Silphidae on Tree of Life

Derek Sikes dsikes at UCALGARY.CA
Wed Feb 9 12:19:53 CST 2005


Dear John,

regarding: issues of biogeographic data

Thanks.  Yes, it would be nice to provide the geographic data you
request. I have those data for the Nicrophorinae and will be posting
maps with those pages, however, for the Silphinae I do not have the
data. To obtain them would require borrowing and databasing tens of
thousands of specimens - (which I hope to do someday if/when I target
that subfamily for revisionary work).  I think the problem is that
capture of geographic data falls into the realm of alpha-taxonomy and
such studies are not as quickly produced as molecular phylogenies.. but
that's another issue.

Thus, I think it's not that systematists ignore biogeography, it's that
we are seeing less alpha-taxonomic work being done in general.

Yours,
Derek

On 9-Feb-05, at 10:30 AM, John Grehan wrote:

> 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
>> To: TAXACOM at LISTSERV.NHM.KU.EDU
>> 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.
>>
>> http://tolweb.org/tree?group=Silphidae
>>
>> 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 ucalgary.ca
>> http://homepages.ucalgary.ca/~dsikes/sikes_lab.htm
>>
>> 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:
>> http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/courses.hp/esa/esa.htm
>> ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
>
>
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
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 ucalgary.ca
http://homepages.ucalgary.ca/~dsikes/sikes_lab.htm

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:
http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/courses.hp/esa/esa.htm
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++




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