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Learn about freeloader flies, which dare share the dinner of spiders, mantids and other predatory insects much larger than themselves.
Read a short introduction about the family Milichiidae (Diptera, Schizophora) or visit the species pages with information about and photos of common, beautiful and/or important species.

The focus of this Scratchpad is a group of mollusks called sea slugs that comprise the “traditional” subclass Opisthobranchia, placed within gastropods (phylum Mollusca), a group that exhibits a wide range of body forms, from shell-bearing species, externally similar to caenogastropods, to highly derived shell-less slugs. The loss of the shell is correlated with the evolution of many additional external structures that are present in this peculiar and interesting group, such as cerata, sensory tentacles, and rhinophores. These structures serve a variety of sensory, defensive, and respiratory functions.
In the eOpisthobranchia Scratchpad you can share images, edit and maintain their classification, maintain bibliographic resources, among other activities. If you would like to participate and if you have a favorite taxon that you would like to contribute, please contact to Nestor Ardila (, to help you get started.

Mycoheterotrophic plant species (MHP, Leake 1994) lack chlorophyll and depend on their mycorrhizal fungus for carbon and nutrient supply. MHP were first counted by Johow (1889), who estimated 160 species of “achlorophyllous humus plants” in 43 genera and 5 families. Schmucker (1959) already counted 352 “holosaprophytic” species in 48 genera and 6 families. Furman and Trappe (1971) referred to “roughly 400 species”, 50 genera and 7 families. In an review on MHPs Leake (1994) lists 417 MHP species in 87 genera and 11 families. My own preliminary reassessment of Leake's list in 2008 resulted in 438 species/84 genera/10 families, but was just a rough estimate. The most recent assessment is of Merckx (2013) in his introducing chapter to the first book exclusively dedicated to MHP: Mycoheterotrophy - The Biology of Plants living on Fungi. On page 9 he says: "At least 514 species of angiosperms and a single liverwort species entirely depend on fungal carbon during their complete life cycle". This website aims to set up a list of all mycoheterotrophic plants on earth, combined with additional informations such as synonymy, taxonomic history and a bibliography. So far, the list of accepted species with taxonomic comments as well as synonyms (listed above the accepted taxa, both in alphabetic order) are complete except for Orchidaceae. The bibliography (1391 references) collects the bibliographic data of the taxonomic literature mentioned up to now, as well as other articles dealing with all aspects of mycoheterotrophic plants. The citations in the taxonomic comments (pages) are hyperlinked with the bibliographic data. You find the taxonomic comments under the flag 'Descriptions' when choosing a species name in the taxonomy 'Mycoheterotrophic Plants'.
To the date of 14th of December 2018 this list enumerates 2 families/2 genera/4 species of Bryophytes, 1 Gymnosperm, 6 families/28 genera/254 species of non-orchid monocots, and 3 families/17 genera/47 species of eudicots. This sums up to 12 families/48 genera/306 species of non-orchid mycoheterotrophic plants. Dictyostega orobanchoides, Hypopitys monotropa, Voyria aurantiaca, and V. corymbosa are subdivided in subspecies, Afrothismia winkleri, Monotropastrum humile, and Thismia hexagona have one variety each, and Epirixanthes papuana as well as E. elongatata have a form alba, respectively. I added more specific statistics in the 'Desriptions' of each family.
Aditionally, 21 genera and 106 species of mycoheterotrophic orchids are listed, however, this is far from being complete.
The criterium to be included in this list is "optical achlorophylly" or at least nearly such. We are aware of intergrading dependences on the mycorrhizal fungus even in green plants (see the pages The case of "Pyrola aphylla", Obolaria and Bartonia or Stemona aphylla), as well as of different amounts of chlorophyll content, which often is even hidden by other colouring compounds.

Solanaceae Source aims to provide a worldwide taxonomic monograph of the nightshade family, Solanaceae. The family is of considerable economic importance and contains species that are used as food (potatoes, tomatoes and eggplants), medicines (henbane and deadly nightshades) and in horticulture (petunias). We began this journey with the on-line monograph of all species in the mega-diverse genus Solanum. The National Science Foundation (NSF) funded the Solanum project as part of the Planetary Biodiversity Inventories (PBI) mission from 2004-2009.
In 2011 we added the names for all members of the family to the resource with the collaboration of the International Plant Names Index (IPNI), and are working through these with the help of the Solanaceae community worldwide. This increases the coverage to all 90+ genera of the family and will contribute to diverse projects such as the World Flora On-Line that is contributing the the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation. The Solanaceae Source BRAHMS database serves data on names and specimens for the website and is worked on continuously.
The website and database behind it are constantly being updated and improved - we hope you will bear with us as we both improve the site and the data that underpin it.