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Type: Article
Published: 2020-12-21
Page range: 251–264
Abstract views: 587
PDF downloaded: 261

An inventory of online reptile images

Suranaree University of Technology, Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand
Scotts Mills, Oregon 97375, USA.
Sam Noble Museum, Norman, Oklahoma 73072, USA.
Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, ON, Canada.
Society for Southeast Asian Herpetology, Heidelberg, Germany
Staatliches Museum für Naturkunde Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany
Zoologische Staatssammlung München (ZSM-SNSB), 81247 München, Germany.
Universität Hamburg, Centrum für Naturkunde, Hamburg, Germany
Museum of Vertebrate Zoology, University of California, Berkeley, California 94720, and Sociedad Naturalista Andino Patagónica (SNAP), S. C. de Bariloche, Río Negro, 8400, Argentina.
Stoneville, WA, Australia.;
Instituto Butantan, Laboratório de Coleções Zoológicas, São Paulo, Brazil.
GHP-LASIBIBE, IPEEC-CONICET, Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina
Department of Zoology, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia
Bremen, Germany.
Department of Terrestrial Zoology, Western Australian Museum, Welshpool, Western Australia 6106, AUSTRALIA
Folvarek 19, 724 00 Ostrava, Czech Republic.
Center for Biological Data Science, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA
Reptilia web 2.0 big data community science social media photography Sauria Serpentes


No central online repository exists for the collection of animal images; hence it remains unclear how extensively species have been illustrated in the published literature or online. Here we compiled a list of more than 8000 reptile species (out of 11,341) that have photos in one of six popular online repositories, namely iNaturalist (6,349 species), the Reptile Database (5,144), Flickr (4,386), CalPhotos (3,071), Wikimedia (2,952), and Herpmapper (2,571). These sites have compiled over one million reptile photos, with some species represented by tens of thousands of images. Despite the number of images, many species have only one or a few images. This suggests that a considerable fraction of morphological and geographic variation is under documented or difficult to access. We highlight prominent gaps in amphisbaenians, lizards, and snakes, with geographic hotspots for species without images in Central Africa, Pacific Islands, and the Andes Mountains. We present a list of ~3,000 species without photos in any of the six databases and ask the community to fill the gaps by depositing images on one of these sites (preferably with minimal copyright restrictions).



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