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Published: 2021-05-28

Contributions to ophiology in Zootaxa 2001–2020: patterns and trends

1Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK Museum of Zoology (Museum für Tierkunde), Senckenberg Dresden, A. B. Meyer Building, 01109 Dresden, Germany
Departamento de Vertebrados, Museu Nacional, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Quinta da Boa Vista, São Cristóvão, 20940-040, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Independent researcher, Berlin, Germany
Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de São Paulo, Avenida Nazaré 481, Ipiranga, CEP 04263-000, São Paulo, Brazil
Department of Zoology, National Museum, Cirkusová 1740, 19300 Prague, Czech Republic Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 7, 12844 Prague, Czech Republic
Institute of Ecology and Biological Resources and Graduate University of Science and Technology, Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology, 18 Hoang Quoc Viet Road, Hanoi, Vietnam
Institute of Evolutionary Biology (CSIC-Universitat Pompeu Fabra), Passeig Marítim de la Barceloneta, 37-49, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Colegio de Ciencias Biológicas y Ambientales COCIBA & Instituto iBIOTROP, Museo de Zoología, Universidad San Francisco de Quito USFQ, Quito 170901, Ecuador Instituto Nacional de Biodiversidad INABIO, Quito, Ecuador
Institut de Systématique, Evolution, Biodiversité (ISYEB), CP 30, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle, 57 rue Cuvier F-75231 Paris Cedex 05, France
The Steinhardt Museum of Natural History, Tel Aviv University, 6997801 Tel Aviv, Israel
Department of Life Sciences, The Natural History Museum, London SW7 5BD, UK


There are currently 3,900 recognized, extant snake species belonging to 529 genera globally (Uetz et al. 2021; this study), making snakes one of the most diverse major groups of squamates. Of the 665 currently recognized species that were described between 2001 and 2020 (a ~17% increase in total species), ~34% of these (226 species) were described in Zootaxa. This number does not include species resurrected from synonymy. The other ~66% (439) species were described in 105 other journals, bulletins or books (Fig.1a). Overall, the number of new snake species described every year is gradually increasing, and 40% of the new species described since 2011 were published in Zootaxa. Following Zootaxa, the second ranked journal, with 37 described species since 2001, is Herpetologica (Fig. 2). Anecdotally, the choice of Zootaxa as a publication outlet for new species descriptions by most authors is based on speed of publication post-acceptance, publication free of charge, relatively unconstrained number of papers published per year, relatively unconstrained manuscript length, expert section editors and reviewers, and consolidated scientometric parameters.



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