Wikispecies:Village Pump

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Welcome to the village pump of Wikispecies. This page is a place to ask questions or discuss the project. If you need an admin, please see the Administrators' Noticeboard. If you need to solicit feedback, see Request for Comment. Please sign and date your post (by typing ~~~~ or clicking the signature icon in the edit toolbar). Use the Wikispecies IRC channel for real-time chat.

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if you use the title box, you don't need to put a title in the body
1 (2004.09.21 – 2005.01.05) 2 (2005.01.05 – 2005.08.23)
3 (2005.08.24 – 2005.12.31) 4 (2006.01.01 – 2005.05.31)
5 (2006.06.01 – 2006.12.16) 6 (2006.12.17 – 2006.12.31)
7 (2007.01.01 – 2007.02.28) 8 (2007.03.01 – 2007.04.30)
9 (2007.05.01 – 2007.08.31) 10 (2007.09.01 – 2007.10.31)
11 (2007.11.01 – 2007.12.31) 12 (2008.01.01 – 2008.02.28)
13 (2008.03.01 – 2008.04.28) 14 (2008.04.29 – 2008.06.30)
15 (2008.07.01 – 2008.09.30) 16 (2008.10.01 – 2008.12.25)
17 (2008.12.26 – 2009.02.28) 18 (2009.03.01 – 2009.06.30)
19 (2009.07.01 – 2009.12.31) 20 (2010.01.01 – 2010.06.30)
21 (2010.07.01 – 2010.12.31) 22 (2011.01.01 – 2011.06.30)
23 (2011.07.01 – 2011.12.31) 24 (2012.01.01 – 2012.12.31)
25 (2013.01.01 – 2013.12.31) 26 (2014.01.01 – 2014.12.31)
27 (2015.01.01 – 2015.01.31) 28 (2015.02.01 – 2015.02.28)
29 (2015.02.28 – 2015.04.29) 30 (2015.04.29 – 2015.07.19)
31 (2015.07.19 – )

80 and going strong[edit]

I'm amazed to see taxonomists in their eighties or late seventies still publishing articles and describing new species in quantities equal to or surpassing those which they did in their twenties and thirties. For examples look at Ales Smetana (born 1931); Ivan Löbl (born 1937); Roberto Pace (born 1935); Volker Puthz (born 1941). It is rewarding to see that their enthusiasm and passion haven't diminish in all those long years. It's something very inspiring to me. Retirement just is nonexistent word in their lexicon. Mariusm (talk) 08:25, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

Nice to see scientists working for so long! Just shows you're never too old to learn. Aryamanarora (talk) 23:02, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

Unusual biology across a group comprising more than 15% of domain Bacteria[edit]

See here "Here we reconstructed 8 complete and 789 draft genomes from bacteria representing >35 phyla and documented features that consistently distinguish these organisms from other bacteria. We infer that this group, which may comprise >15% of the bacterial domain, has shared evolutionary history, and describe it as the candidate phyla radiation (CPR)." —Justin (koavf)TCM 21:20, 5 August 2015 (UTC)

Patrolling question[edit]

Is there a chance of bulk-editing the corrections done by user Melderick? Would help a lot to clean-up the recent changes. --Murma174 (talk) 15:55, 7 August 2015 (UTC)

@Murma174: A bureaucrat can change him to Autopatrolled. Otherwise, the unreviewed status will expire after awhile. That may be the best bet. —Justin (koavf)TCM 02:56, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
@Koavf: Thx --Murma174 (talk) 14:05, 8 August 2015 (UTC)
Yes check.svg Done. I granted him autopatrolled rights a few minutes ago. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 23:22, 11 August 2015 (UTC).

Main Page[edit]

I've just changed the Species of the week to a new one (first new in about 8 weeks!). But the Distinguished Author (Bocage) has been in place for far longer – someone want to write a bit to change to a new one, please? - MPF (talk) 23:09, 8 August 2015 (UTC)

Is it maybe an idea to promote a species of the month only ? Could help to avoid the out-of-date problem. And the article could be written some time in advance in form of a template like {{Species-{{CURRENTYEAR}}-{{CURRENTMONTH}}}} (to be replaced for {{Species of the week}} in Main Page). The species of the month September then should have the title [[Template:Species-2015-09]]. --Murma174 (talk) 15:37, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
Good ideas. Sounds like you could start to put it into action. There is no 'them' here, only 'us'. Accassidy (talk) 20:00, 9 August 2015 (UTC)
Okay, I created 2 templates as a test. Could an admin please replace the template call {{Species of the week}} by {{Species-{{CURRENTYEAR}}-{{CURRENTMONTH}}}} in Main Page? Just to see, whether it works. --Murma174 (talk) 11:16, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
P.S. and I archived the recent articles back to 2013 2012. --Murma174 (talk) 12:31, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Done this for you I commented out {{Species of the week}} as <!--{{Species of the week}}--> so it would not be used by the page. Cheers Faendalimas talk 21:10, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
Thank you! To avoid an empty page in September, I prepared Template:Species-2015-09 as a redirect. And will prepare -10, -11, -12. But that's the technical side of the problem only. Not to forget, that User:MPF asked for contributors. Please write an article! --Murma174 (talk) 06:04, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
As English is not my mother tongue, may I ask an an English speaker to proof-read the proposed Template:Species-2015-09 re verbal and textual problems? Thanks in advance! --Murma174 (talk) 11:14, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
Done! Thanks for contributing it! I also changed the pic to a better (i.e., a natural, non-captive) one. - MPF (talk) 18:30, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
How will this change affect non-English Main Page? OhanaUnitedTalk page 14:57, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
The [[Template:Species of the week]] should be redirected to [[Template:Species-{{CURRENTYEAR}}-{{CURRENTMONTH}}]] (by an admin). Then all the other Main Pages using this template (it are five more) should have the same effect. - Thanks for your suggestion! --Murma174 (talk) 16:33, 12 August 2015 (UTC)
But a redirect is the second best option only. In case a Main Page redirects to [[Template:Species-{{CURRENTYEAR}}-{{CURRENTMONTH}}]], and in this particular month noone wrote an article about a SoM, then it results in a double redirect, which means, that you won't see the redirected page, but only an indication of a redirect. To avoid this case, all the (meanwhile six) Main Pages should change the template call, as it was done in the English Main Page by User:Faendalimas on Aug, 11. --Murma174 (talk) 14:55, 15 August 2015 (UTC)

