[Taxacom] Best usage - spp (no period) or spp.?

Tony.Rees at csiro.au Tony.Rees at csiro.au
Mon Oct 8 17:57:41 CDT 2012


Hi Geoff,

Well the use case is possibly (now) 2 ones conflated. Originally the "group codes" were provided as "buckets" in which to place records not identified to species, but identified to genus (in this case) or family or other higher taxon - quite common for (e.g.) marine invertebrates in field samples where there was/is no particular requirement or facility to determine further. So one could therefore give a sample breakdown e.g. by numbers or live weights and have a recording method for every component, whether determined to species or not. Now (present need) I am wishing to use the same codes/taxonomic units as steps in a hierarchical navigation system for presentation to users, such that "Genus 1 spp." becomes the parent code to "genus 1 sp. 1", "genus 1 sp 2" and so on. In this scenario the "genus level" entries are still required even if there is only one child, where in the former scenario they would not be.

I agree there is an equivalent between (say) 'Arenicola species' (implying a plural) and 'Arenicola spp.', but possibly not 'Arenicola species' (implying a singular), although it is perhaps a subtle one and maybe not even useful for scenario (1) above, though it would seem still useful for scenario 2 i.e. this hierarchy:

    Animalia - undifferentiated (code aaa)
       |
    Annelida - undifferentiated (code bbb)
       |
   Polychaeta - undifferentiated (code ccc)
       |
   Capitellida - undifferentiated (code ddd)
       |
   Arenicolidae - undifferentiated (code eee)
       |
   Arenicola spp. (code fff)
       |
 Arenicola cristata (code ggg)


which is my present desired use case (previously CAAB users were mainly provided with codes at either species level, or family and above).

Regards - Tony


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Geoffrey Read [mailto:gread at actrix.gen.nz]
> Sent: Tuesday, 9 October 2012 9:39 AM
> To: Rees, Tony (CMAR, Hobart)
> Cc: taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> Subject: RE: [Taxacom] Best usage - spp (no period) or spp.?
> 
> Hi Tony,
> 
> That usage seems to be as output formatting for a genus presentation,
> rather than information on the number of local species within the genus
> (I
> found a genus with only one member - spp was still used). I would use
> the
> plain user friendly 'Arenicola species'.
> 
> If you are wedded to 'spp.', my personal preference is for the stop to
> be
> retained as it makes clear that the string represents an abbreviation
> by
> convention amongst some in-group.
> 
> Geoff
> 
> On Tue, October 9, 2012 8:53 am, Tony.Rees at csiro.au wrote:
> > Hi Geoff,
> >
> > Regarding the use case for this stuff: for examples in CAAB stored
> data
> > (as opposed to the CAAB interface) see:
> >
> >
> http://www.marine.csiro.au/caabsearch/caab_search.search_prepare?opt1=e
> xact&opt2sci=starts&scitxt=&opt2com=starts&comtxt=&opt2tax=starts&taxtx
> t=&ctg=22&cSub=Search...&xTem=exclude&xAus=true&xCom=true&xAdj=true&xAn
> t=true&xOth=true&opt3=all
> >
> > (this link will probably split in the email system and require to be
> > reassembled)
> >
> > giving a result (in this case for annelids - personalised to you of
> > course) - commencing:
> >
> > 22 000000 .. Class Polychaeta - undifferentiated .. polychaete worms
> > (group code)
> > 22 001001 .. Abarenicola affinis .. [a polychaete worm]
> > 22 001002 .. Abarenicola clarki .. [a polychaete worm]
> > 22 001003 .. Abarenicola devia .. [a polychaete worm]
> > 22 001004 .. Abarenicola haswelli .. [a polychaete worm]
> > 22 001005 .. Arenicola bombayensis .. [a polychaete worm]
> > 22 001006 .. Arenicola caroledna .. [a polychaete worm]
> > 22 001007 .. Arenicola cristata .. [a polychaete worm]
> > 22 001008 .. Arenicola sudaustraliense .. [a polychaete worm]
> > 22 001901 .. Abarenicola spp ..   (group code)
> > 22 001902 .. Arenicola spp ..   (group code)
> > 22 001000 .. Arenicolidae - undifferentiated .. polychaete worms
> (family
> > code)
> > 22 002001 .. Barantolla lepte .. [a polychaete worm]
> > 22 002002 .. Dasybranchus bipartinus .. [a polychaete worm]
> > 22 002003 .. Dasybranchus caducus .. [a polychaete worm]
> > 22 002004 .. Dasybranchus lumbricoides .. [a polychaete worm]
> >
> > (and so on).
> >
> > This is the master list (with authorities omitted in this instance,
> > however the latter are supplied via other means on demand) and these
> taxon
> > lists and codes are then supplied to internal and external users
> elsewhere
> > in our region for incorporation into their taxonomic databases and
> field
> > data recording systems.
> >
> > At present the "spp" portions have had their trailing periods deleted
> but
> > half or maybe more of me would prefer to see them there - so I was
> seeking
> > relevant justification one way or the other.
> >
> > That's it in a nutshell.
> >
> >
> > Cheers - Tony
> > ________________________________________
> > From: Geoffrey Read [gread at actrix.gen.nz]
> > Sent: Monday, 8 October 2012 6:37 PM
> > To: Stephen Thorpe
> > Cc: gread at actrix.gen.nz; Rees, Tony (CMAR, Hobart);
> > taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> > Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Best usage - spp (no period) or spp.?
> >
> >  Sheep farmers seem to cope ok.
> >
> > "I'm a sheeps farmer"?  Haven't seen it used lately. And how do you
> > differentiate between sp. and spp. in speech, if say a blind person
> was
> > trying to use the CAAB info read out by the computer?  How do we do
> say
> > them? Same for both, right. Haven't heard anyone say the equivalent
> of
> > Drosophila ess pee pee stop in a lecture. It's species everytime,
> plural
> > or singular.  And we understand.
> >
> >  Not sure how Tony's system uses 'species' outside of sentences and
> his
> > opening search page where he has 'spp' several times labelling
> various
> > tick boxes. Those would look better if spelled out. There sure is
> enough
> > room to do so.
> >
> > If it ever it matters at all elsewhere there's context and the use of
> > appropriate preceeding articles.
> >
> > So there :-)
> >
> > Geoff
> >
> > On Mon, October 8, 2012 6:49 pm, Stephen Thorpe wrote:
> >> the slight flaw in your argument, Geoff, is that spelling it out in
> >> full,
> >> the single and plural forms are the same, so it is actually *less
> >> ambiguous"  to use the abbreviated forms ...
> >>
> >> ... and nobody got my pun about Tony's original post being
> *pointless*!
> >> We
> >> must be entering a dark period in Taxacom ... ahem!
> >>
> >> Stephen :)
> >>
> >>
> >> ________________________________
> >> From: Geoff Read <gread at actrix.gen.nz>
> >> To: Tony.Rees at csiro.au
> >> Cc: stephen_thorpe at yahoo.co.nz; taxacom at mailman.nhm.ku.edu
> >> Sent: Monday, 8 October 2012 6:24 PM
> >> Subject: Re: [Taxacom] Best usage - spp (no period) or spp.?
> >>
> >> Abbreviations might have been necessary when programming the Apollo
> 11
> >> module in 1969 and in early databases. But I think we've largely
> moved
> >> on.
> >> They can hamper understanding.
> >>
> >> Spell it out in glorious full, "species" 7 letters, versus spp. 4
> >> characters.  And there are people out there who don't have a clue
> what a
> >> spp. might be.
> >>
> >> Geoff
> >>
> 
> 





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