The history and current work of the project Fauna Europaea is outlined. The different sources used for building up the database and the efforts to keep it updated are described. Available models of national checklists are discussed and the ideal checklist is described. The double use of the database as a matrix behind the official site of Fauna Europaea – as well as a directly visible document on the website of the European Society of Arachnology – are indicated and the differences in transparency, links to literature sources, and facilities such as distribution maps and calculations of numbers of scores per species or of species per country are discussed. The future of the project is briefly outlined. The need for a European identification tool for spiders is stressed
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