CEH Code List for recording the Macroinvertebrates in Fresh Water in the British Isles

October 2011

Purpose

The purpose of this Coded List is to provide a standard set of names and identifying codes for freshwater macroinvertebrates in the British Isles. These codes are used in the CEH databases and by the water industry and academic and commercial organisations. It is intended that, by making the list as widely available as possible, the ease of data exchange throughout the aquatic science community can be improved.

The list includes full listings of the aquatic invertebrates living in, or closely associated with, freshwaters in the British Isles. The list includes taxa that have historically been found in Britain but which have become extinct in recent times. Also included are names and codes for ‘artificial’ taxa (aggregates of taxa which are difficult to split) and for composite families used in calculation of certain water quality indices such as BMWP and AWIC scores.

Current status

The list has evolved from the checklist* produced originally by Peter Maitland (then of the Institute of Terrestrial Ecology) (Maitland, 1977) and subsequently revised by Mike Furse (Centre for Ecology & Hydrology), Ian McDonald (Thames Water Authority) and Bob Abel (Department of the Environment). That list was subject to regular revisions with financial support from the Environment Agency.

The current list differs from the original Checklist in that codes and names are retained in the list even if the taxon is no longer found in Britain. This will enable historical records to be maintained. Vertebrates have been excluded from the list.

The current list includes a full list of current names and codes including the artificial taxa. There is a separate list of the artificial taxa and a complete cross-reference of changes from the last published version of the Coded Checklist 28/10/2008. All changes since that date have been allocated the date of publication of this list.

The current update includes a complete revision of the Cladocera (with the assistance of the Cladocera Interest Group), the Coleoptera and the Hirudinea.

NB: It is important that users document which version of the checklist has been used in their recording.

Please click here to download the Code List (October 2011 version)

 

Format

The coding system used by this checklist is a hierarchical alphanumeric code of eight characters that are subdivided into pairs. The first pair represents a major taxonomic level (e.g. phylum, class, order etc.) which is variable from group to group, the second pair normally represents family (but may be used to represent subfamily / tribe), and the final four represent genus, subgenus and species. Each taxon also has the code of the next higher level or ‘parent’ defined. Alphanumeric codes are used for artificial taxa and where the number of names exceeds the number of characters allocated to a specified taxonomic level.

 

Descriptions of fields used in the ‘Code list’ tab:

Field Name

Description

MAJOR GROUP CODE

Unique eight character code that identifies the major group or highest level category identified in the list

MAJOR GROUP

Name of the major group or highest level category

CODE

Unique eight character code that identifies the taxon

HIGHER TAXONOMIC NAME

Higher taxonomic names (order, family etc)

GENUS

Name of the genus (subgenus) to which the organism belongs

SPECIES NAME

Name of the species

AUTHORITY

The authority for the name of the organism

EXTINCT OR ARTIFICIAL TAXON

A note concerning the status of the taxon

PARENT

Code of the next higher  taxonomic level in the list

 

Descriptions of fields used in the ‘Artificial Taxa’ tab:

Field Name

Description

NAME

Name of the artificial taxon

CODE

Code of the artificial taxon

COMMENT

Components of the artificial taxon

 

Descriptions of fields used in the ‘Last published changes’ tab:

Field Name

Description

LASTPUB-HIGHER TAXONOMIC NAME

Name in the column headed CURRENT HIGHER TAXONOMIC NAME in the 28/10/2008 version

LASTPUB-FAMILY

Name in the column FAMILY in the 28/10/2008 version

LASTPUB-GENUS (SUB-GENUS)

Name in the column headed GENUS (SUB-GENUS) in the 28/10/2008 version

LASTPUB-SPECIES NAME

Name in the column headed SPECIES NAME in the 28/10/2008 version

LASTPUB-AUTHORITY

Name in the column headed AUTHORITY in the 28/10/2008 version

LASTPUB-CODE

Name in the column headed CURRENT NEW CODE in the 28/10/2008 version

NEWNAME

Name of the taxon in the October 2011 list

NEWCODE

Code of the taxon in the October 2011 list

CHANGED SINCE 28/10/2008

Changes made between 28/10/2008 and 30/09/2011

DELETED

Indicates a taxon has been deleted from the list

 

Contact

François Edwards

enquiries@ceh.ac.uk

Centre for Ecology & Hydrology
Maclean Building
Benson Lane
Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford
Oxfordshire, OX10 8BB
United Kingdom

Top of Page

*Maitland, P S (1977). A coded checklist of animals occurring in fresh water in the British Isles, Edinburgh: Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, 76pp.