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8.3. taxonomy: The classification tree

The taxonomy element is a container for a tree composed of taxon elements, describing the arrangement of taxa in the biological classification. The taxonomy element has exactly one taxon child, representing the root taxon of the classification (Class Aves, for birds). That taxon element has child taxon elements representing the orders, each order element has child elements representing the families, and so on down to the lowest-level ranks.

taxonomy = element taxonomy { taxon }
taxon = element taxon
{ attribute rank { text },
  attribute status { ' ' | '?' | '+' }?,
  attribute stdAbbr { text }?,
  attribute sci { text },
  attribute txKey { text },
eng = element eng { text }

The rank code for this taxon, e.g., “rank='s'” for a species.


The optional q='1' attribute indicates that the taxon is questionable.


If the taxon is a species or form, this attribute gives its standard six-letter bird code.


The taxon's scientific name, e.g., “sci='Haliaeetus leucocephalus'”.


The taxonomic key number for this taxon. See Section 7.1.1, “Taxonomic key numbers”.


The eng child element contains the English name of the form, which may include underbar (“_”) characters to indicate the starting and ending points of italicized genus and species names.


Each taxon element can have zero or more taxon child elements describing contained subtaxa.

Here's an example of a complete taxon element at the bottom of the tree:

    <taxon rank='x' stdAbbr='BRANTH' sci='Branta bernicla 1'
      <eng>Brant (_hrota_)</eng>