I’ve been creating a taxonomic list of all the species I have observed so far. I’ve been using NCBI’s taxonomy browser as the source for taxonomic information, but when I got to my fish observations the taxonomy was weird.
So I was wondering if anyone knows any good and more or less up to date database of fish taxonomy?
PS: if you happen to know any other resource for another taxonomic group or even for the whole tree of life, I’d be thankfull as well!
You can find a list of the external references iNaturalist tries to follow here
I’m not sure there is a widely accepted site on fish that does what is considered an acceptable job of maintaining a globally updated taxonomy. The site which iNat used to follow was Fishbase but it was dropped as a reference due to concerns about how updated it was.
A global reference site for the whole tree of life is a massive undertaking which is proving exceptionally hard for anyone to manage. The 2 most high profile attempts are https://www.catalogueoflife.org/ and https://eol.org/. Others will point to https://www.gbif.org/ but it already uses the CoL taxonomy for its backbone so is effectively a repeat of that. I guess Wikispecies should be mentioned as well, which is the ‘biology’ version of Wikipedia, but its certainly not complete despite the best efforts of likely thousands of volunteers.
I’m interested in what “weird” translates into in practice. Would you elaborate?
Fish are not a monophyletic group so a little weirdness is inevitable but it is also a group with a lot of polymorphism, cryptic species and uncertainty about relationships. Whichever database you go with, there will be disagreement from a fairly large number of people.
What I meant with “weird” was that in some cases the NCBI’s taxonomy was quite different from the one used here on iNaturalist or in other databases. Either one of them was outdated or the clades didn’t match perfectly (the NCBI used X as a phyllum while iNaturalist used X as a subphyllum, for example)
Thank you very much for the answer!
I had checked Fishbase but I thought it was outdated. I didn’t know the CoL, and I think it might fill my needs just fine!
Sure. I guess I was fishing for more specific details. Fish taxonomy is not a done deal and there are many legitimate disagreements about how things relate. I’m curious about the specifics of what you found because I’m interested in these sorts of things generally.
For which taxa was the taxonomy weird?
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