Search Guide

The Animal Diversity Web is designed to facilitate several ways of searching for animal information.

Searching taxonomically (by animal group)

If you are looking for information on a particular animal or group of animals then searches using the appropriate scientific name will work best. For example, if you're interested in information on honeybees, then search for Apis mellifera. You can travel through the taxonomic hierarchy by clicking on the "classification" tab on each account. For example, if you wanted to discover whether ADW has any information on animals related to honeybees, you can select the next higher level of the taxonomic hierarchy (such as Apidae, the family of long-tongued bees).

Please remember that our database of animals is far from complete, this includes information at the species level and information for higher taxa, such as families and orders. You may travel through the taxonomic hierarchy of a lesser-known group of invertebrates and find that we have no information on them. Our sincere apologies! Our site is a work in progress.

If you search using a scientific name and you get no results, then we either have no information on those animals in our database or the scientific name you are using is inaccurate. Please double check your spelling and consider whether you are using an out-of-date name. Scientific names do change and our taxonomic database is regularly updated.

Searches on common names will work if the common name is part of our taxonomic database.

Searching by animal characteristics

Each of our taxon accounts (species accounts and accounts for higher taxa, such as families) is accompanied by a set of keywords. These keywords enable users to search for animals with certain features. For example, you could search for all animals that live in Antarctica or that eat worms. With our site search you can even find which animals live in Antarctica and eat worms.

You can find a list of our searchable keywords here (coming soon).

Please remember, though, that the search results will only reflect the information we currently have in ADW. We are constantly adding new species to our database but cannot hope to comprehensively cover all of animal diversity.