What is Symbiota?

Symbiota is an open-source software for managing and mobilizing biodiversity data. Over the span of 20 years, Symbiota has developed into a distributed network of theme-based research portals incorporating data from over 1,400 biodiversity collections of preserved plants, animals, fossils, fungi, and more.  The 45 existing Symbiota portals publish over 9 million images and 70 million occurrences.

Symbiota is both a robust content management system (CMS) and a tool for biodiversity data exploration. As a CMS, Symbiota is specifically designed toward efficient, collaborative digitization with features including data entry from label images, data harvesting from specimen duplicates, batch georeferencing (even across collections), data validation and cleaning, generating progress reports, and additional tools. As a data exploration tool, Symbiota includes species inventories, interactive identification keys, integrated specimen and field images, taxonomic information, species distribution maps, and taxonomic descriptions.

An overview of Symbiota’s functions and impact was published by Gries, Gilbert & Franz. 2014. Biodiversity Data Journal 2: e1114.

To view the latest Symbiota code on GitHub, visit this link.

For a user guide to using Symbiota portals, visit this site.

To learn more about the features found within the Symbiota Network, view our online webinars. 

To stay connected with other Symbiota users, join the Symbiota Google Group.

For questions about Symbiota or for Symbiota issues, contact our new Help Desk email: symbiota@asu.edu