Couple more points: First, my main comment raised here was not so much Species of the Week [Month], but Distinguished Author - Bocage has been in place since January 2012, high time for retirement and someone new! I'm not much of a 'people person', so if someone can change this, it'd be nice (I'll do it as a 'last resort' if need be but would prefer someone else to tackle it!). And perhaps, like Species of the month, it might be better made a template rather than text directly in the Main Page. Second, on Species of the month, while it is very tempting to do 'charismatic megafauna' (and I won't change September's selection), I think we should try to cover a wider diversity of species; in recent years the S.o.W. has been a bit short on bacteria, viruses, unicellular animals, fungi, annelids, molluscs, arthropods, and even plants: please try to cover some more diversity! Thanks :-) MPF (talk) 20:06, 12 August 2015 (UTC)

Don't know, whether this was discussed before, but is there a sort of motto/central idea for the SoW/M? Maybe a species of current interest, a species, that is discussed in the public? That could lead the focus away from the megafauna to other kingdoms. (just thinking of Ebolavirus) --Murma174 (talk) 10:06, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
In reference to the "distinguished author" in an effort to ensure it changes at least as frequently as the species, maybe link the two. That is when you have a particular species of the month, make your author of the month someone who contributed heavily to that group of taxa, not necessarily the namer of the species just someone distinguished in that family/ order or whatever. This would keep it rotating too and bring to prominence authors of different taxonomic groups. Cheers Faendalimas talk 17:35, 13 August 2015 (UTC)
As the next SoM will be Phoca vitulina, I propose to add some missing information to the taxon page and to the pages of its subspecies. I am wondering if the species has been lectotypified and where the type specimen is deposited. I suppose there exists a type specimen? Moreover, in most subspecies pages, author, place of publication, and type information are missing. Which one of the many persons named Gray has described Phoca vitulina richardii? --Franz Xaver (talk) 09:20, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
In the meantime I found out it is John Edward Gray. Seems to be a good candidat as successor of Bocage. --Franz Xaver (talk) 09:36, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
I added Halicyon richardii as a basionym to the Phoca vitulina richardii page. Maybe, "basionnym" is wrong for an animal species – "original combination"??? Please review. --Franz Xaver (talk) 09:57, 14 August 2015 (UTC)
The term you want for zoology is protonym - MPF (talk) 21:10, 15 August 2015 (UTC)
Franz, I have done a bit to the page to "animalify" it! Alan Accassidy (talk) 14:21, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

VisualEditor News #4—2015[edit]

Elitre (WMF), 22:28, 14 August 2015 (UTC)

Species of the Month[edit]

Hopefully the discussion above in Wikispecies:Village_Pump#Main_Page was sufficient to come to a decision, whether to install a 'Species of the Month' instead of a 'Species of the Week'.
How to deal with an 'Author of the Month' or similar should be discussed seperately, as this question doesn't appear to be solved as easily as the 'SoM'. I'd suggest to start a voting: --Murma174 (talk) 12:29, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

  • The {{Species of the week}}-template will be replaced by the template {{Species-{{CURRENTYEAR}}-{{CURRENTMONTH}}}}.
  • To avoid double redirects, the old template will be exchanged by the new one not only in the English Main Page, but also in five more Main Pages in other languages.

Voting starts: 12:29, 17 August 2015 (UTC) Voting ends: 12:29, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
Symbol support vote.svg Support

  1. --Murma174 (talk) 12:29, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
  2. Neferkheperre (talk) 10:55, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
  3. Faendalimas talk 11:02, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
  4. MPF (talk) 14:02, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
  5. Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 14:23, 18 August 2015 (UTC).

Symbol oppose vote.svg Oppose

Symbol neutral vote.svg Neutral


  • In my opinion, other language versions of the main page should have a translation of the template in that language. If it is not possible to get it translated in time, the SoM/SoW should be removed from that language version at all. Alternatively, if there is someone to look after, there might be an own selection for a language version. I expect some strange reaction, if e.g. at the French language main page the English language SoM template should be incorporated. --Franz Xaver (talk) 13:24, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
    It wasn't my idea, to introduce this English language template in other language Main Pages, where the community doesn't want it. I only want to avoid problems in pages, where this template at the moment already is used (e.g. Página_principal or প্রধান পাতা). It are five six more, as far as I can see. --Murma174 (talk) 13:33, 17 August 2015 (UTC)
    I have indicated support for this however I do agree we must maintain the multiple languages so my support has that caveat. Faendalimas talk 11:02, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
    I'm not sure, whether I understand your caveat properly. The Portuguese main page Página_principal e.g. currently is using the English language 'SoW'-template. And if we change the 'SoW'-template into a 'SoM'-template in the English Main Page, then we should also do this in the Portuguese main page (and five more) to avoid problems by double redirects.
    Whether it is a good idea to use an English language template within the Portuguese main page, I don't want to decide (here and now). But this decision should not be mixed up with the question above IMO. --Murma174 (talk) 11:36, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
    Do not worry your reasoning (of not deciding now) is why I gave my support, rather than just comment. I was just agreeing with Franz Xavier that we do need to support multiple languages for this. However that can come later. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 12:17, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

I'd certainly agree it would be nice for SoM to appear in other languages, but it should only appear in them if translated; an English account shouldn't appear on e.g. the Portuguese main page. I also don't think it need be the same species; if a Portuguese speaker wants to add a different species to that current in the English version, that's no problem to me. - MPF (talk) 14:02, 18 August 2015 (UTC)

Just an idea, how it could work: Hoodsid with a translated SoM-template. --Murma174 (talk) 14:28, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
A template similar to the Multilingual description template used on Commons might also come in handy, automatically only rendering the SoM in the language specified in each user's Wikispecies preferences. Wikimedia Commons only uses it for image descriptions, but I think it would be relatively easy to use for SoM as well. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 14:41, 18 August 2015 (UTC).

