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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 images that have been already identified by taxonomy 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. Then images can be filtered according to several criteria: 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 is designed for the Underwater Vision Profiler (UVP) and LIIST instruments. It allows to: (i) import particle data, CTD records and zooplankton images to be annotated in EcoTaxa; (ii) compute size spectra from the particle data; (iii) download the resulting spectra, associated CTDs and zooplankton identifications; (iv) visualise data and promote their existence by sharing links.

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, Laëtitia Jalabert

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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