Taxaonomic database structure

Kenelm Philip fnkwp at AURORA.ALASKA.EDU
Fri Aug 29 20:24:27 CDT 1997

        Along the lines suggested by Doug Yanega, I have for some years
been using a relational database for storing data on Alaskan butterflies.
The number of species is small (81 at last count), so I use a two or three-
letter abbreviation for each species (For example: _Colias hecla_ is Ch)
in all data entries, which saves space. A lookup table is used to translate
these abbreviations into genus, species, and catalogue number in any reports
from the database. Taxonomic or nomeclatural changes can be made once in
the lookup table, and then affect all future reports.
        Since abbreviations are easy to remember compared to numbers, I
have been able to expand this to include the circumpolar arctic butterfly
fauna without having to look up the abbreviations when entering data.

                                                        Ken Philip
fnkwp at

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