[off topic]Meanwhile I finished archiving the previous 'species<spp.> of the week'. Hope it will be of some benefit. At least it helps checking, whether a species already has been selected in former years.[/off topic] --Murma174 (talk) 15:18, 19 August 2015 (UTC)

Great work Jens, and thanks! Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 18:27, 19 August 2015 (UTC).
At the moment I'm working on a user-friendly catalogue. When it is finished, I'd suggest to move it to a page Wikispecies:Species of the month and to link it from the SoM-page (See also:...) --Murma174 (talk) 08:45, 25 August 2015 (UTC) Yes check.svg Done --Murma174 (talk) 09:10, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
P.S. Catalogue finished --Murma174 (talk) 16:50, 25 August 2015 (UTC)


As there were no votes against, I exchanged the templates in a couple of main pages. --Murma174 (talk) 08:45, 25 August 2015 (UTC) The next steps should be:

  • Writing new 'Species of the Month'
  • Discussion, whether the 'Species of the Month' (in English) should remain in Non-English main pages.
  • Is there a chance (i.e. do we have the resources/volunteers), to install an 'Author of the Month'?


The IP-User (it is a static IP obviously) repeatedly vandalized the Canis page. I'd suggest to block him. --Murma174 (talk) 17:22, 17 August 2015 (UTC)

Blocked for 2 weeks for vandalism then can see what happens. Cheers Faendalimas talk 01:27, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
Just short of a week ago (after an e-mail message from Murma174 which however didn't specify the IP number at hand) I tried a more subtle way of warning the user using the IP's talk page, but apparently to no avail. Most of the IP's contributions might be considered mere test edits or the result of him/her utilizing erroneous references, but for instance this edit (made after my warning) is a clear cut example of pure vandalism. Hopefully Faendalimas' block will be more efficient than my softer and not-so pernicious warning… :-)
Also – while no harm done this time – but for future issues of this nature I recommend using the Administrators' Noticeboard rather than the Village Pump. The admin's noticeboard is better suited for communicating problems involving specific users, while the Village Pump primarily handles issues concerning the whole community. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 14:05, 18 August 2015 (UTC).
Agreed Administrators' Noticeboard is a better place to raise these issues, I should have pointed that out myself. I did look through the edit history of this IP user, however I kept the block very short at this point, as although I can see the point that they were vandalism, they were very few in number so I felt 2 weeks would make a point without being over the top. Then we can see how this develops. If after the block the issue continues we shall have to discuss taking it further in the appropriate forum. Cheers Faendalimas talk 20:03, 18 August 2015 (UTC)
Sad to say it, but I think we have over-reacted against User: here; only his last edit (adding "euggggfsfstt" to Canis) is genuinely vandalism, the rest are newbie edits done with I reckon an honest motive, just lacking in WS-proceedural nicities. The Canis setup on WS is currently a mess of internal inconsistency, with the genus page listing Canis lycaon and Canis rufus as species, but clicking on their links redirects both to subspecies of Canis lupus. At least at first, User: had been trying (if not to regular WS proceedures - as an IP, he/she wouldn't be able to do the correct page moves) to harmonise the species page taxonomies with that of the genus page. Unfortunately, I'm not fully cognisant of current ideas on canine taxomomy, but I'm fairly sure that C. lycaon and C. rufus are increasingly being treated as valid species, rather than subspecies of C. lupus, so User: was likely right with at least the intention of some of the edits. The whole genus definitely needs some review here. - MPF (talk) 13:22, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
Ok fair point. I shall make a post to them explaining the 2 weeks, and suggest they make an authenticated user account. Then that they utilise the talk page of Canis to discuss needed changes and gain some experience. Faendalimas talk 16:18, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
I disagree with the continuation of a block. A message would have served much better purpose whereas the block is a sign of "you're not welcomed here and go away". I propose to unblock. OhanaUnitedTalk page 22:15, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
I have removed the block, I also did message them yesterday. Cheers Faendalimas talk 12:27, 22 August 2015 (UTC)
Thanks. OhanaUnitedTalk page 17:17, 22 August 2015 (UTC)

Sadly, the user seems to disregard messages on his/her talk page. Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 13:40, 27 August 2015 (UTC).

We cannot have that, I am open to their interpretations, and helping them get the syntax right, but just making changes and ignoring help when its offered on the issues of syntax in particular will make pages unreadable. Suggestions?? Faendalimas talk 16:49, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
These edits are not acceptable, as there are no sources provided. The IP belongs to a Russian provider. I don't speak Russian, but maybe a Google-translation on his/her talk page could help? --Murma174 (talk) 17:13, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
The user @Maxim: is an administrator and bureaucrat here, as well as a native speaker of Russian. Unfortunately he's been on a "wikibreak" from Wikispecies for close to a year but he's also both admin and 'crat on English Wikipedia, where he is still active. I'll try to reach him there. Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 18:20, 27 August 2015 (UTC).
The IP obviously wants to tell, that Canis dingo, Canis familiaris, Canis lycaon and Canis rufus rank in the taxonomy as species and not as subspecies. I tried a wording on the Canis page as "disputed species". Please have a look and correct. --Murma174 (talk) 05:46, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
Well these are outside my area of expertise, however, looking on ITIS they are all listed as subspecies. As a taxonomist I am well aware of the lag time in the updating of ITIS but to overrule a source such as that requires evidence. So if the IP user cannot provide references that elevate these subspecies to species then they should stay as subspecies. Cheers Faendalimas talk 14:19, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
A user, who changes the taxonomy, has to verify it. My suggestion to call these spp./sspp. disputed was based e.g. on this article (which is no scientific resource) --Murma174 (talk) 14:45, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

I'd suggest to continue the discussion on Admins' Noticeboard --Murma174 (talk) 18:03, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Main Page Pictures[edit]

