The scope of the checklist is all of sub-Saharan Africa, together with the Atlantic and Indian Ocean islands in the tropics. This does not quite conform to the Index Muscorum divisions, as part of Africa-4 is excluded to the south (the islands in the southern Atlantic and Indian Oceans). For practical reasons it was necessary to draw a definite boundary round the region, even when this cut across existing affinities, such as the north Atlantic islands (Cape Verde is included, the Canaries, Madeira and Azores are excluded).
The printed checklist used a three letter code for each country followed by a number in brackets which corresponded to the relevant literature citation. These country references have been copied over in their original format and are listed in the description section along with a map of the distribution. As the website develops it is intended that this code system is enhanced with fully written out country listings and links to literature. It is hoped that further developments will enable a species list for specific countries to be downloaded.
The maps are based at a country level resolution (following TBWG standards). A taxon may have only been recorded once from e.g. South Africa, but for the purpose of the mapping, the whole region of South Africa would be shaded.