FishBase and ReefBase

In our ongoing discovery and evalutation of new databases and software resources (gosh, I love this part of my job), sometimes we find resources that we have never encountered before–or have never been asked about. Recently when I was talking about the pea research I came across this site: GCIAR’s Genbanks and databases page. Because we are out talking about software we get asked a wide range of questions from species to tasks, and we like to collect them. Anyway–here’s something completely different from what we have seen before.koi.jpg

FishBase ( is a collection of information on over 30,000 fish species. I tried a quick query on koi and was really impressed with the results. The page I chose to look at in more detail was Cyprinus carpio carpio, and I got a photo and details about this species–family/order/etc and morphology, environment, importance, distribution, biology summary. It also linked to a reference which could be helpful. And then there was even more at the bottom of the page categorized by data type. The site is a bit sluggish, but still could be quite useful as a reference for me and for researchers in the fish biology area. It is available in a remarkable range of languages–neat. I looked at the koi in Farsi just because I could. They request additional information from researchers, and you can submit it right from their comments area. Their “internet sources” section offers quick links to recent literature on the species of the page, as well as some more databases I can explore one of these days.

ReefBase ( is described by CGIAR as:

the world’s premier online information system on coral reefs, and provides information services to coral reef professionals involved in management, research, monitoring, conservation and education.

tubatrea_coral.jpgThe ReefBase directory from the homepage links you to all sorts of amazing stuff–the Global Database on Coral Reefs that covers location, status, threats and management issues. Another section does maps and GIS data. There is a publications area, and a photo gallery. I was able to do a quick search on reefs in Florida and see some information, but to go deeper I needed to register. Registration is free and quick.

Even if this isn’t your field you will find some really terrific information here, and I have to say that the photos were a real treat for this late winter morning in New England….

Photo credits: (1) FishBase picture (Cycar_ug.jpg) by Schüür (2) James Oliver (