[Taxacom] Wikipedia classification

Tony.Rees at csiro.au Tony.Rees at csiro.au
Mon Jul 6 02:42:01 CDT 2009


Just pursuing the homonym theme a little further - you have to consider synonyms too, unfortunately.

Giving you a taste of what happens when you scratch the surface here:

Below I mentioned the other homonyms in the Erica case. Following the zoological ones first:

Erica Peckham, 1892 (alternatively: Peckham & Peckham, 1892) is the valid one (a spider genus) - interestingly its entry on wikispecies is at http://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/Erica_(Araneae) rather than having the higher taxonomy in the path as is the case for other taxa I have seen.

Erica Wenz, 1919 is a mollusc. If it was a really new taxon it would be a jumior homonym and would need to be replaced. However according to Nomenclator Zoologicus it is a misspelling / variant of Ericia Moquin-Tandon, 1848 so could point to that, maybe. However Ericia Moquin-Tandon, 1848 is synonym of Pomatias Studer, 1789 according to wwmcat.it/malaco/photos/gastropoda/LITTORINIMORPHA.htm , so that would be the valid name. Now there is another Ericia as well, Ericia Walker, 1866 (an insect) which is now considered a synonym of Homona Walker, 1863 (otherwise would itself need a replacement name). Homona has no homonyms, at least that I have found to date.

Pomatias Studer, 1789, where the trail via Ericia led us, also has a couple of homonyms, Pomatias Schneider, 1801 (a fish) and Pomatias Hartmann, 1821 (another mollusc). Pomatias Schneider, 1801 is now considered a synonym of Triurus Lacep├Ęde, 1800, which has another homonym, Triurus Swainson, 1839 (now included in Harpadon), according to Eschmeyer's Catalog of Fishes, while Pomatias Hartmann, 1821 has been replaced by Hartmannia Newton, 1891 which appears to be current. Now there are four other "Hartmannia"s, but maybe we should not go there...

In the botanical case it is simpler, Erica Linnaeus, 1753 is current while Erica Boehmer in C.G. Ludwig, 1760 is now included in Andromeda Linnaeus, 1753 and Erica O. Kuntze, 1891 is now included in Calluna R.A. Salisbury, 1802 (at least according to Index Nominum Genericorum). Now Andromeda has 4 other homonyms (all in Zoology) according to Nomenclator Zoologicus, while Calluna has none, so far as I know at present.

Anyway you will get the picture. It's not as simple as it seems. Happy thinking...

Best regards - Tony


-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Tony.Rees at csiro.au
Sent: Monday, 6 July 2009 4:38 PM
To: una.smith at att.net; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
Subject: [ExternalEmail] Re: [Taxacom] Wikipedia classification

One observation - I imagine that there would be plenty of Wikipedia pages to be changed to disambiguation pages - maybe too many to be tractable?

For example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erica currently goes to the botanical Erica, while http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erica_(disambiguation) lists also the zoological genus (spider), the person name, some places...

In the model you are proposing, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erica should really be the disambiguation page, with a new page for the plant along the lines of the zoological one, currently http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erica_(zoological_genus) 

In this case only 2 homonyms are already causing this problem; unlisted are a further 3 (invalid) Erica instances, 2 more in Botany (more heaths) and one more in Zoology (mollusc). So the suffix (zoological_genus) and (botanical_genus) is not really the complete answer either, since there are multiple instances in each.

You will have to give thought to whether it is really possible to retrofit the model suggested over the existing Wikipedia content, plus things that already link to it.

(The above is also noteworthy in that it is the example cited on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homonym_(biology) , but 2 instances only)

Just a thought,

Tony


-----Original Message-----
From: taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu [mailto:taxacom-bounces at mailman.nhm.ku.edu] On Behalf Of Una Smith
Sent: Monday, 6 July 2009 11:21 AM
To: TAXACOM
Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Wikipedia classification

Kleo Pullin wrote:
>Oh, left the years off: also included with the names on the disambiguation pages of many things besides taxa, this is where the years or simply listing that one is a senior synonym, or listing, beside the junior synonym, its currently accepted name would be the equivalent.

In the case of Latreillia, both homonyms were published in 1830.  In
any case, as often happens on Wikipedia, while we have been talking
the page has changed, and a discussion and meta-discussion have been
started:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latreillia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Latreillia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Tree_of_life#Homonyms

Better?


>There are many ways to go that would make a taxa disambiguation page more useful than a shot in the dark, particularly when what you don't know is what type of organism it is.

Sure, but recall that this disambiguation page has no incoming links,
and one point of having a disambiguation page is to capture and fix
incoming links so that they go to the relevant article.  (After I made
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Latreillia a disambiguation page, I fixed
the incoming links.)  So the only way a reader will find the page is
via a search.  A search on the species name or on the homonym and
authority will send the reader directly to the relevant article, not
to the disambiguation page.

One problem we have is that Wikipedia has no concept of a "taxon
disambiguation page";  we barely manage to have a plant common names
disambiguation page.

	Una Smith

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