When we select pictures for the Main Page, could we not do more to ensure that we actually have a page for that species? Having red links to species names from our main page makes it look as though we don't really have enough information to be of any use. Accassidy (talk) 07:01, 27 August 2015 (UTC)

One red link removed ;-) Speaking of Template:MP_pictures there are two useful aspects IMO, we could follow:
1) presenting species with a very comprehensive description or 2) presenting species urgently needing a description (red links) --Murma174 (talk) 09:31, 27 August 2015 (UTC)
It is chiefly @OhanaUnited: and yours truly who edits the {{MP pictures}} template. Personally I always try to find good pictures of species without a Wikispecies page (i.e. red linked taxa), as an incitament for all users to go ahead and create the page. Also, I try to fetch all of the five images/species from different regna or at least phyla, as different Wikispecies' users tend to have different interests and fields of expertise. Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 14:03, 27 August 2015 (UTC).
I usually rotate them based on having a variety of species (animal, bird, plant, fungi, bacteria, virus) shown. Of course some freely-licensed pictures (animals and plants) are easier to come across than others (bacteria, virus). OhanaUnitedTalk page 18:16, 28 August 2015 (UTC)

Individual images[edit]

Is it appropriate / useful / wanted, to have an image on biologists pages?
Example: Giovanni Antonio Battarra
Or do we leave the scope of Wikispecies towards Wikipedia with it? Murma174 (talk) 09:38, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

I see no harm in adding a pic. It doesn't cost Wikispecies anything. - MPF (talk) 20:00, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
I agree. IMO adding pictures of an author's family, places of work, authored taxa etc would be a bit much though. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 20:21, 31 August 2015 (UTC).
I agree too, a portrait style picture or something similar of the author does no harm if its available. Cheers Faendalimas talk 20:49, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
I also add pictures of the authors. So yes please continue. OhanaUnitedTalk page 17:30, 1 September 2015 (UTC)


On Commons, Commons:Template:SN for synonyms has an optional parameter |col=2 which forces two columns instead of the default three columns. Useful for synonyms which are often (with their authors) quite long. Could this be implemented here for Template:VN, to use for taxa with have long vernacular names? Currently, these don't wrap well with three columns. Thanks! - MPF (talk) 19:56, 4 September 2015 (UTC)

I see that you have made the change yourself,(diff.) changing the fixed number of three columns to a fixed number of two columns instead. Nothing wrong with that, and it works well. For future versions of the template, I've created the sub-template {{VN/columnstyle}} which can be used to set the number of columns using an optional |col=n parameter instead. In that way the editor can chose the number of columns on a case-to-case basis instead of having to settle for a fixed value of (now) two columns.
However, for the sub-template to work it must first be incorporated in the {{VN}} template code, and that is yet to be done. That template doesn't use the most straight-forward wiki code I've ever seen, so any help from a more wiki code-savvy user is most welcome… :-) Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 06:14, 8 September 2015 (UTC).

Wikidata access is coming[edit]

Hi everyone,

Many Wikimedia projects already have access to Wikidata and make good use of it to improve their content. I wanted to let you know that your project will be among the next to receive access to Wikidata. As a first step we will enable access to the interwiki links. This is currently scheduled for October 20th. If that goes well we will then later also enable access to the actual data from Wikidata. I'll let you know in advance once we get to that point.

I am excited about welcoming you to Wikidata and hope we'll be able to support you well with structured data. If you have questions please come to d:Wikidata:Wikispecies.

Cheers --Lydia Pintscher (WMDE) (talk) 16:11, 9 September 2015 (UTC)

This is really great news! Dan Koehl (talk) 22:47, 12 September 2015 (UTC)
There's a few cases I've seen where the wikidata item for a taxon is titled with an out-of-date name. How does one change this? - MPF (talk) 17:59, 13 September 2015 (UTC)
Well, by editing of course! The title comes from the object's Label, which you should be able to edit. Also you can add aliases for common names and such. FallingGravity (talk) 02:26, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
But how does one edit them? I've found two Wikidata items which are a complete mess, Cyanocorax luxuosus (Q15616389) and Green Jay (Q918078); both refer to the same taxon, but much of the content refers to a second species Inca Jay Cyanocorax yncas. The problem arises because in the past, the two species were lumped together with the scientific name of one combined with the vernacular name of the other, as "Green Jay Cyanocorax yncas". I can't work out how to unmix them at wikidata, when I try to edit parts of one item it refuses to save the changes because of conflicts with the other item. - MPF (talk) 17:43, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
As far as I see, both are still lumped in en:Green jay or de:Grünhäher, whereas in nl:Cyanocorax both species are separated. So the English vernacular name in d:Q918078 reflects the situation in If you want to make a change with interwiki links, you have first to remove the respective link from one Wikidata item, before you can add it to the other. --Franz Xaver (talk) 20:21, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
There is an additional misnamed item Cyanocorax luxosus. --Franz Xaver (talk) 20:28, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
I have redirected the misnamed item. I propose, that first en:Green Jay should be changed to include only C. luxuosus and then it can be added to d:Q15616389. --Franz Xaver (talk) 20:56, 5 October 2015 (UTC)


This new Template:Taxa created by the new user User:Aryamanarora is very helpful IMO. See Carolus Linnaeus --Murma174 (talk) 06:49, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

@Murma174: Why does this template seem like a bad idea? It seems fine to me. —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:59, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
@Murma174: Wow. No, I completely misread your post... That's embarrassing. —Justin (koavf)TCM 14:14, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
@Koavf: That's exactly what Murma174 said... :-) Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 09:30, 15 September 2015 (UTC).
I'm sorry, if my wording was ambiguous. Yes, of course I appreciate this template. It saves a lot of time, when creating a new biologist-page and the corresponding category. --Murma174 (talk) 10:38, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
Thank you! I don't deserve the credit though, I found it on an author page, and thought it would be useful as a template. Aryamanarora (talk) 12:01, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
Extremely useful for reducing keystrokes and probability of typos. You may have found it on one of my author pages from about 6 months ago. I was experimenting with ideas of creating one template to set up entire author page, with only institution, discipline category and defaultsort to add manually. Didn't succeed, and never thought about just making taxa template. Neferkheperre (talk) 12:37, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
The only issue is that categories aren't implemented well - most taxa aren't in author categories. For example, Othniel Charles Marsh. He authored many taxa, but his long name makes it cumbersome to enter the category data. So, I made Template:Marsh taxa. We should do this for major authors. Aryamanarora (talk) 13:33, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

