Australian Biological Resources Study

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Species Bank

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Species Bank

Australia has a rich and intriguing biota. Species Bank is a project that aims to expand the wildlife experience of the Australian community by describing and illustrating species of interest and/or importance to the community, their interactions with each other and ourselves, and their importance as a natural part of the environment we all share. Information on estimates of species numbers is given in:

Species Bank provides simple, reliable information about a variety of Australian species. Each description is illustrated and includes information on distribution, biology and interaction with humans under several headings. In some cases, additional images, audio and video files may be viewed or played by clicking on the thumbnail image or link. Some species records also include links to general topics which provide additional information on the topic relevant to all the species that link to it.

There are just under 400 Species Bank records. A list of Phylums and the next lower taxonomic rank are shown on the Records by phylum. From here, links to the each of the Phylum record lists can be accessed. These pages display for a particular phylum all the available records for that phylum, sorted alphabetically by Family and Scientific name.

The main groups of species represented so far are: Spiders, Ants, Bees, Desert Fishes, Crabs, Lobsters, Crayfishes, Barnacles, Corals and Sea Anemones, Sea Stars, Sea Urchins, Bivalves, Squids, Cuttlefishes, Octopus, Sea Snails, Limpets, Cones, Chitons and some Flowering Plants and Fungi.

How to use Species Bank

These web pages allow you to access a database of simple authoritative descriptions of Australian animals and plants. In the future, additional groups such as fungi and micro-organisms may be added.

There are four ways to find a particular species:

  1. Records by phylum
    Examine the list of all the Phylums that have had Species Bank records entered. Choose a Phylum list by clicking on its link. This provides a list of all the records loaded for the particular Phylum, sorted alphabetically by Family and then Scientific name. Each species can be accessed by clicking its link. This is the easiest way to locate a species whilst there are relatively low numbers of records.
  2. Easy search
    Enter part or all of a common or scientific name.
  3. Advanced search
    Enter part or all of a common or scientific name, as well as keywords from other parts of the description. A fuzzy search option can be applied to the common or scientific name, but is slower to execute. The search can be restricted by occurrence in any of Australia’s States or Territories. The advanced search facility also allows some control over the format of the display of each selected species.
  4. Browse database
    You can explore the whole database, group by group, from the highest level, Kingdom, down to individual species. For example, choose the Kingdom that you are interested in (e.g., plants or animals), and work down through the higher orders which may include, Phylum, Subphylum, Class, Order, Superfamily and Family to find what species are listed.
    You can return to any part of the hierarchy by clicking on a selected group; double clicking on a family name will return all species in that family held in the database.

Each description comprises distribution maps and images along with descriptions of Features, Distribution, Ecology and Lifestyle, Human Interaction and Threats, Further Reading and, in some cases, there are links to general topics which provide additional information relevant to all the species that link to it. For some species, additional images and audio and video are also available for viewing or playing by clicking on the thumbnail image or link.


ABRS welcomes scientific contributions or sponsorship funds to enhance this project. We encourage authoritative submissions on any species for publishing in the database. All submissions will be subject to peer review and editing before being added to the database, and full Acknowledgments will be given for all contributions published. Your information must be submitted in accordance with Species Bank Author’s Guidelines that can be provided on request. These guidelines include information about the Copyright conditions that must be met for all text and multi-media.



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