Interim Register of Marine and Nonmarine Genera

The Interim Register of Marine and Nonmarine Genera (IRMNG) is a taxonomic database which attempts to cover published genus names for all domains of life from 1753 in zoology (1758 in botany) up to approximately 2014, arranged in a single, internally consistent taxonomic hierarchy, for the benefit Biodiversity Informatics initiatives plus general users of biodiversity (taxonomic) information. In addition to containing over 490,000 published genus name instances as at March 2019 (also including subgeneric names in zoology), the database holds over 1.7 million species names (1.3 million listed as "accepted"), although this component of the data is not maintained in as current or complete state as the genus-level holdings. IRMNG can be queried online for access to the latest version of the dataset and is also made available as periodic snapshots or data dumps for import/upload into other systems as desired.

Interim Register of Marine and Nonmarine Genera
Formation2006 (2006)
HeadquartersOstend, Belgium
Manager & curator
Tony Rees
Main organ
Parent organization
Flanders Marine Institute


IRMNG contains scientific names (only) of the genus, species, and higher ranks of many plants, animals and other kingdoms, both living and extinct, within a standardized taxonomic hierarchy, with associated machine-readable information on habitat (e.g. marine/nonmarine) and extant/fossil status for the majority of entries.[1] The database aspires to provide complete coverage of both accepted and unaccepted genus names across all kingdoms, with a subset only of species names included as a lower priority. In its March 2019 release, IRMNG contained 490,095 genus names, of which 236,514 were listed as "accepted", 120,194 "unaccepted", 7,391 of "other" status i.e. interim unpublished, nomen dubium, nomen nudum, taxon inquirendum or temporary name, and 125,996 as "uncertain" (unassessed for taxonomic status at this time).[2] The data originate from a range of (frequently domain-specific) print, online and database sources, including (among others) Nomenclator Zoologicus for animals and Index Nominum Genericorum for plants, and are reorganised into a common data structure to support a variety of online queries, generation of individual taxon pages, and bulk data supply to other biodiversity informatics projects. IRMNG content can be queried and displayed freely via the web, and download files of the data down to the taxonomic rank of genus as at specific dates are available in the Darwin Core Archive (DwC-A) format. The data include homonyms (with their authorities), including both available (validly published) and selected unavailable names.[3]

Database location and hosting

IRMNG was initiated and designed by Tony Rees in 2006.[1][4] For his work on this and other projects, GBIF awarded him the 2014 Ebbe Nielsen Prize.[4] From 2006-2014 IRMNG was located at CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, and was moved to the Flanders Marine Institute (VLIZ) over the period 2014-2016; from 2016 onwards all releases have been available via its new website which is hosted by VLIZ.[1][5] VLIZ also hosts the World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS), using a common infrastructure.[6]

IRMNG usage

Content from IRMNG is used by several global Biodiversity Informatics projects including Open Tree of Life,[7] the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), [8] and the Encyclopedia of Life (EOL),[9] in addition to others including the Atlas of Living Australia[10] and the Global Names Architecture (GNA)'s Global Names Resolver.[11] From 2018 onwards, IRMNG data are also being used to populate the taxonomic hierarchy and provide generic names for a range of taxa in the areas of protists (kingdoms Protozoa and Chromista) and plant algae (Charophyta, Chlorophyta, Glaucophyta and Rhodophyta) in the Catalogue of Life.[12] IRMNG identifiers have also been associated with numerous Wikipedia taxon pages, based on content harvested from IRMNG and stored in Wikidata.[13]

Example IRMNG searches

IRMNG can be searched online via either basic ("simple") or "advanced" interfaces (, Basic search operates on all or any portion of scientific name, authority, or IRMNG ID (=unique numeric taxon identifier in the system), plus options to restrict only to accepted, extant, and/or marine taxa, plus generic names only, while the advanced search offers numerous additional options including the ability to constrain to a particular higher taxonomic category, show fuzzy matches, and more. Once configured, a particular IRMNG search can also be saved as a direct link which can be repeated at any time, as per the following examples:

1. Using the basic search interface:

  • 1a. List all presently held published instances of the generic name Corystes (total 4 as at August 2019):
  • 1b. Enter a misspelled name (example: "Marmarofusus" for Marmorofusus), receive suggested near match(es) by default, if no exact match found:
  • 1c. List all genus names presently held that include the string monas as a portion of the generic name:
  • 1d. List all genus names presently held where the authority includes the text string "Smith" (or "smith"):
  • 1e. List all genus names presently held that were proposed (or in a small number of cases, emended) in year "2012":

2. Using the advanced search interface:


  1. "IRMNG - Interim Register of Marine and Nonmarine Genera". IRMNG. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
  2. "IRMNG - Download". IRMNG. Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  3. "IRMNG: Homonyms". IRMNG. Retrieved 2018-12-10.
  4. "CSIRO's Tony Rees named 2014 Ebbe Nielsen Prize winner". GBIF. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  5. "The Interim Register for Marine and Nonmarine Genera (IRMNG) will move from CSIRO to VLIZ". Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  6. "Interim Register of Marine and Nonmarine Genera (IRMNG)". Lifewatch regional portal. LifeWatch. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  7. Open Tree of Life developers. "Taxonomy release ott3.0 -". Open Tree of Life. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  8. "The Interim Register of Marine and Nonmarine Genera". GBIF. 2018. doi:10.15468/6tkudz. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  9. "IRMNG". Encyclopedia of Life. Archived from the original on 1 April 2018.
  10. "AtlasOfLivingAustralia/ala-name-matching". Atlas of Living Australia. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  11. "Global Names Resolver: Names Data Sources". Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  12. "IRMNG". Catalogue of Life. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  13. Wikidata: IRMNG ID (P5055)

Further reading

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