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The taxon treatment for the frog Paedophryne amauensis, mentioning the LSID for this nomenclatural act. Taxon treatment for Paedophryne amauensis.png
The taxon treatment for the frog Paedophryne amauensis , mentioning the LSID for this nomenclatural act.

ZooBank is an open access website intended to be the official International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) registry of zoological nomenclature. [3] Any nomenclatural acts (e.g. publications that create or change a taxonomic name) need to be registered with ZooBank to be "officially" recognized by the ICZN Code of Nomenclature.


Life Science Identifiers (LSIDs) are used as the globally unique identifier for ZooBank registration entries. [4]

The ZooBank prototype was seeded with data from Index to Organism Names (http://www.organismnames.com), which was compiled from the scientific literature in Zoological Record now owned by Thomson Reuters.


ZooBank was officially proposed in 2005 by the executive secretary of ICZN. [5] [6] The registry was live on 10 August 2006 with 1.5 million species entered. [7] [8]

The first ZooBank LSIDs were issued on 1 January 2008, [4] precisely 250 years after 1 January 1758, which is the date defined by the ICZN Code as the official start of scientific zoological nomenclature. Chromis abyssus was the first species entered into the ZooBank system with a timestamp of 2008-01-01T00:00:02. [9] [10] [11]


Four main types of data objects are stored in ZooBank. Nomenclatural acts are governed by the ICZN Code of Nomenclature, and are typically "original descriptions" of new scientific names, however other acts, such as emendations and lectotypifications, are also governed by the ICZN code and technically require registration by ZooBank. Publications include journal articles and other publications containing Nomenclatural Acts. Authors records the academic authorship of Nomenclatural Acts. Type Specimens record the biological type specimens of animals which are provisionally registered, until the bodies responsible for such types implement their own registries.

In addition to those, periodicals which have published articles are also entities within the system, providing access to a list of "Nomenclatural Acts" published in the periodical over time.

Electronic publications

Traditionally, taxonomic data was published in journals or books. However, with the increase in electronic publications, the ICZN established new rules that include e-publications, especially electronic only publications. Such publications are now regulated by amendments of ICZN Articles 8, 9, 10, 21 and 78. Technically, nomenclatural acts that are published in electronic only papers are not recognized if they have not been registered with ZooBank and are considered as "non-existent". [12] [13]

See also

Related Research Articles

Linnaean taxonomy A rank based classification system for organisms

Linnaean taxonomy can mean either of two related concepts:

  1. the particular form of biological classification (taxonomy) set up by Carl Linnaeus, as set forth in his Systema Naturae (1735) and subsequent works. In the taxonomy of Linnaeus there are three kingdoms, divided into classes, and they, in turn, into orders, genera, and species, with an additional rank lower than species.
  2. a term for rank-based classification of organisms, in general. That is, taxonomy in the traditional sense of the word: rank-based scientific classification. This term is especially used as opposed to cladistic systematics, which groups organisms into clades. It is attributed to Linnaeus, although he neither invented the concept of ranked classification nor gave it its present form. In fact, it does not have an exact present form, as "Linnaean taxonomy" as such does not really exist: it is a collective (abstracting) term for what actually are several separate fields, which use similar approaches.

A genus is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, as well as viruses, in biology. In the hierarchy of biological classification, genus comes above species and below family. In binomial nomenclature, the genus name forms the first part of the binomial species name for each species within the genus.

The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) is a widely accepted convention in zoology that rules the formal scientific naming of organisms treated as animals. It is also informally known as the ICZN Code, for its publisher, the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. The rules principally regulate:

Holotype The example of an organism used to describe its species

A holotype is a single physical example of an organism, known to have been used when the species was formally described. It is either the single such physical example or one of several such, but explicitly designated as the holotype. Under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN), a holotype is one of several kinds of name-bearing types. In the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN) and ICZN, the definitions of types are similar in intent but not identical in terminology or underlying concept.

<i>International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants</i> Code of scientific nomenclature

The International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN) is the set of rules and recommendations dealing with the formal botanical names that are given to plants, fungi and a few other groups of organisms, all those "traditionally treated as algae, fungi, or plants". It was formerly called the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN); the name was changed at the International Botanical Congress in Melbourne in July 2011 as part of the Melbourne Code which replaced the Vienna Code of 2005.

The International Code of Phylogenetic Nomenclature, known as the PhyloCode for short, is a developing draft for a formal set of rules governing phylogenetic nomenclature. Its current version is specifically designed to regulate the naming of clades, leaving the governance of species names up to the rank-based Nomenclature codes.