Also just added Template:Author and updated Template:Taxa for customizability. They work well together. Aryamanarora (talk) 21:47, 15 September 2015 (UTC)

While I love the {{Author}} and {{Taxa}} templates, I strongly disagree when it comes to shortening author names in categories or templates. It would be easier, yes, but doing so increases the risk of ambiguity since we can only have one each of {{Smith taxa}}, {{Jones taxa}}, {{Bustamante taxa}}, and so forth. Using identical names in the categories and templates as stated on the actual author pages avoids this altogether. Tommy Kronkvist (talk),22:03, 15 September 2015 (UTC).
It appears so...I'll go ahead and do something with {{Marsh taxa}}, if an administrator can delete it that would be great. Also, for Charles Robert Darwin, the category is [[Category:Charles Darwin taxa]] instead of his full name. Should we change this or leave it as is? Aryamanarora (talk) 22:56, 15 September 2015 (UTC)
As can be seen from interwiki links, most wikipedias have shortened his name to "Charles Darwin". It seems this is unambiguous enough. --Franz Xaver (talk) 07:53, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
I appreciate {{Taxa}}, but {{Author}} is less convincing to me. I dislike categories that are camouflaged in the wikitext, i.e. seem to be some template. This makes editing difficult to newcomers. When I apply {{Author}} as {{subst:author|Person}}, so that the cat is created and visible also in wikitext, it is not much shorter than [[Category:Person taxa]] any more. Would it be possible to change the template so that by default also in wikitext the template is subsituted by the cat? I tried yesterday, but was not successful. --Franz Xaver (talk) 08:11, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
We can either figure out how to use subst: (we need to work on it then) or we make the name shorter, like Template:AT (Author taxa). I can try to do the second option, we'll just have to fix all transclusions of Template:Author. Aryamanarora (talk) 18:32, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
For botanists at least, there are official standard author abbreviations (e.g. L. for Linnaeus); I'd suggest that the templates should be based on these standard abbreviations, to keep link typing short and easy - MPF (talk) 21:56, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
This is trickier than it might seem. As a zoologist he is most often referred to as "Linnaeus" rather than "L." We can of course decide to always only base the templates on the available botanical abbreviations, regardless of kingdom, but I'm afraid that not all of Wikispecies' editors are aware of the fact that some authors can have more than one abbreviation. In those cases we are bound to end up with (sort of…) duplicate categories, since some editors wont now that "L." refers to the same guy as "Linnaeus", hence will go ahead and create a "Linnaeus" template that points to a "Linnaeus" category. In which case the system with "Taxa by author nn" categories wont work since his authored taxa would be divided into two separate categories: one for flora/fungi, and one for other organisms.
It gets worse, since "the father of modern taxonomy" in rare cases actually can be referred to by even more author abbreviations. As a zoologist he can be found as Linnaeus (his 1707 birth name) but also as Linné (his name after being ennobled in 1761) or sometimes even Linn. (especially in older literature). And on top of that of course also L. when referenced to as a botanist. And he's not alone – there are other authors that also have more than one author abbreviation. For instance Francis Raymond Fosberg who generally is referred to by the IPNI standard abbreviation Fosberg but sometimes also can be listed as Fosb. And as far as I know he has only described taxa in Plantae…
Creating a whole bunch of different templates (e.g. Linnaeus, Linné, L. and Linn.) and let all of them point to the same "Taxa by author" category wouldn't work either, since the author name in the attribute of the {{Author}} template (e.g. {{Author|Carolus Linnaeus}}) sets the author name in the name of the category (e.g. Category:Carolus Linnaeus taxa). The same goes for the {{Taxa}} template, which use the {{BASEPAGENAME}} magic word (e.g. the Carolus Linnaeus author page itself) to find the name of the correct category.
As far as I can see (at least for now…) the only way of avoiding all of these pitfalls is to also use the full name of the author pages within the author templates and -categories. But I'm all ears if someone has a neat fix for this, since shorter names would indeed make things easier. :-)
Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 03:22, 18 September 2015 (UTC).
Thanks! Guess I'd rather hoped that it would be possible to use redirects for Linnaeus, L., etc. - MPF (talk) 23:01, 18 September 2015 (UTC)

Range Map[edit]

Why do some articles have range maps like Epidendroideae? Does this fall into the scope of Wikispecies? Also, see Template:Nadi.Aryamanarora (talk) 22:50, 16 September 2015 (UTC)

@Aryamanarora: No, they do not. There was a long discussion about this which I can link the archives if you would like. —Justin (koavf)TCM 22:51, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
@Koavf: If you can, then I'd like to see the link. No hurries though :) Aryamanarora (talk) 23:01, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
@Koavf: Special:WhatLinksHere/Template:Nadi: This shows lots of transclusions. Aryamanarora (talk) 23:05, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
@Aryamanarora: Here are two conversations about maps (which were inconclusive. In my above post, I confused them with the discussion on categories, which were agreed to be deleted). Wikispecies:Village_Pump/Archive_29#The_Distribution_Issue_Revisited and Wikispecies:Village_Pump/Archive_27#Categories.2C_templates_and_disambiguation_terms. —Justin (koavf)TCM 23:06, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
@Orchi: It looks like you added this. Can you explain? Thanks. —Justin (koavf)TCM 22:58, 16 September 2015 (UTC)
@Koavf: you ask for the map of Epidendroideae under the pont "nadi"? Orchi (talk) 19:44, 17 September 2015 (UTC)
@Orchi: Yes, I was asking why you inserted that map. I was mistaken that consensus agreed to not have distribution maps. —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:43, 18 September 2015 (UTC)

