ECatSym: Electronic World Catalog of Symphyta

HomeSystematic overviewSearch scientific namesSearch vernacular namesSearch distribution dataSearch referencesAuthors
Citing this catalog:
Taeger, A., Liston, A.D., Prous, M., Groll, E.K., Gehroldt, T. & Blank S.M. 2018: ECatSym – Electronic World Catalog of Symphyta (Insecta, Hymenoptera). Program version 5.0 (19 Dec 2018), data version 40 (23 Sep 2018). – Senckenberg Deutsches Entomologisches Institut (SDEI), Müncheberg. Access: 17 Jan 2019

The Electronic World Catalog of Symphyta (ECatSym) is based on:
Taeger, A., Blank, S. M. & Liston, A. D. (2010): World Catalog of Symphyta (Hymenoptera).
– Zootaxa 2580: 1–1064. (


Species with subspecies113
Palaearctic species4396
Nearctic species1245
Oriental species2235
Neotropic species998
Afrotropic species386
Australasian species255
Fossil species444
Distribution data92797
Combinations of names34086
Unavailable names43
Links names–references130630
Vernacular names1948

What's new?

The current online catalog displays the data which were available per 23 September 2018 in the Symphyta database of the Senckenberg Deutsches Entomologisches Institut (SDEI).

The authorship of ECatSym (program version 5.0, data version 40) was changed to "Taeger, Liston, Prous, Groll, Gehroldt & Blank". The developer of the former program versions Eckhard Groll retired, the further development of the web application was overtaken by Tobias Gehroldt.

The structure of the main menu was slightly changed and partly renamed compared with the former program version 3.9 (7 Dec 2011).

Since 31 Dec 2009 (the cut-off date for the printed catalog) more than 750 nominal taxa have been described. After the last update of the online catalog (7 Dec 2011) more than 1800 nomenclatural changes (including descriptions of new species and new combinations) happened. These changes are integrated in the current online catalog.

The number of images provided has increased from about 6,400 to more than 19,300. The images are usually of a higher resolution than in 2011, and all are labeled with additional information like species name, state, type status, photogapher and reference numbers.

The Systematic overview now also provides information about the generic placements and a generalized distribution overview for the associated species.

The number of references available in literature search increased from about 10,000 in 2011 to almost 18,000.

The number of links between names and references increased by about 18,700 to more than 130,000.

The number of available distribution data increased by about 23,000 additional records to nearly 93,000.

How to use ECatSym

In the Systematic overview the numbers of genera and species per superfamily, family and subfamily are given. Furthermore, the current association of the valid genera to their higher family group taxa, including distribution data of the included species, is given.

You may use Search scientific names to find valid names of the genus and species groups, their known combinations, synonyms and misspellings. Many common names can be associated with their scientific names using Search vernacular names. The user is led to the valid name for a requested taxon and receives a complete list of scientific and vernacular name combinations associated with this taxon, information on its distribution and its status as a fossil or extant taxon, and –as far as available– specimen and label images. Availability and nomenclatural status are given for each name combination. The data are associated with literature references as far as available. The ECatSym database includes about 15,500 original name combinations. The original descriptions for about 25 names (less than 0.2 %) have currently not yet been checked.

Under Search references 17,812 references may be found. Only 10,431 of these are currently linked with other data in ECatSym. Most of the remaining references are somehow connected with sawfly research (e.g., host plants, parasitoids), or simply connected with other research fields of the authors. You may search for one or more words that you expect in the full references (e.g., authors, titles, names, journals).

Search distribution data contains nearly 93,000 items of distribution data, based on 165,000 records in the SDEI database (condensed to the countries and partly provinces).


Supported by:

The catalog project has received funding from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF, and from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the framework of the German Entomology Node of GBIF (

The funding provided by the BMBF for the project "GISHym: Globales Informationssystem Hymenoptera" (2003–2006) was used to catalog primary type specimens housed in German natural history collections. About 6,000 images of type specimens and their labels have been included in ECatSym version 3. Both projects have cooperated closely in digitalizing sawfly literature and capturing published data in databases.