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Life Science Identifier (LSID)

LSIDs are persistent, location-independent, resource identifiers for uniquely naming biologically significant resources.
The LSID concept introduces a straightforward approach to naming and identifying data resources stored in multiple, distributed data stores in a manner that overcomes the limitations of naming schemes in use today [more information].

WoRMS has implemented LSIDs for all its taxonomic names and they are displayed on each taxon page. We have integrated the AphiaID into the LSID, so in fact you can continue using the AphiaID.

For example: the LSID for Solea solea is: urn:lsid:marinespecies.org:taxname:127160
You can resolve an LSID via the various services available.
Example for Solea solea: http://lsid.tdwg.org

The returned model is RDF (XML) with metadata elements from Darwin Core and Dublin Core.

Vocabularies using a WoRMS unique identifier


Calling the WoRMS webservice from Python

Step 1: Install Python 2
Go to www.python.org, download & install Python (Windows/Mac OS X/Linux).

Step 2: Install SOAPpy
Go to http://sourceforge.net/projects/pywebsvcs/files/SOAP.py, download & install SOAPpy

Step 3: Copy/paste the following code in a file 'worms.py'

from SOAPpy import WSDL
import re
import sys

def get_Records(name, offset_number):
	a = wsdlObjectWoRMS.getAphiaRecords(name, like='true', fuzzy='true', marine_only='false', offset=offset_number)

def process_worms_output(records):
    for b in records:
            record = str(b)
            t_family = re.compile("family': '[A-Z][a-z]+idae")
            m_family = t_family.search(record)
            if m_family:
                family = m_family.group().replace("family': '","")
                t_name = re.compile("scientificname': '[A-Z][a-z]+[ a-z]*")
                m_name = t_name.search(record)
                if m_name:
                   name = m_name.group().replace("scientificname': '","")
                   t_authority = re.compile("authority': '[\(\)A-Za-z ]+")
                   m_authority = t_authority.search(record)
                   if m_authority:
                       authority = m_authority.group().replace("authority': '","")
                       t_valid = re.compile("valid_name': '[\(\)A-Za-z ]+")
                       m_valid = t_valid.search(record)
                       if m_valid:
                           valid = m_valid.group().replace("valid_name': '","")
                           print '\n', name, authority
                           print 'Accepted name:', valid
                           print family
                           print '\n', name, authority
                           print 'Accepted name: None'
                           print family

def get_all_worms_records(taxon_name):
    start = 1
    max_capacity = 50
    records = []
    print 'get_all_worms_records: fetching records', start, 'to', max_capacity, 'for taxon', taxon_name
    a = get_Records(str(taxon_name), start)
    if not a == None:
        for i in a:
        while len(records) == max_capacity:
            start = start + 50
            max_capacity = max_capacity + 50
            print 'get_all_worms_records: fetching records', start, 'to', max_capacity, 'for taxon', taxon_name
            b = get_Records(str(taxon_name), start)
            if not b == None:
                for i in b:
        print 'get_all_worms_records: returning', len(records), 'records for taxon', taxon_name

wsdlObjectWoRMS = WSDL.Proxy('http://marinespecies.org/aphia.php?p=soap&wsdl=1')

if len(sys.argv) == 1:
    print '  USAGE: ./worms.py taxon_name1 taxon_name2 ... taxon_nameN'
    print '  EXAMPLE: ./worms.py Mytilus\ edulis Tellinidae'
    print '  ERROR: Enter one or more taxon names'

target_names = sys.argv[1:]
for a in target_names:
    print '\n'

Step 4: Run the script from the command line [followed by taxon name(s)]:
./worms.py Mollusca

Download this example.

Credits for this tutorial go to Andre F. Sartori (Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, France)