Names for BioDiv Informatics

Paul Kirk p.kirk at CABI.ORG
Tue Feb 1 02:29:40 CST 2005


I think what you mean are nomenclators (with nomenclatural comments).


there was also the TRITON system from ZR but I cannot find the URL in the
new 'Thompson' web site - CABI contributed to this resource but I wonder if
it is still freely available ;-)

In haste,


Dr Paul M. Kirk
CABI Bioscience
Bakeham Lane
Surrey TW20 9TY

tel. (+44) (0)1491 829023, fax (+44) (0)1491 829100, email p.kirk at
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-----Original Message-----
From: Faunaplan at AOL.COM [mailto:Faunaplan at AOL.COM]
Sent: 01 February 2005 10:10
Subject: [TAXACOM] Names for BioDiv Informatics

Dear All
so far, published information on taxa is distributed in thousands of papers
websites and unpublished data are mainly deposited in collections
of life"). Still there is no infrastructure for easy access to such vital
information, but GBIF and its partners have started to build the roads...

What I feel is still basically missing are checklists of valid names that
could serve as keyword directories for the fast-growing biodiversity info

Ron Gatrell has recently used the term "taxonomically correct names" when he
announced the Lepidoptera checklists, and many taxonomists have already
created wonderful on-line checklists of valid names.
But, will there ever be checklists of universally accepted/ valid names?
In my understanding, valid names are all Code-compliant names that are
accepted by individual taxonomists according to their preferred concepts.
Bembidion (Nothocys) jeannelicum Toledano, 2002 and Nothocys nitidus
Jeannel, 1962
are both valid/ accepted names for the same neotropic ground beetle, and I
cannot say one is "correct" and the other one is not; it depends on whether
prefer Bembidion as a wide or narrow genus...
Yet there is no doubt that universally accepted names lists for the purposes
of biodiversity informatics would facilitate a lot of things. So why not use
specific term in order to avoid confusion, - e.g. "standard names",
"keynames", or whatever you prefer.
Such names would have to be carefully checked for Code-compliance, and they
should represent current systematic concepts as far as possible (preferrably
staying on a moderate "conservative" side, especially in context with
splitting of traditional genera).
In other words, we would have 3 categories of names that should not be
1.) Available/ validly published names, i.e., all names that are Code
compliant incl. synonyms, etc.
2.) Valid/ accepted names, i.e., all names that are accepted as valid by
individual taxonomists/ representing alternative classifications.
3.) "Standard names" (or whatever term you prefer), i.e., all names that are
recommended for biodiversity informatics purposes; names that would
facilitate globally compatible "species banks", on-line species distribution
google searches, etc.
Such lists (with yearly updates) could be organized by GBIF partners, - and,
actually, they are already offered for several groups of organisms (e.g.,
Species2000 checklists).

Well, these are just some musings that came to my mind while finishing the
second edition of the carabid beetle checklist.
I do feel enthusiastic about the chance to contribute to the CoL (Catalogue
of Life) but the names I can provide should not be misunderstood as
disapproving alternative taxonomic concepts...

Best wishes,

Wolfgang Lorenz
Buero/ Verlag fuer Faunistik und Umweltplanung
D-82327 Tutzing

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