I know there are resources that outline the latest taxa, such as wikispecies or Kew Gardens. However, I have not found any resources which detail the defining features of each taxa. Are there any resources someone like me could consult?

  • $\begingroup$ Who are you? (because of Are there any resources someone like me could consult) Do you mean outside paywall? In any case Kew Gardens is the place (directly or indirectly it is involved). E.g. POWO has descriptions. Else you need an university library. $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 9, 2023 at 15:20
  • $\begingroup$ I'm unaffiliated with any academic or research institutions @GiacomoCatenazzi. If there's no resource outside paywall, I'm open to paying $\endgroup$
    – imrobert
    Commented Oct 9, 2023 at 16:33
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @imrobert The latest taxonomical descriptions are in the scientific literature. There are committees for naming a number of different groups of organisms, such as the International Committee for Nomeclature of Viruses, which have literature around the naming etc. You could try those. Also, you can often enter university libraries just off the street as it were, and some will even let you subscribe to issue books etc. as an outside person. $\endgroup$
    – bob1
    Commented Oct 9, 2023 at 20:54

1 Answer 1


The NCBI Taxonomy database is probably a good place to start.

You can look at their taxonomy ID resources and their FTP (linked therein) which includes large datasets.

They also link out to a number of other taxonomy resources.


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