It's a long time ago so I can't remember the exact details, but my memory is that the question of adding maps never attracted much opinion, either for or against, so no policy was decided on. Personally, I'm in favour of adding maps where Commons has a map for a taxon. I added a map at Acer platanoides as an example. - MPF (talk) 22:49, 18 September 2015 (UTC)

Open Tree of Life live[edit]

See here. For more explanation: Synthesis of phylogeny and taxonomy into a comprehensive tree of life (PDF).Justin (koavf)TCM 19:09, 21 September 2015 (UTC)

Anuran Phylogeny[edit]

Hi everyone, ok in brief our Amphibian phylogenys is fairly dramatically out of date. However with the higher order taxonomy we have an issue. Fixing it will be a bit messy, requiring a significant number of edits. I have this paper as follows, I made a template for it which includes a download:

  • Blackburn, D. C. & Wake, D. B. (2011). Class Amphibia Gray, 182. In: Zhang, Z.-Q. (Ed.) Animal biodiversity: An outline of higher-level classification and survey of taxonomic richness. Zootaxa 3148:1-55. PDF

Now the thing of note in the Anurans is they no longer recognise suborders (3 of them currently). So all the families should basically just be under the order Anura, this is a lot of families. I am happy to get this happening but wanted to raise it first, since its a big job and would be a huge waste of time if it had to be undone. I have checked with specialists in the field of Amphibian taxonomy and they have certainly moved away from recognising suborders at all. Basically we would have to replace the templates : {{Archaeobatrachia}} ; {{Mesobatrachia}} or {{Neobatrachia}} with the template {{Anura}} to bypass the suborders, could be done with AWB which I have. It is just that it is a lot of families and I want to see what others think first. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 19:43, 22 September 2015 (UTC)

Go ahead! - MPF (talk) 21:22, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
Ok the suborders are gone and set as redirects, all familiesin the order page. All templates repaired for families. Faendalimas talk 21:54, 23 September 2015 (UTC)
Excellent! - MPF (talk) 21:57, 23 September 2015 (UTC)

How to fix inconsistent Taxonavigation[edit]

I found two taxons where the navigation is inconsistent. Namely the following two:

  • On the Squamata page, Squamata comes directly after Reptilia.
  • On the Lepidosauria page, Lepidosauria is one of 5 taxons between Squamata and Reptilia.

I found this because this is causing trouble for a program I wrote that accesses Wikispecies and this is pretty serious for my program because it basically breaks all reptiles. But how would I fix such a thing? I guess the right way to fix it is to include all the missing taxons to Squamata. But since everything is done by templates, I have no idea how to achieve this. I tried reading the documentation on how the templates work, but the documentation only tells me what to do to create a new page, but it doesn't provide enough details to debug this issue. In fact, in my opinion all sites are using the templates correctly. However, the thing that looks a bit weird is the fact that on the Lepidosauria page, the taxonavigation contains the following segment:

  • Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
  • Cladus: Amniota
  • Classis: Reptilia
  • Cladus: Eureptilia
  • Cladus: Romeriida

So there are two cladi, a classis and again two cladi. I don't know whether this is wrong, but maybe that somehow causes the templates to get confused. Anyway, is there anybody who can shed some light on this?— The preceding unsigned comment was added by Lykos42 (talkcontribs) 23:53, 23 September 2015‎.

first up make sure you sign your posts ~~~~ at the end will sign and timestamp it.

Ok what you have his is an example of PhyloCode, phylocode names clades and can name as many of them as it wants. It has been intermingles with the ICZN nomenclature which is done by some. The traditional ones such as Class Reptilia are in there but then other named clades also. I will look at the template and check its ok. In recent times there have been a significant amount of changes to the higher order nomenclature for reptiles, I will have to check what the latest information shows, see if its been accepted and work from there. In areas that are using phylocode you may have to ensure your program can pick up the traditional Class, Order Family, but ignore clades. Clades do not have to be named, and often are not. Some people like to put them in. I did not set up the higher order taxonomy of the reptiles so have not looked at what they have done.

Cheers, Faendalimas talk 00:28, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
Ok, thanks a lot. Sorry for forgetting the signing. I have done some Wiki discussions in the past, but it is so long ago that I forgot about that. Ok, I didn't know about PhyloCode, but your hint of picking up the traditional Class, Order, Family seems like a good solution in my case. -- Lykos42 (talk) 04:12, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
Really, here we should follow ICZN/ICBN which are pretty much official and do not address cladistics. However, cladistics is very important for determining relationships of organisms. Piling clades into traditional taxonomic heirarchy can be confusing. Perhaps we should work out some parallel system of indicating clades for higher level taxonomy. Lately, DNA-based relationships are becoming important and will have to be addressed. Neferkheperre (talk) 19:54, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
Interestingly a lot of the phylocode recently is being done by the paleontologists, no dna in that. They are doing it to try and make a comprimise for the relationships of birds, plus a few other groups, birds appear as a crown group within reptilia. I agree we should follow ICZN/ ICBN nomenclature for now. As I said recently to one of the developers of phylocode "when the world accepts and moves to phylocode I shall too, but until then I have to follow the accepted methods." I think that point is what an encyclopedia should be doing too. Cheers Faendalimas talk 13:37, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

Institution abbreviations and Category:Repositories[edit]

I'd like to raise a few points regarding this area since by and large most editing has been done by User:PeterR, but I have been unable to get any commentary from him.

Generally, I believe this is a good idea. The old "Holotype" page (now renamed Repositories) was always of dubious usefulness in these matters and irregularly edited. However, with a grand categorization scheme being put in place, there seems to be clearly a need for discussion on basic documentation issues. Two major issues that I raised (though without being as specific as I now wished I had been) with PeterR were:

  1. What is the procedure for institutions created under multiple abbreviations?
  2. How exactly do we treat the distinction between a collection and an institution, both as far as abbreviations and categorization go?
  3. How do we deal with the fact Zoology and Botany have different approaches to that very issue?

