EOL API: Search

Versions: 1.0


The XML search response implements the OpenSearch response format using Atom 1.0. See http://www.opensearch.org/Specifications/OpenSearch/1.1 for the full OpenSearch specification

Given the vast number of scientific and common names (nearly 20 million in total) it is a difficult task to provide a user with exactly the species they are hoping to find. For example there are several bird species of named Robin (American Robin, Alpine Robin, Smoky Robin), and several fish species named Robin, and a taxonomist named Robin who has named dozens of species. We have included an 'exact' parameter to return only results whose name matches the search term in its entirety, but we cannot guarantee the returned taxa are taxa you intended to find. We are continuously trying to improve the relevancy of our search results so expect some improvements to search ordering in the near future.


Name Values Default Notes
q any string --- the query string
page any integer 1 a maximum of 30 results are returned per page. This parameter allows you to fetch more pages of results if there are more than 30 matches
exact true, false false will find taxon pages if the title or any synonym or common name exactly matches the search term
filter_by_taxon_concept_id any integer --- given an EOL page ID, search results will be limited to members of that taxonomic group
filter_by_hierarchy_entry_id any integer --- given a Hierarchy Entry ID, search results will be limited to members of that taxonomic group
filter_by_string any string --- given a search term, an exact search will be made and that matching page will be used as the taxonomic group against which to filter search results
cache_ttl any integer --- the number of seconds you wish to have the response cached

Test It Out

Name Required Value
q Yes
page Yes
format Yes