SubBIOCODE Database

Exploring the diversity of subterranean life

As one of the main goals of the project SubBIOCODE we developed this online interface to the database on subterranean biodiversity in the project region - Trebišnjica catchment in Southeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. The database provides current knowledge on subterranean species, their distribution, molecular sequences and conservation status (if it was determined). It includes available literature data, as well as unpublished data from SubBioLab studies and new data gathered during the project fieldwork expeditions. The database aims to facilitate access to information on subterranean species, which can be used by researchers, decision-makers as well as the interested public. Availability of such data is crucial as it enables evidence-based protection of subterranean biodiversity.

607 locations
859 taxa
5710 occurence records
22 DNA sequences

We believe that many users of the database sometimes visit subterranean habitats (caves, springs, wells …) and notice animals living there. You are cordially invited to contribute information from ongoing studies or any other findings in the area of Southeastern Bosnia and Herzegovina. That information will be reviewed for quality and might be included in this database that is constantly updating and adding all available information. Every observation is a valuable contribution to better knowledge and understanding of subterranean life. Contact us for more information or possibilities for cooperation at

DNA sequences for rapid identification and biodiversity assessment

The database includes DNA sequences for a range of species that can be used as molecular identification tools. We included standard COI barcode where possible or other genetic markers if they are more appropriate (12S or 12-16S).

Rapid molecular identification allows faster identification of collected individuals than classical morphological identification, but only for species that have been morphologically and molecularly well defined. Molecular data can be accessed also on the platforms like Genbank and Bold.

Protection of subterranean fauna

We provide data on protection status according to national legislation in BIH and the IUCN Redlist category of conservation for subterranean species. All caves are protected by the national laws of BIH, therefore collecting any specimens in caves must be approved by the appropriate national authorities. Currently, many species are not properly protected via a formal legal framework, which may be also a consequence of the lack of knowledge on their distribution and ecology. We will propose the IUCN statuses, as well as revise the current ones, as one of the activities of the SubBIOCODE project.

Challenging taxonomy

Subterranean animals come in diverse forms and often have unusual morphology due to similar adaptations to the subterranean environment. Even though some may look very similar, molecular analyses reveal they can be different enough to be declared separate species, termed cryptic species. Taxonomy is constantly changing, by describing new species or by reevaluating already describing species and their taxonomic statuses. This database includes the most updated taxonomic statuses, according to recent reviews, taxonomic portals (like WORMS, Catalogue of Life and GBIF Backbone Taxonomy) and expert opinions.

When using data from this site we recommend following citation: SubBioLab (YEAR). SubBIOCODE database, Accessed at on "ACCESS DATE”.