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Type: Editorial
Published: 2021-05-28
Page range: 6–16
Abstract views: 323
PDF downloaded: 182

Contributions of Zootaxa to biodiversity discovery: an overview of the first twenty years 

Manaaki Whenua – Landcare Research, 231 Morrin Road, Auckland 1072, New Zealand. Centre for Biodiversity and Biosecurity, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.


On the 20th anniversary of Zootaxa, I herein provide an overview of its development and contributions over the last two decades (2001 to 2020) and an introduction to this special volume of 25 collected papers in celebration. Zootaxa published over 29,400 papers (including 1,499 monographs of 60 or more pages) by more than 28,000 authors in over 585,000 pages during these two decades. Zootaxa published 60,470 new species (subspecies), 272 new subgenera, 4,206 new genera, 26 new subtribes, 152 new tribes, 234 new subfamilies, 170 new families, nine new superfamilies, 41 new taxa (outside of the species, genus and family groups), and 996 new names in the past two decades. Since 2005, Zootaxa accounted for 26.6% of all new taxa/names indexed in Zoological Record. Zootaxa also published 12,684 new synonyms from 2001 to 2020. Zootaxa published papers for over 28,000 authors from 131 countries during the last two decades; about two-thirds of them published only one or two papers over the 20 years. The significant impacts of Zootaxa on advancing global taxonomy are discussed.



  1. Bernard, E.C. & Whittington, A.E. (2021) Papers and new species of minor insect orders published in Zootaxa, 2001–2020. Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 232–235.

    Brown, J.W., Byun, B.-K. & Kim, D.-S. (2021) A brief history of Lepidoptera section contributions to Zootaxa. Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 228–231.

    Cairns, S.D. & Baron-Szabo, R.C. (2021) A brief review of the stony coral (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Scleractinia) papers published by Zootaxa in its first 20 years. Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 212–214.

    Constantino, R. (2021) Termite taxonomy from 2001–2021: the contribution of Zootaxa. Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 222–223.

    Cordeiro-Estrela, P., Feijó, A., Gaubert, P., Weksler, M., Hautier, L., Velazco, P.M., Teta, P., Fabre, P.-H., Veron, G. & Braun, J.K. (2021) The role and impact of Zootaxa in mammalogy in its first 20 years. Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 70–94.

    Deepak, V., Passos, P., Nagy, Z.T., Zaher, H., Šmíd, J., Nguyen, T.Q., Carranza, S., Cisneros-Heredia, D.F., David, P., Tamar, K. & Gower, D.J. (2021) Contributions to ophiology in Zootaxa 2001–2020: patterns and trends. Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 17–22.

    Greenslade, P. & Weiner, W.M. (2021) Taxonomic papers on Collembola in Zootaxa, 2001 to 2020. Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 215–217.

    Gordon, D.P. & Bock. P.E. (2020) Phylum Bryozoa Ehrenberg, 1831 in the first twenty years of Zootaxa. Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 236–239.

    Hodda, M. (2021) Papers published in Zootaxa concerning Nematoda from 2001 to 2020. Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 95–101.

    Hodgson, C., Denno, B. & Watson, G.W. (2021) The Infraorder Coccomorpha (Insecta: Hemiptera). Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 226–227.

    Hooper, J.N.A., Wörheide, G., Hajdu, E., Erpenbeck, D., De Voogd, N.J. & Klautau, M. (2021) Zootaxa 20 years: Phylum Porifera. Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 38–56.

    Jacobus, L.M., Salles, F.F., Price, B., Pereira-Da-Conceicoa, L., Dominguez, E., Suter, P.J., Molineri, C., Tiunova, T.M. & Sartori, M. (2021) Mayfly taxonomy (Arthropoda: Hexapoda: Ephemeroptera) during the first two decades of the twenty-first century and the concentration of taxonomic publishing. Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 25–30.

    Jäger, P., Arnedo, M.A., Azevedo, G.M.H.F., Baehr, B., Bonaldo, A.B., Haddad, C.R., Harms, D., Hormiga, G., Labarque, F.M., Muster, C., Ramírez, M.J. & Santos, A.O J. (2021)Twenty years, eight legs, one concept: describing spider biodiversity in Zootaxa (Arachnida: Araneae). Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 131–146.

    Letardi, A., Bowles, D.E. & Liu, X.Y. (2021) Papers published in Zootaxa concerning Neuropterida. Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 147–154.

