[Taxacom] Species Pages - where are the online descriptions?

Roger Hyam rogerhyam at mac.com
Sun Feb 1 04:58:47 CST 2009


I am looking for websites that have good "Species Pages". By species  
page I mean (and this is my definition) a page that contains a  
description of the species and not a page that simply lists the  
nomenclature associated with the acceptance of a name. You could send  
the URL of a species page to a student who didn't know what the  
organism was and they could use it to confirm the identity of a  

An example of what I think of as a species page is  the Fishbase page  
for Gadus morhua (Atlantic Cod):
There is a lot of information on this page and a description of the  
organism can be gleaned from it.

This FloraBase page is another example:
Very brief but attempts to define the taxon.

Wikipedia has a good page for cod but there isn't a good taxon  
description so it is a borderline species page

Catalogue of Life has a goal of producing a page for every species and  
it aims to do this by combining pre-existing data I believe but I  
wonder where this data is.
Their page on badger comes from Arkive (http://www.arkive.org/) which  
is an imaging database http://eol.org/pages/328046 and their page on  
cod comes from Fishbase http://eol.org/pages/206692

Pages I don't consider Species Pages are:

Catalogue of Life has a page that comes from Fishbase but that chucks  
out the "useful" information and only maintains the nomenclature.

The ITIS page is similar to the CoL page

Likewise Fauna Europaea page for Meles meles (Badger) lacks a  
description because it is a nomenclatural database.

I'd like to build a list of sites offering "real" species page  
information - with descriptions. At the moment it seems like the major  
source of these pages are electronic versions of the literature. We  
have good descriptions in sources like eFloras.org http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=5&taxon_id=242417133 
  and I hope BHL will be a source. This is a shame as these pages  
typically lack large numbers of images and the possibility of  
including other media.

I'd be grateful for any suggestions of sites that contain species  
pages (as per my definition).

Many thanks,


BTW: I'd rather use the term "Taxon Page" as these things could apply  
at any rank but there seems to be a consensus to call them Species  
Pages no matter what rank they apply to and people are typically  
interested in species.

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