Richard Petit r.e.petit at WORLDNET.ATT.NET
Mon Jun 21 09:41:16 CDT 2004

On June 17th I posted a note concerning "authoritative sources" stating my
opinion that ITIS could not be so considered.  A reply was posted from Dr.
Lane (GBIF) advising how to have errors corrected.  I then sent in four of
five corrections and received a reply from ITIS (will forward to Dr. Lane
off server but will send to anyone interested) in which I am advised that
"it is important that the search interfaces continue to list these names
since a user may recognise them as misspellings for names of taxa in which
he or she is interested."  What about the multitude of people who will not
recognize these as errors?  Why not show them to be errors if they must, for
whatever reason, continue to be listed?  Why perpetuate errors?

The primary errors I sent notice of were a non-existent name; the type
species of the genus Cancellaria being attributed to Pilsbry, 1940 instead
of to Linnaeus, 1767; one species listed under three genera (one a junior
objective synonym of another); and the listing of a Miocene species.  The
reply to me indicates that my "feedback" was forwarded to the museum
supplying the fossil name but there is no indication that  ITIS or other
sources were notified of errors.  The message that these errors will remain
in the GBIF list is quite clear.  As mentioned earlier, I have been
contacting ITIS since 1998 in an effort to have corrections.  At least GBIF
had the courtesy to tell me that changes will not be made.

The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia maintains two excellent
databases of gastropods (one for the Indo-Pacific and the other for the
western Atlantic).  These databases are corrected whenever errors or changes
in systematic position or assignment come to their attention.

So much for "authoritative lists."

Richard E. Petit
r.e.petit at

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