglo-German zoologist

Albert Karl Ludwig Gotthilf Günther FRS, also Albert Charles Lewis Gotthilf Günther, was a German-born British zoologist, ichthyologist, and herpetologist. Günther is ranked the second-most productive reptile taxonomist with more than 340 reptile species described.

<i>Loxocemus</i> species of reptile

Loxocemus bicolor, sole member of the monotypic family Loxocemidae, is a species of python-like snake found in Mexico and Central America. No subspecies are currently recognized. Analyses of DNA show that Loxocemus is most closely related to the true pythons and the sunbeam snakes.

<i>Xenopeltis</i> genus of reptiles

Xenopeltis the sunbeam snakes, are the sole genus of the monotypic family Xenopeltidae, the species of which are found in Southeast Asia. Sunbeam snakes are known for their highly iridescent scales. Currently, two species are recognized. Studies of DNA suggest that the xenopeltids are most closely related to the Mexican burrowing python, Loxocemus bicolor, and to the true pythons of Pythonidae.

<i>Cylindrophis</i> Family of non-venomous snakes

The Cylindrophiidae are a monotypic family of secretive, semifossorial, non-venomous snakes containing the genus Cylindrophis found in southeastern Asia. These are burrowing snakes and most have a banded pattern on the belly. Currently, thirteen species are recognized, with no subspecies. Common names include Asian pipe snakes or Asian cylinder snakes.

<i>Naja</i> genus of reptiles

Naja is a genus of venomous elapid snakes known as cobras. Members of the genus Naja are the most widespread and the most widely recognized as "true" cobras. Various species occur in regions throughout Africa, Southwest Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Several other elapid species are also called "cobras", such as the king cobra and the rinkhals, but neither are true cobras. They are not true cobras in that they do not belong to the genus Naja, but instead each belong to monotypic genera Hemachatus and Ophiophagus.

Hobart Muir Smith, born Frederick William Stouffer, was an American herpetologist. He is credited with describing more than 100 new species of American reptiles and amphibians. In addition, he has been honored by having at least six species named after him, including the southwestern blackhead snake, Smith's earth snake, Smith's arboreal alligator lizard, Hobart's anadia, Hobart Smith's anole, and Smith's rose-bellied lizard. At 100 years of age, Smith continued to be an active and productive herpetologist. Having published more than 1,600 manuscripts, he surpassed all contemporaries and remains the most published herpetologist of all time.

The two-lined blind snake is a harmless blind snake species endemic to Martinique in the Lesser Antilles.

Dr Glen Milton Storr was an Australian ornithologist and herpetologist. He joined the Western Australian Museum in 1962 and became Curator of Ornithology and Herpetology in 1965. He was a member of the Royal Australasian Ornithologists Union (RAOU), and served as Secretary of the Western Australian Branch of the RAOU in 1954.

<i>Siebenrockiella</i> genus of reptiles

Siebenrockiella is a small genus of black marsh turtles. It used to be monotypic but now has two species with the addition of the Philippine forest turtle. The genus was originally erected in 1869 by John Edward Gray under the name Bellia, commemorating Thomas Bell, but this name is a junior homonym of Bellia Milne-Edwards, 1848, a crustacean genus. The replacement name, Siebenrockiella, was published in 1929 by Wassili Adolfovitch Lindholm, and commemorates Friedrich Siebenrock.

The coffee worm snake is a harmless blind snake species found in Mexico and Guatemala. No subspecies are currently recognized.

Assam leaf turtle species of reptile

The Assam leaf turtle is a species of turtle in the family Geoemydidae. The species is endemic to India and Bangladesh.

Myanmar brown leaf turtle species of reptile

The Myanmar brown leaf turtle is a species of Asian leaf turtle found in Myanmar.

<i>Kentropyx calcarata</i> species of reptile

Kentropyx calcarata, commonly known as the striped forest whiptail, is a species of lizard endemic to South America.

The Apalachicola snapping turtle is a proposed species that lives in the Apalachicola River, United States. It has traditionally been included as part of the widespread species M. temminckii, but an analysis in 2014 recommended treating it as distinct. A study published the following year considered this change unwarranted and recommended that M. apalachicolae should be considered a junior synonym of M. temminckii, and this is followed by the Reptile Database, IUCN's Tortoise and Freshwater Turtle Specialist Group, and the Committee On Standard English And Scientific Names.

Balkan crested newt species of amphibian

The Balkan crested newt or Buresch's crested newt is a newt species of the crested newt species complex in genus Triturus, found in Southeastern Europe and Anatolia.

Lycodon cavernicolus, also known as Gua Wang Burma wolf snake, is a species of colubrid snake found in peninsular Malaysia. It was first described in 2014.

Lycodon ruhstrati, also known as Ruhstrat's wolf snake, the mountain wolf snake, or the Formosa wolf snake, is a species of non-venomous colubrid snake found in Taiwan, southern and eastern China, and northern Vietnam.

Oligodon annulifer, also known as the ringed kukri snake, is a colubrid snake endemic to the island of Borneo.

William Roy "Bill" Branch was a British-South-African herpetologist.

References

  1. Uetz, Peter; Stylianou, Alexandrea (2018). "The original descriptions of reptiles and their subspecies". Zootaxa. 4375 (2): 257–264. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.4375.2.5 .
  2. Uetz, P. & Etzold, T. (1996). "The EMBL/EBI Reptile Database". Herpetological Review. 27 (4): 174–175.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  3. Uetz, P., J. Goll & J. Hallermann (2007). "Die TIGR-Reptiliendatenbank". Elaphe. 15 (3): 22–25.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  4. Abraham, S.A. (Jan 9, 2015). "VCU professor manages comprehensive database to map reptilian lineage". Across the Spectrum. Virginia Commonwealth University.
  5. Uetz, P. (2010). "The original descriptions of reptiles" (PDF). Zootaxa. 2334 (1): 59–68. doi: 10.11646/zootaxa.2334.1.3 .
  6. Uetz, Peter; Cherikh, Sami; Shea, Glenn; Ineich, Ivan; Campbell, Patrick D.; Doronin, Igor V.; Rosado, José; Wynn, Addison; Tighe, Kenneth A.; Mcdiarmid, Roy; Lee, Justin L. (2019-11-12). "A global catalog of primary reptile type specimens". Zootaxa. 4695 (5): 438–450. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4695.5.2. ISSN   1175-5334.
  7. Catalogue of Life Source databases, accessed Aug 2015
  8. https://www.inaturalist.org/