The Symbiota Software Project is working towards building a library of webtools to aid biologists in establishing specimen based virtual floras and faunas. The effort typically needed in building a quality virtual flora/fauna is usually under estimated. Writing the software, compiling the data, and curating the data relationships are each capable of overwhelming a project. The complexity of each of these tasks has shown that collaborative efforts are needed to build quality virtual flora or fauna of any significant taxonomic and geographic scope. The central premise of this open source software project is that through a partnership between software engines and scientific community, higher quality and more publicly useful biodiversity portals can be built. An open source software framework allows the technicians to create the tools, thus freeing the biologist to concentrate their efforts on the curation of quality datasets. In this manner, we can create something far greater than a single entity is capable of doing on their own.