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Find the Full Text of Original Marine Species Authorities: Early Species Illustrations

This guide will help you locate original species authorities and, in many cases, view the original text online.

Finding Early Illustrations

Biodiversity Heritage Library on Flickr - The Biodiversity Heritage Library (BDHL) has established a Flickr stream where a huge variety of public domain images from zoological and botanical publications are available. Thanks to the work of volunteers, the BDHL stream is searchable by scientific name.

Biodiversity Heritage Library home page on Flickr


To search the BDHL Flickr stream, click the BDHL stream's magnifying glass:

Showing search utility icon


Then the main page search tool becomes specific to BDHL. Enter a binomial, genus, or species name:

Search tool on Flickr


Browse the results for images of interest:

BDHL Flickr Sheepshead search results

Using Illustrations

Under each image is an indication of its copyright status. You must ensure that the copyright status permits you to use the image.

Copyright designation of Flickr image


Images in the public domain may be freely used without citing the source, although acknowledging the BDHL Flickr stream is a best practice:


"n32_w1150" by Biodiversity Heritage Library is in the public domain

This is best accomplished by using the name of the image as a hyperlink to the image on Flickr and using the name of the channel/stream as a hyperlink to the channel/stream on Flickr. If a license is specified other than Public Domain, use the license name (type) as a hyperlink to the license.