How do I EXCLUDE groups from searches?

Our interest is in marine invertebrate taxa, of which there is a vast diversity. And we’re frequently really not sure, even to phyla. So, we search by place to show us other things that are nearby in the hope of finding something else that’s similar to guide us.

At which point, we get all the birds. And the fish. And all the things that are not “marine invertebrates”. (Freshwater fish vs marine fish is a different irritation). We also get all the nudibranchs and sponges and things that we know it is not.

Can we filter for inverts?

We’ve tried using a bounding box but with our coastline, it’s really hard to look at a North-South marine zone without getting the land to the East or West. If you zoom in to exclude the land, you get barely any observations. If you name an island, you get all the terrestrial observations as well, and observations from only that island.

We can filter by some named marine zones such as “Celebes Sea”, but there are 5,633 species listed and 53 out of the first 100 are terrestrial and a further 24 are fish.

Can we filter the observations within a place for NOT _______?

One of our “We’re really not sure what this is” observations.

Can’t separate the sea from the land

To exclude certain taxonomic groups, append the string &without_taxon_id=X,Y,Z to the URL, where X,Y,Z etc are the ID numbers for each taxon you want to exclude. For example, this URL is a search for Australian observations, but excluding ray-finned fishes and sharks + rays:,47273



Thank you @thebeachcomber

That is EXACTLY what I want to do.


For completeness, here is where the above URL (and other gems) are documented:


Here’s a search for observations in Kota Kinabalu without Chordates, Hexapods, Arachnids, Myriapods, Plants or Fungi,372739,47119,144128,47126,47170

It still includes some land-based taxa, but probably few enough that you can overlook them. Of course, you can add, remove or adjust any of the exclusions by tweaking that without_taxon_id parameter.


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