1) My opinion on the first case is that we are not in any way beholden to the abbreviations used in the source material. This doubly so now that the Global Registry of Biodiversity Repositories (GRBio) specifically exists to provide documented standardized abbreviations. Abbreviations are only a shorthand to the institution names and as such there is no reason to not standardize them ruthlessly (without touching to specimen numbers themselves, of course). Documenting alternative abbreviations (and even creating redirects) is also a good idea, but not merging them not only perpetuates but in fact also amplifies the problems with the original Repositories page.

2) On the second case, the issue has more to do with classification: most "collections" are currently categorised under category:repositories instead of being subcategories under the relevant institutions (which comes as an issue where there is no connection between the abbreviations, as with the various FIOCRUZ collections). There is also little to no standardization in the way they are created, as with the FIOCRUZ collections vs. LACM vs. MNHN. Note that we also

3) Botany has for decades had a well-established, curated and standardized list of abbreviations (Index Herbariorum) for major herbariums.[1] Because it is not concerned with identifying institutions and only with straightforward, short abbreviations, in many cases there are major differences. Two examples:

  • The proper institution abbreviation for the Universidad Nacional de Colombia (or more accurately its Instituto de Ciencias Naturales) is apparently ICNMHN (we have it as ICN-MHN), but the national herbarium (part of the institution) is known as COL.
  • From the point of view of Index Herbariorum, NHN does not exists, but there are three distinct collections now assembled at NHN: AMD (formerly Amsterdam, moved to L in 2007 and kept separate), L (Formerly Leiden Brench) and WAG (formerly Wageningen).
  1. I'm amazed we also have one for publications (books and periodicals alike), something which is as far as I can tell completely nonexistent for zoology.

Circeus (talk) 05:35, 26 September 2015 (UTC)

Institutions may change their name and acronym, but the Index Herbariorum codes are much more constant. E.g. LE (formerly Leningrad) is still used for the herbarium of the Komarov Botanical Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia. For botany, only the Index Herbariorum codes make sense. Everything else would create confusion. In the acronyms of institutions, the letters M (museum) N (natural, national) and H (history) are used too often, which results in a lot of similar acronyms. It's hard to keep these in mind. --Franz Xaver (talk) 07:16, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
The contact person for museums etc. is Neferkheperre. On my talk page he have answer already about the problems. So if you want know more, please contact him. I'm now three weeks in Portugal. PeterR (talk) 10:02, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
First, I won't be able to contribute fully until Tuesday, due to my stepmom's birthday blast tomorrow. However, category Repositories is very workable system. GRBio is very useful to work out acronyms. Several things are notable: (1) Botanists have systematized repository acronyms much better than zoologists. In every case, botanical and zoological collections are separate. (2) Many large repositories have subdivided their collections into taxonomic categories. This is because some type collections are becoming gargantuan. In some cases, collections have separate acronyms (CAS, FIOCRUZ). In others, (see SIO), main museum acronym is used, with prefixes to indicate which collection. I have much more to add, as this needs to be tailored better, but we do need to consider that one institution should gather together all previous and subsidiary acronyms under one acronym. Redirects will be necessary. Neferkheperre (talk) 20:43, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
Here is what ICZN has to say about repositories:
"Recommendation 72F. Institutional responsibility. Every institution in which name-bearing types are deposited should
72F.1 ensure that all are clearly marked so that they will be unmistakably recognized as name-bearing types;
72F.2 take all necessary steps for their safe preservation;
72F.3 make them accessible for study;
72F.4 publish lists of name-bearing types in its possession or custody; and
72F.5 so far as possible, communicate information concerning name-bearing types when requested."
Neferkheperre (talk) 20:43, 27 September 2015 (UTC)

I applaud attempts to create standardisation. However, it seems that even the quoted Global Registry of Biodiversity Repositories cannot reduce ambiguity completely. I just searched Natural History Museum London, and got 2 options: BM<IH> for "Natural History Museum Department of Botany" and NHMUK for "Natural History Museum, London". Currently, most relevant pages in Lepidoptera quote BMNH. How can we standardise if there is no standard? Keep a master list under Repositories and convert any duplications to Redirects? To change all the existing BMNH to a different 'standard' (if it existed) would only sensibly be achieved with a Bot. Accassidy (talk) 10:47, 29 September 2015 (UTC)

As it seems, what you quote as BM<IH> actually is BM, and "<IH>" means this is the code from Index Herbariorum. As far as it concerns collections not covered by Index Herbariorum, it is still a bit messy. Searching for the institution code "BNHM" results in two entries with exact the same acronym: Beijing Natural History Museum, Bombay Natural History Museum. --Franz Xaver (talk) 12:39, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
GrBio seems aware of the issues with the process they are trying to lead. They are mostly user-fed, and they in fact maintain a list of ambiguous acronyms and have an outstanding call for information about them, but admittedly it's not clear they're making much of an effort to contact these institutions rather than passively waiting for information to come in.
I launched this thread mostly to discuss how Wikispecies specifically wishes to deal with these issues, and was pointing out toward GrBio as primarily a possible source for unambiguous acronyms were we have several listed. Circeus (talk) 20:42, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

Proposed "style guide"[edit]

(See Wikispecies:Nontaxa pages.)

The main points on the above page:

  1. Institutions are assigned a single standardized abbreviation for use on Wikispecies, and that abbreviation is used for their page- and category name. (This means all existing duplicates are to be merged when found)
    1. The institution page is in Category:Repositories and serves as the main page within its own category
  2. This abbreviation is used regardless of the one used in the source for any given taxon page, as long as the institution is the same.
  3. Pages should document past and alternative abbreviations and redirects or disambiguation pages created for such.
  4. Collections have their own categories and codes, but no individual pages.
  5. Collection abbreviation redirect to the relevant institution page, where all information for the collection is given.
    1. This redirect should be listed in the collection category as the main page.
  6. Only institution categories are listed in Category:Repositories. Collections are listed under the relevant institution category (and/or possibly a separate Category:Collections).

