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The dataset contains an updated checklist of the terrestrial, freshwater, and marine species of Metazoa present in Italy; the first version of the dataset includes > 27000 species and subspecies. For each species, an updated taxonomic classification and the currently accepted Linnean binomen and authorship is given, accompanied by distributional data (occurrence in 3 terrestrial and 9 marine macroregions, and optionally occurrence in the administrative Italian regions and neighbouring areas abroad). Endemics and alien species are indicated. The dataset is completed by taxonomic and distributional notes including pertinent literature and synonymies.