    Magalhães, W.F., Hutchings, P., Oceguera-Figueroa, A., Martin, P., Schmelz, R.M., Wetzel, M.J., Wiklund, H., Maciolek, N.J., Kawauchi, G.Y. & Williams, J.D. (2021) Segmented worms (Phylum Annelida): a celebration of twenty years of progress through Zootaxa and call for action on the taxonomic work that remains. Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 190–211.

    McInnes, S.J., J¸rgensen, A. & Michalczyk, Ů. (2021) 20 years of Zootaxa: Tardigrada (Ecdysozoa: Panarthropoda). Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 23–24.

    Monks, S. (2021) Zootaxa 20th Anniversary section Acanthocephala. Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 31–37.

    Mound, L.A. & Cavalleri, A. (2021) Zootaxa 20th Anniversary Celebration: Insect Order Thysanoptera. Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 224-225.

    Paulson, D.R. & Marinov, M. (2021) Zootaxa 20th Anniversary Celebration: Odonata section. Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 218–221.

    Pérez-González, A., Acosta, L.E., Proud, D.N & Hultz, J.W. (2021) Harvestmen in the first twenty years: a scientometric analysis of Zootaxa’s contribution to opilionology (Arthropoda, Arachnida, Opiliones). Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 102–114.

    Pinto, Â.P., Mejdalani, G., Mounce, R., Silveira, L.F., Marinoni, L. & Rafael, J.A. (2021) Are publications on zoological taxonomy under attack? Royal Society Open Science, 8(2), 201617.

    Rivera-Correa, M., Baldo, D., Candioti, F.V., Orrico, V.G.D., Blackburn, D.C., Castroviejo-Fisher, S., Chan, K.O., Gambale, P., Gower, D.J., Quah, E.S.H., Jodi, J., Rowley, L., Twomey, E. & Vences, M. (2021) Amphibians in Zootaxa: 20 years documenting the global diversity of frogs, salamanders, and Rivera-Correa, M., Baldo, D., Candioti, F.V., Orrico, V.G.D., Blackburn, D.C., Castroviejo-Fisher, S., Chan, K.O., Gambale, P., Gower, D.J., Quah, E.S.H., Jodi, J., Rowley, L., Twomey, E. & Vences, M. (2021) Amphibians in Zootaxa: 20 years documenting the global diversity of frogs, salamanders, and caecilians. Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 59–69.

    Smith, V. (2010) Book review: Systema Naturae 250—The Linnaean Ark. Systematic Biology, 59 (6), 757–760.

    Tucker, J.K. (2004) Catalog of Recent and fossil turrids (Mollusca: Gastropoda). Zootaxa, 682, 1–1295.

    Whitmore, D., Gaimari, S.D., Nihei, S.S., Evenhuis, N.L., Kurina, O., Borkent, C.J., Sinclair, B.J., O’Hara, J.E., Zhang, Z.-Q., Moulton, J.K., Ribeiro, G.C., Bickel, D.J., Giłka, W., Andersen, T., Rossaro, B., Whittington, A.E., Lamas, C.J.E., Heller, K., Kehlmaier, C., Courtney, G.W., Kerr, P.H. & Blagoderov, V. (2021) Twenty years of Dipterology through the pages of Zootaxa. Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 166–189.

    Zhang, Z.-Q. (2005) Notice from Chief Editor. Zootaxa, 1001, 64.

    Zhang, Z.-Q. (2006a) The first five years of Zootaxa. Zootaxa, 1111, 68.

    Zhang, Z.-Q. (2006b) The making of a mega-journal in taxonomy. Zootaxa, 1385, 67–68.

    Zhang, Z.-Q. (2010) Reviving descriptive taxonomy after 250 years: promising signs from a mega-journal in taxonomy. In: Polaszek, A. (ed), Systema Naturae 250—The Linnaean Ark. Taylor & Francis, pp. 95–107.

    Zhang, Z.-Q. (2011) Accelerating biodiversity descriptions and transforming taxonomic publishing: the first decade of Zootaxa. Zootaxa, 2896, 1–7.

    Zhang, Z.-Q. (2014) Sustaining the development of world’s foremost journal in biodiversity discovery and inventory: Zootaxa editors and their contributions. Zootaxa, 3753 (6), 597–600.

    Zhang, Z.-Q., Schatz, H., Pfingstl, T., Goldschmidt, T., Martin, P., Pešić, V., Ramírez, M., Schmidt, K.-H., Fan, Q.-H., Mironov, S., Seeman, O. & Halliday, B. (2021) Discovering and documenting Acari: the first twenty years in Zootaxa. Zootaxa, 4979 (1), 115–130.