Maine Natural History Project — Checklists

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V. F. Thomas Co. - P. O. Box 111 - Shawmut, Maine  04975

(updated 20 September 2020)

Welcome to the Maine Natural History Project’s Checklist home page.

Purpose of the checklist web pages: Over time many checklists have been compiled for the plants, animals, fungi, etc., that have been observed in Maine or in the air above the state or in the ocean immediately adjacent to it’ coastline. Not only has there been much duplication of effort, many of the checklists reside in relatively obscure locations. The purpose of each of the web pages linked to from this page (please see below) is to bring together into one accessible place the information contained in those various checklists as well as to expand them to include additional observations made by citizen scientists.

How these web page links are organized.  This page contains taxonomically arranged links to checklists of Maine’s animals, fungi, lichens, algae, and plants. When you click on a link, you will be taken to a checklist of species reported from Maine for that taxon. Note: These checklists were originally for species of Mount Desert Island, but they are being expanded to cover the entire state of Maine. Until this expansion is complete, which will take months or perhaps a few years, some lists will still mention Mount Desert Island.

How to contribute to these web pages.  All information (observations, questions, photographs, notices of events, etc.) for any page(s) of the Maine Natural History Project website should be sent to or mailed to the address at the top of this page. Credit will be given to submitters, or, if desired, information can be posted anonymously. Suggestions for additional topics are encouraged. A little work for each of us will save a lot of work for all of us.

A brief history of classification.
Living organisms were divided at one time into two kingdoms: Kingdom Animalia (animals) and Kingdom Plantae (plants). Perhaps you used to play the guessing game “Animal, Vegetable, or Mineral”.

In the late 1960s came the five-kingdom classification: Kingdoms Monera, Protista (sometimes called Protoctista), Fungi, Animalia, and Plantae (sometimes called Metaphyta).

With the advent of molecular biology, which has made it possible to sequence DNA, and with computers, which have made previously impossible calculations manageable, we have a better understanding of the evolutionary relationships among organisms.

Today, three domains (a grouping above the kingdom level) are now recognized: Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya. The first two domains contain the prokaryotes (all formerly in Kingdom Monera). Eukarya, as the name suggests, includes the eukaryotes. All of the groups below are eukaryotes and belong in domain Eukarya.

Below is a taxonomically arranged list of major groups of organisms that have been reported from Maine. If you click on any of the links immediately below, you will be taken to a web page for that taxonomic group.

Kingdom Animalia - animals
   Phylum Porifera - sponges
   Phylum Cnidaria - anemones and jellyfish
   Phylum Ctenophora - comb jellies
   Phylum Platyhelminthes - flatworms
   Phylum Nemertea - ribbon-worms
   Phylum Rotifera - rotifers
   Phylum Kinorhyncha - kinorhynchs
   Phylum Priapula - priapulids
   Phylum Entoprocta - goblet-worms
   Phylum Annelida - segmented worms
   Phylum Arthropoda - arthropods (e.g., arachnids, lobster, crabs, insects)
      Class Arachnida - arachnids (e.g., spiders, harvestmen, mites)
         Order Pseudoscorpiionida - book scorpions
         Order Aranae - spiders
         Order Opiliones - harvestmen (“daddy longlegs”)
         Order Acari - ticks
      Class Malacostraca - crustaceans
         Order Decapoda - decapod crustaceans
      Class Hexapoda - insects
         Order Collembola - springtails
         Order Diplura - diplurans
         Order Zygentoma - silverfish
         Order Ephemeroptera - mayflies
         Order Odonata - damselflies, dragonflies
         Order Orthoptera - grasshoppers, katydids, crickets
         Order Plecoptera - stoneflies
         Order Dermaptera - earwigs
Phylum Arthropoda, (continued)
   Class Hexapoda (continued)
      Order Mantodea - mantids
      Order Blattodea - cockroaches
      Order Hemiptera - bugs, cicadas, aphids, etc.
      Order Thysanoptera - thrips
      Order Psocoptera - psocids
      Order Phthiraptera - lice
      Order Coleoptera - beetles
      Order Neuroptera - neuropterans
      Order Hymenoptera - bees, wasps, ants, etc.
      Order Trichoptera - caddisflies
      Order Lepidoptera (butterflies, skippers)
      Order Lepidoptera (moths)
      Order Siphonaptera - fleas
      Order Mecoptera - scorpionflies
      Order Strepsiptera - twisted-wing parasites
      Order Diptera - flies, mosquitoes
Phylum Mollusca - mollusks (e.g., periwinkles, clams)
Phylum Echinodermata - echinoderms (e.g., sand dollars, sea stars, sea urchins)
Phylum Chordata - chordates (fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals)
   Class Pisces - fish
      Order Osteichthyes - bony fish
   Class Amphibia - frogs, toads, salamanders
   Class Reptilia - turtles, snakes
   Class Aves - birds
   Class Mammalia - mammals

Kingdom Fungi - fungi
   Division Ascomycota - ascomycetes
   Division Basidiomycota - basidiomycetes
Lichens - lichens
Algae - algae
   Division Phaeophyta - brown algae
   Division Rhodophyta - red algae
   Division Chlorophyta - green algae

Kingdom Plantae - “Bryophytes”
   Division Marchantiophyta - liverworts
   Division Anthocerophyta - hornworts
   Division Bryophyta - mosses
Kingdom Plantae - higher vascular plants
   lycophytes - club-mosses
   monilophytes - ferns, horsetails/scouring rushes
   gymnosperms - pine, hemlock, juniper, cedar. etc.