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last update 29 August 2013 | version 2.6.2


About Fauna Europaea



Taxonomic Higher Hierarchy

Taxonomic Higher Hierarchy

The Fauna Europaea project has assembled a database of all European land and freshwater animals. Experts in taxonomy have provided data of all species currently known on the European continent and associated areas. The main building-blocks of the Fauna Europaea database are the family taxa that have been established beforehand. The contributing experts delivered data on all taxa below the family level.

A default taxonomic higher hierarchy was thus needed to provide a framework for the lower taxa. This standard hierarchy has been established with the help of leading European taxonomists and reviewed by the Fauna Europaea Taxonomic Advisory Team.

Although limited by its original, practical scope (providing a management tool), its scientific scope (representing the temporal view of a restricted number of European experts), and its geographic scope (taxa not present within Europe are excluded, as are marine taxa), the taxonomic hierarchy thus established may serve as an authoritative standard for taxonomy in Europe.


Information presented on the Fauna Europaea website is considered public information and may be distributed or copied. We request anyone using information from the Fauna Europaea website to refer properly to the project and data source giving the name of the project, name and version of a document (if relevant), address of the site, and date of retrieval in text.

Regarding citation of the Fauna Europaea higher hierarchy please use the following format:

Fauna Europaea, "Taxonomic Hierarchy version [v.i]"

http://www.faunaeur.org/, retrieved: [month, day, year]

Make sure to mention the proper version number of the file you have used and the exact date you retrieved it.


Browse the Fauna Europaea Higher hierarchy


Download current version of the Higher hierarchy: Version 4.1 published 3 November 2004:

FaEu_Animalia4.1.xls (MS Excel 2000 format)


If you have any comments, questions or suggestions regarding the Fauna Europaea Taxonomic Hierarchy please use the Contact form choosing Taxonomic Coordinator.


FaEu_Guidelines_v4.0.1.pdf (Acrobat Reader format)

Geographic Codes

See Guidelines


© Copyright Fauna Europaea 2000 - 2015

Fauna Europaea was supported by the European Commission under the Fifth Framework Programme
and contributed to the Support for Research Infrastructures work programme with Thematic Priority Biodiversity.

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