Type species term used in zoological nomenclature (also non-officially in botanical nomenclature)

In zoological nomenclature, a type species is the species name with which the name of a genus or subgenus is considered to be permanently taxonomically associated, i.e., the species that contains the biological type specimen(s). A similar concept is used for suprageneric groups and called a type genus.

Type (biology) Specimen(s) to which a scientific name is formally attached

In biology, a type is a particular specimen of an organism to which the scientific name of that organism is formally attached. In other words, a type is an example that serves to anchor or centralize the defining features of that particular taxon. In older usage, a type was a taxon rather than a specimen.

The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) is an organization dedicated to "achieving stability and sense in the scientific naming of animals". Founded in 1895, it currently comprises 27 members from 19 countries, mainly practicing zoological taxonomists.

Nomenclature codes or codes of nomenclature are the various rulebooks that govern biological taxonomic nomenclature, each in their own broad field of organisms. To an end-user who only deals with names of species, with some awareness that species are assignable to families, it may not be noticeable that there is more than one code, but beyond this basic level these are rather different in the way they work.

<i>Eristalis</i> genus of insects

Eristalis is a large genus of hoverflies, family Syrphidae, in the order Diptera. One of the more common species in the genus, Eristalis tenax is also known as the dronefly, because it bears a superficial resemblance to honeybee drones. Droneflies and their relatives are fairly common generalist pollinators, the larvae of which are aquatic, and breathe through a long, snorkel-like appendage, hence the common name rat-tailed maggots.

<i>Chromis</i> genus of fishes

Chromis is a genus of fish in the family Pomacentridae. While the term damselfish describes a group of marine fish including more than one genus, most damselfish are in the genus Chromis. These fish are popular aquarium pets due to their small size, tolerance for poor water quality, and bright colors, though their lifespans tend to be shorter than other fish.

Paratype taxonomic term

In zoology and botany, a paratype is a specimen of an organism that helps define what the scientific name of a species and other taxon actually represents, but it is not the holotype. Often there is more than one paratype. Paratypes are usually held in museum research collections.

In scientific nomenclature, a synonym is a scientific name that applies to a taxon that (now) goes by a different scientific name, although the term is used somewhat differently in the zoological code of nomenclature. For example, Linnaeus was the first to give a scientific name to the Norway spruce, which he called Pinus abies. This name is no longer in use: it is now a synonym of the current scientific name, Picea abies.

Chromis abyssus is a species of damselfish first discovered in 1997 and described in 2008. The 8 centimetres (3.1 in) long fish only lives more than 110 m (361 ft) below the surface of the Pacific Ocean around the coast of the Ngemelis Islands, Palau. Adults have been observed living singly or in pairs, whereas juveniles tend to live in groups.

Chromis brevirostris, or colloquially known as the shortsnout chromis, is a type of damselfish that was described in 2008 by R. Pyle, J. Earle, and B. Greene in the western Pacific Ocean. This species comes from the genus Chromis which contains eighty species and counting, including C. abyssus, C. circumaurea, C. degruyi, and C. earina. Chromis brevirostris can be found in the Pacific Ocean, located as far north as the Marshall Islands to as far south as Fiji and Vanuatu, and spanning from Palau to Paluwat of the Caroline Islands. The species’ name, Chromis brevirostris, derives from Latin origin; brevis and rostrum mean “short” and “snout” respectively. It is generally abundant in its environment, living at depths of 90–120 metres (300–390 ft), tending to live in groups ranging in size from six to several dozen.

This is a list of terms and symbols used in scientific names for organisms, and in describing the names. For proper parts of the names themselves, see List of Latin and Greek words commonly used in systematic names. Note that many of the abbreviations are used with or without a stop.

<i>Colpocephalum</i> genus of insects

Colpocephalum is a genus of chewing louse. Christian Ludwig Nitzsch named the genus in 1818. The Plenary Powers of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature selected Colpocephalum zebraBurmeister, 1838 as its type species in the 1950s. There are approximately 135 species in this genus, and they are ectoparasites of birds in at least a dozen different orders.

Central African slender-snouted crocodile species of crocodile

The Central African slender-snouted crocodile is one of two species of crocodiles in the genus Mecistops. It was once thought to be a population of the West African slender-snouted crocodile but was elevated to a species after two detailed studies, one in 2014 and the other in 2018.

<i>Australian Journal of Herpetology</i> Academic journal

The Australian Journal of Herpetology was a scientific journal focused on the field of herpetology. Established in 1981 as a peer-reviewed publication by the Australian Herpetologists League, the journal then published two issues.


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