Hymenoptera name server added to Taxonomic Search Engine

Doug Yanega dyanega at UCR.EDU
Sat Jun 4 08:30:34 CDT 2005

>I've added the Hymenoptera Name Server
>nomenclator.home_page ) to the Taxonomic Search Engine
>(http://darwin.zoology.gla.ac.uk/~rpage/portal/ ).
>This adds the ability to search some 180,000 hymenopteran names.

But only using criteria in that database itself, which - as in all
such cases - means that your search engine is limited by the
resources you're linking to. For example, the HNS lacks a great many
synonyms of the valid names in the database, including one I searched
for recently, and could not find in a single web-based resource (it
turned up by accident when I was thumbing through a reprint two days

Out of curiosity, can anyone here find a web search engine or
algorithm that turns up a citation for the genus-level taxon name
"Huachuca"? How about "Chiricahua"? If so, I'd be very interested in
knowing which one gave a positive result.

I think the existence of taxonomic tools on the web induces an
undesirably false confidence - we are a LONG way from having a solid
coverage of the nomenclature online, and no one seems to be up-front
about what percentage of names in their group they actually have
gotten into their database. That is, there should be BIG RED WARNINGS
on these sites saying "This database includes only an estimated 30%
of the published names for this taxon" and so forth. True, this will
mostly lead casual users astray, while *taxonomists* are aware that a
failed search doesn't necessarily mean that a name doesn't exist (but
even then they don't know just how much of the taxasphere has been
omitted from the search, and this *would* be nice to know).

Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521-0314
phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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