Text versions of the classifications of Protists and Prokaryotes  


The classification have been compiled from many sources. The classification aspires to include all genera of living protists and prokaryotes.There are a variety of taxonomic issues which have to be addressed. The structure is being made visible here in order to attract critical and constructive input. We welcome input from any specialists who wish to assist us in improving the document. Revised versions will be made available through this site.

The protist structure is an amalgam of traditional classificatory conventions and the kind of rankless character-based hierarchy that the compiler advocates (Patterson, D.J. 1999. The diversity of eukaryotes. American Naturalist, 154: S96-S124). As we are of the view that classification should reflect perceptions of relationships, familiar taxa (such as flagellates, amoebae, or protozoa) which are regarded as polyphyletic have been removed. Similarly, monotypic taxa have often been removed. The result is a rather uncomfortable compromise which lacks familiarity and symmetry. Our approach allows for multiple classifications, and we welcome offers of alternatives. One such alternative classification is included. We intend to include synonyms. This classification retains conventions of both Botanical and Zoological nomenclature, but some elements of these will be relinquished.. Also, we consider a classification not as an end in itself, but as a device to access information on our biodiversity. The principles will be discussed separately.

The Platypus software has a number of limitations which are reflected in the classification. There are only 9 suprafamilial ranks, some monotypic taxa are intruded where they would be better excluded. The site allows for multiple classifications. Alternative classifications will be included so that a search on a name in any classification, whether current of historical, will still find taxa and taxon-related information. Proposals to collaborate to achieve this is welcomed. We plan for a phylogenetically informed classification (holophyletic taxa to be preferred to polyphyletic or paraphyletic taxa; monotypic taxa to be removed; ranks not to be used) to be the predominant one.

The bacteria are based on Bergey's manual with the expert input of J-P. Euzeby

Zipped text version of the protist classification. This is about 130KB. This version, May 01

A copy of the Platypus files can be provided on request. The protist file is about 2MB.

Babel section - collection of older taxonomic and descriptive terms and their current meanings, WORD file. In due course this will be cross-linked to the text and form part of an on-line glossary structure.

For names of other taxa:
Bacteria: The 'List of Bacterial Names with Standing in Nomenclature' (LBSN) is available through several sites , and the taxonomic outline of Bergey's manual from this site
Algae: Names of algae can be obtained from Index Nominum Genericorum (if you can get through) or through the Silva/Moe algal nomenclature site
Fungi: Names of fungi (inclusive of Oomycetes and slime moulds) are available through CABI
Animals: No comprehensive coverage available on line
All taxa: They say that, one day, all taxa will be available through the Species2000 site