[Taxacom] nematode encounters: need for ID resources? And ITIS, GBIF et al.

Karin Kiontke kk52 at nyu.edu
Fri May 25 13:41:23 CDT 2007

Today, I looked up free-living nematodes on GBIF and ITIS. I wish the 
problems with our group (rhabditids) were on the level of subspecies 
vs. species, like those Mary Barkworth reported for grasses. It is 
instead the biggest mess. Clearly, something needs to be done about 
that, and we will.  However to improve our leverage it would be good 
if we could demonstrate the need for a revised taxonomy and for 
identification tools. Thus, I am posting a inquiry by David Fitch 
Any input is highly appreciated!

Karin Kiontke
New York University

To those of you who have conducted biodiversity surveys or ecological
studies, particularly in terrestrial biomes:

     Could you please let me know if you have encountered nematodes
(esp. rhabditids) that you could not (easily) identify, but which may
have been an important part of the ecological community you were
studying.  Would your study have benefitted by the availability of a
good, online, interactive key and database for rhabditid nematodes?

     (Rhabditids are tiny (0.5-4mm) roundworms that are commonly found
in many types of terrestrial (esp. saprobic) environments and often
associated phoretically or otherwise with other animals.)

     From our phylogenetic work, it is clear that there is a need for
the classification system of these nematodes to be completely
revised, but we would also like to get a general sense of the need/
demand for resources and tools for identification.  Ideally, we would
love to hear about specific cases where such resources and tools
would have been useful.

     Please send your replies directly to:  david.fitch at nyu.edu

Many thanks!
David Fitch

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