ITIS Taxonomic Codes

The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) assigns a unique taxonomic serial number (TSN) to code each scientific name. Currently, there are over 400,000 scientific names with thousands of new names added each month.

In 1996, over 200,000 NODC codes were transferred to the ITIS taxonomic database for management. Their goal is "to create an easily accessible database with reliable information on species names and their hierarchical classification" from both terrestrial and aquatic habitats. ITIS has become the authority on taxonomic classification and coding.

In addition to taxonomic serial numbers (TSNs) for each scientific name, "ITIS will include the authority (author and date), taxonomic rank, associated synonyms and vernacular names where available, data source information (publications, experts, etc.) and data quality indicators. Expert reviews and changes to taxonomic information in the database will be tracked. Geographic coverage will be worldwide with initial emphasis on North American taxa."

The original ITIS partners include:

  • Department of Commerce
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
  • Department of Interior (DOI)
  • Geological Survey (USGS)
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Department of Agriculture (USDA)
  • Agriculture Research Service (ARS)
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
  • Smithsonian Institution
  • National Museum of Natural History (NMNH)

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