This leaves a few issues unaddressed:

  • We may want to rename Category:Repositories to the slightly more intuitive Category:Institutions, especially since moving colelctin categories under the parent institutions seemed to be approved by commenters.
  • Collections and institutions are still treated within the same namespace. GrBio treats them as separate categories, so they don't have the issue of potentially running into a collection and an institution sharing an acronym. We do, because both collections and institutions have their own categories.
    • I personally favor systematically preceding the collection with the institution acronym and a hyphen.
  • Index Herbariorum acronym are still kept in use with a similar set of issues.
    • This can be partly solved either by the GrBio solution of appending "IH" (or _(IH)" in our case since we can't use angle brackets) to the acronyms, and by treating the herbarium as a collection whenever possible.
  • I'm leaving out to be sorted later the amount of work, if any, we want to do to follow GrBio abbreviations (besides how people seem to agree on using Index Herbariorum abbreviations). However, if we choose to go our own way, it may be a lot of work if we later decide to move to GrBio abbreviations to avoid idiosyncratic usage.

Circeus (talk) 22:23, 30 September 2015 (UTC)

@Circeus: I agree with most of your remarks regarding repository standardization. However, there's a major obstacle on the way to implementing it, namely the data available to the average WS editor. Mostly, the average editor doesn't have at his disposal the full article where the concerned species is described and where the full name of the institution where it resides is specified. I for myself often struggle to obtain articles from obscure journals to verify the holotype data. It would require an exceptional amount of work and perseverance to get and to verify the repository names. Mariusm (talk) 04:09, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
couple of things. Some institutions have changed their acronyms over the years, the obvious one is British Museum was BMNH is now NHM, but a more recent one is the Dresden Museum fur Teirkund was MTKD is now MTD, keeping up with those can be hard. Also for Zoology if your not sure ask me I have had to visit many of these museums so tend to know their official acronyms. I cannot be so helpful with botany, sorry. Cheers Faendalimas talk 06:43, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
You mean Museum für Tierkunde Dresden. --Franz Xaver (talk) 09:42, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
Yes sorry did that off the top of my head, but it makes older papers harder to track. Cheers Faendalimas talk 10:40, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
@Mariusm: This is no obstacle at all. The standardization obviously cannot be applied if the institution is unknown in the first place (in which case specimen data about the name-bearing type, if any, will be unknown anyway), but it should be once that information is available, or am I completely misunderstanding your point? Circeus (talk) 13:11, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
@Circeus: I mean when an editor has only the residence acronym for a certain species (say from a catalog or from species-list) but cannot access the article where the species was originally described. How can the editor verify what the acronym he got stands for without having the full article? Mariusm (talk) 13:38, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
@Mariusm: If the acronym is entirely impossible to associate with a known institution, then that should be indicated in the article. Maybe a category for unknown and ambiguous repositories can be created to house such cases where e.g. the acronym is too idiosyncratic, or 100% ambiguous between two or more institutions. I don't, however, consider an acronym that can be easily associated with an institution ambiguous just because that institution is not listed in the article. If it turns out that the user mistook an institution for another, well, isn't that exactly why this website is a frickin' wiki? So these can be fixed quickly and efficiently when errors are found and documented? Circeus (talk) 14:03, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
@Faendalimas: Acronyms of this sort have a strong staying power. Many publications still use BMNH over the more recent NHMUK (so do we, I should point out!). In fact, Index Herbariorum never changed an acronym no matter what happened to the collection (it continues listing closed herbariums precisely to offer trackability, I'm recommending redirection instead, with the same result).
In many instances, acronyms are changed little because new unforeseen homonymies may then arise, and because of the disconnect with older publications. You mention Museum for Tierkunde Dresden as an example, but many sources just continue using MTKD as the preferred acronym (e.g. Sabaj Pérez 2014), especially since it is still perfectly applicable to the name. My recommendation does enshrine the current best practice of documenting and redirecting as many alternate acronyms as possible.
I'm not sure what the actual issue is supposed to be about, honestly, and I'd like to see examples of problems in articles that these guidelines create rather than such theories that don't seem to be actual problems as long as we do the job right (i.e. of documenting and redirecting alternate acronyms). Circeus (talk) 13:11, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
@Circeus: I agree with your points, many of these acronyms have very strong staying power. However, all I was point out is that some have changed and whatever we do must try to account for that when it occurs, redirects is a good way to do this. With MTKD they changed their acronym last year, I only found out because I recently published a taxonomic review using one of their specimens and one of the reviewers was from there and told me and asked me to change this in my paper. So I did not know either. It has not become general knowledge yet. Just something to be mindful of (ref = Thomson et al, 2015 pdf preview). Cheers, Faendalimas talk 11:33, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
I've received a response from GrBio regarding BNMH/NHMUK and it seems to imply their policy (which could REALLY use some paper to explain their processes, btw) is more akin to ISBNs: change of names lead to new acronyms. Can't say I like it, but in theory current institutions will still all have distinct acronyms. Circeus (talk) 01:07, 4 October 2015 (UTC)
@Circeus: One other thing I thought of, sorry. Those museums that do change their acronyms do not usually change this on the specimens. There is a reason for this, for example. the lectotype of Elseya dentata is BMNH 1947.3.6.2 from the NHM. If they change on the specimen label the acronym BMNH they are in effect changing the id. number of the specimen. Plus it would be a curatorial nightmare. So what appears on the label will stay as BMNH if it was labelled while that was their acronym. New specimens will have NHM. Hence this is another reason that for those institutions that have changed their names, hence acronyms, it's important to have a track of these via redirects or something. This is also important as when for example I do a review of the taxonomy I state the id. number of the specimen as it appears on the specimen, irrespective of whether the museum is now known differently. At least for type specimens. Another option is that for where we have pages for the institution eg Natural History Museum have on that page a section giving the known acronyms if there is more than one. Cheers, Faendalimas talk 11:43, 6 October 2015 (UTC)