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8.2. rankSet: Taxonomic ranks in use

The rankSet element is a simple container for rank elements, each of which defines one taxonomic rank. The ranks must be in descending order of size, starting with the rank of the root taxon of the classification.

rankSet = element rankSet { rank+ }
rank = element rank
{ attribute code { text },
  attribute optional { '1' }?,
  attribute digits { xsd:string { pattern='[0-3]' } },
  attribute depth { xsd:nonNegativeInteger },

This is the rank code as described under Section 5.1, “The ranks file”. Examples: “o” for order, “-f” for subfamily.


Attribute optional='1' means that this rank may not appear in some parts of the classification.


Specifies the number of digits for this rank in the taxonomic key. See Section 7.1.1, “Taxonomic key numbers”.


The first or root rank will have depth='0', and each successively deeper rank will have a value that is one greater than its predecessor. This value can be used to answer the question, which rank is deeper?


The textual content of the rank element is the name of the rank, e.g., “Genus”.

Here's an example of the rank element for subfamily rank:

    <rank code='-f' optional='1' digits='1' depth='3'>