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EcoTaxa is a web application dedicated to the visual exploration and the taxonomic annotation of images that illustrate the beauty of planktonic biodiversity.

As a visitor, you have free access to the specimens that have been already identified by taxonomist experts.

You can explore the database by navigating along the UniEuk taxonomic tree which aims at unifying taxonomic names and tree according to reliable and curated molecular phylogenies. It encompasses the whole Eukaryotic and Prokaryotic lineages (Viruses coming soon) that have been molecularly described. Then images can be filtered according to several sample criteria: geographic location, depth, date and time of sampling, and imaging instrument.

As a scientist, you can contribute to the richness of this image database and/or to the collaborative taxonomic annotation effort. Images are organised in projects which should be consistent in terms of sampling and imaging techniques. We provide tools to support the annotation of large image datasets by supervised machine learning prediction.

The PARTICLE module of ECOTAXA is designed to host data from the Underwater Vision Profiler (UVP) and the LIIST instruments.
It permits to:
• Load particle data and associate them with CTD data and zooplankton images loaded and annotated in Ecotaxa
• Process size spectra from the particle data
• Download the resulting particle spectra, the CTD and the zooplankton data according to defined permissions
• Visualize data and permit their promotion thanks to the internet access

If you use EcoTaxa in your work, we would appreciate that:

  • you cite it as: Picheral M, Colin S, Irisson J-O (2017). EcoTaxa, a tool for the taxonomic classification of images.
  • you consider setting aside some funds in your next grant to support its maintenance and development. Contact us to estimate what would be both reasonable and useful.


  • Specifications and user interface: Marc Picheral, Sébastien Colin, Jean-Olivier Irisson
  • Development: Altidev
  • Contact: Marc Picheral (
  • Deep learning: Simon-Martin Schröder, Benjamin Graham
  • Testing: Amanda Elineau, Corinne Desnos

Disclaimer: If you annotate images in EcoTaxa you cannot claim for any retribution from the application managers but you can then download and use the results of your work. The managers of the EcoTaxa application are not liable for the safekeeping of the images and associated data it hosts, even if they make their best to keep the application stable and secure.

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