Silphidae on Tree of Life

John Grehan jgrehan at SCIENCEBUFF.ORG
Wed Feb 9 12:30:40 CST 2005

At a glance, the web layout looks very nice. I note that there are
intentions to add material so is it possible to include distribution
maps - even if they are simple range maps? Please! As a biogeographer I
can make the best use of systematic works that illustrate the
distributions. The current form of listing according to artificial
geographic divisions provides no real information for comparative
evaluation although even at this level it was interesting to see an
Australia-Holarctic track for one clade
(Diamesus/Australia-Necrodes/Holarctic) and an Australia-South America
(only "western")track for another (Ptomaphila/Australia-Oxelytrum
(southwestern Nearctic and Neotropical). 

I anticipate that I am probably among a very tiny minority that believes
systematic research needs to give a commensurate amount of attention to
distributional data compared with the resources devoted to morphology or
DNA sequence similarity. The geographic information usually comes out
second best because most systematists are either not interested in
geographic distribution, or not interested all that much. 

John Grehan

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Taxacom Discussion List [mailto:TAXACOM at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU] On
> Behalf Of Derek Sikes
> Sent: Wednesday, February 09, 2005 11:52 AM
> Subject: [TAXACOM] Silphidae on Tree of Life
> Dear Taxacomers,
> This is an announcement that the node for the family Silphidae
> (Coleoptera) is open to the public on the Tree of Life web project
> (ToL).  The family page is done and one of the two subfamilies, the
> Silphinae, is also complete. Of particular interest to those who might
> have any interest in these organisms, is the current generic level
> classification for the Silphinae, formerly available only in the
> Silphidae chapter of the American Beetles volume.
> The subfamily Nicrophorinae is still under development and will take
> some time because each species will have a unique page.
> In addition, the development process / software to create these
> webpages is constantly being improved and has reached a level that I
> would describe as "user-friendly."  The support made available for
> questions or difficulties is also excellent.  However, many nodes in
> the tree of life project remain uncompleted. If your particular taxon
> has no page, I hope you will consider developing one (sooner or later)
> - the ToL web project is an amazing resource for the world and its
> value will increase as more pages are completed. The project is very
> well managed and funded and I expect this is a web resource that,
> unlike many, will survive for centuries, if not forever.
> Yours,
> Derek Sikes
> PS comments on these ToL  pages, suggestions for improvement, etc. are
> welcome.
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
> Derek S. Sikes, Assistant Professor
> Division of Zoology
> Department of Biological Sciences
> University of Calgary
> 2500 University Drive NW
> Calgary, Alberta, Canada, T2N 1N4
> dsikes at
> phone: 403-210-9819
> FAX:  403-289-9311
> "Remember that Truth alone is the matter you are in Search after; and
> if you have been mistaken, let no Vanity reduce you to persist in your
> mistake." Henry Baker, London, 1785
> Entomological Society of Alberta:
> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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