IMIS | Flanders Marine Institute

Flanders Marine Institute

Platform for marine research


Publications | Institutes | Persons | Datasets | Projects | Maps
[ report an error in this record ] Printer-friendly version

World Ostracoda Database
Brandão, S. N.; Angel, M. V.; Karanovic, I. (2013) World Ostracoda Database. Accessed at on yyyy-mm-dd

Dedicated website
Availability: Creative Commons License This dataset is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

A World Database of Ostracoda. Currently (2013-01-07), there are 5,598 accepted species in the database, among 6,346 species and 7,400 taxa names. Our objective is to complete the list of Recent and fossil ostracod taxa up to mid-2013, by increasing the number of entries by 50,000. more

Ostracoda are amazing small crustaceans, which inhabit virtually all aquatic environments on Earth. This class of Crustacea is characterized with a body completely enclosed between two mostly calcified valves or shells , giving them a "seed"-like appearance, and therefore the name they are also known by: "seed shrimps" or "mussel shrimps". Ostracods can be found in warm waters of tropical sand beaches, as well as in very cold environments, such as the deep sea or the polar seas (i.e. Arctic and Antarctic). They are also adapted to freshwater temporary ponds (where some of them reproduce asexually by parthenogenesis) and to acid lakes. Ostracods are miniature animals, with body length ranging between 0.2 mm and 1.0 mm. The planktonic Gigantocypris can, however, reach 6mm in length. Also the number of limbs (e.g. appendages, legs) is changed from five to eight pairs, depending on the taxon. A special fact about ostracods is that, because of their calcified valves, they present one of the most extensive fossil records of all, which includes the last 425 million years! Because of this, ostracods reveal detailed information on the history of our planet, including many climatic changes. The class encloses over 33,000 described species and subspecies (see Kempf Ostracoda Database for details), and many more species remain unknown to science. There are two subclasses with living representatives: Myodocopa and Podocopa. The first subclass is exclusive to marine environments, but occupies the benthos as well as the plankton, while podocopans occur in marine, brackish and freshwater environments and occupies almost exclusively benthos (but also the benthopelagic zone). This World Ostracoda Database is part of the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS), a global initiative to provide a register of all names of marine organisms living today (or extinct since a geologically short time). The present database has the following objectives:

  1. to provide an authoritative list of the world's Ostracoda taxa (species, genera, families, etc.), with focus on the recent taxa, but also with information on fossils,
  2. to provide a list of papers published on ostracods, and
  3. to provide a base link to other online databases.

Biology, Biology > Ecology - biodiversity, Biology > Invertebrates
Marine, Fresh water, Brackish water, Terrestrial, Classification, Marine invertebrates, Species, Taxonomy, World Waters, Ostracoda

Geographical coverage
World Waters [Marine Regions]

Temporal coverage
From 1758 on [In Progress]

Taxonomic coverage
Ostracoda [WoRMS]


Related datasets
Published in:
WoRMS: World Register of Marine Species, more

Dataset status: In Progress
Data type: Data
Data origin: Literature research
Metadatarecord created: 2013-01-07
Information last updated: 2013-04-08
All data in IMIS is subject to the VLIZ privacy policy