Wikispecies:Village Pump

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Collembola: entomologists?[edit]

Are people who work on Collembola considered entomologists? Or should we have a new category Category:Collembologists? Korg (talk) 11:10, 5 December 2016 (UTC)

In my opinion they should not be considered entomologists, since these days Collembola aren't insects anymore... However instead calling them "collembologists" might be a bit premature, at least until there is some more research done on Entognatha. To some degree this is also reflected by Google: a search for "collembologist" will only give you 694 hits. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 07:46, 1 January 2017 (UTC).

Article creation wizard discussion[edit]

Hi all,

This proposal suggests WMF to fund the writing of an article creation wizard at Wikipedia, but with enough interest it may -- or may it not? -- be expanded to write an article creation wizards framework or library for use at non-Wikipedia wikis, such as here. If desired, please join the discussion before December 12. (I've sent this message to English wikis; I ask you to deliver it to non-English wikis, if you can. Even delivering it in English there may be better than nothing.)

  • What tools do we use here, now, to make article creation easier for newbies?
  • What requirements do we have for a potential implementation?
  • How would you like to inform the people of the article creation perks and difficulties on this wiki?
  • What else needs to be considered?

Thanks. --Gryllida (talk) 03:53, 6 December 2016 (UTC)

Template Nomen[edit]

Hello. Does anybody have a use for the template {{Nomen}} and indeed what actually does it do? One thing it does do apparently, is to make the use of bots to make widespread changes very much more difficult. It is used on approximately 3900 pages, mostly zoological. I have removed it from a number of plant and zoological pages and have had no feedback or complaints. I am proposing we discuss the complete removal of this template. I have feeling that it may have to be largely manually removed, as it embeds key information, but perhaps somebody more knowledgeable can enlighten us. Thank you for your time and input. Regards Andyboorman (talk) 16:45, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

This template, along with Syn created collapse boxes to click on for detailed information. They are disabled, and I have been removing them as I have been updating Cirripedia. That probably will remove no more than 1000. Most others are probably with insects. Neferkheperre (talk) 18:44, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
I find the {{Nomen}} template pretty much useless and in my opinion it should be deleted, together with the already disapproved {{Syn}} template (currently used on approximately 970 pages). I'm prepared to delete all occurrences of them both before January 1, should the community decide that we don't want them. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 07:55, 8 December 2016 (UTC).
I agree. Should be removed. --Franz Xaver (talk) 09:53, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
I also agree they should be removed, I also have been removing them, as and when I come across. Andyboorman (talk) 10:42, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
As long as contained information survives. Neferkheperre (talk) 13:27, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Nomen nudum or not?[edit]

Recently, the Plant List replaced the widely-used name Widdringtonia cedarbergensis J.A.Marsh by the older name Widdringtonia wallichii Endl. ex Carr. Marsh's name (protologue) was coined because he considered W. wallichii (protologue) to be a nomen nudum with no description. Looking at Endlicher's protologue, I agree with Marsh, and consider the Plant List to be in error. Therefore, I'd like to return the page to W. cedarbergensis, but (particularly with the Plant List being considered the top botanical authority by some at least) would appreciate opinions from one or two others familiar with defining nomina nuda before going ahead. Thanks! - MPF (talk) 23:18, 7 December 2016 (UTC)

To answer myself - turns out W. wallichii does have a valid description later, here. - MPF (talk) 23:34, 7 December 2016 (UTC)
The Plant List is an automatic compilation from different sources, certainly not the top authority, but only a starting point, where you can find the path to some reliable sources. In this case, the entry was based on WCSP. Anyway, I agree that Endlicher's protologue is missing a description or diagnosis (see ICN Art. 38). If there is not at least one character given, which distinguishes the new taxon from other taxa, the new name is not validly published. In this case, Endlicher only states, that it is different, but does not tell any distinguishing characters. That's certainly not sufficient. However, Endlicher gives a reference to Hook.f., London J. Bot. 4: 141(–142). If there were given some distinguishing characters (= diagnosis) or a (short) description, this could validate Endlicher's protologue. However, at the end of the page, we can find only the sentence "Dr. Wallich has sent another Pachylepis from South Africa certainly distinct from P. cupressoides, which may however be the C.stricta." So, this reference does not change anything. Endlicher published a nom. nud., which however was validated by Carrière. I am not sure, if Marsh's name actually is a nom. illeg. superfl. (see ICN Art. 52), as he does not explicitly cite Carrière's description. It depends on the typification of Carrière's name. If it's holotype or all syntypes were listed by Marsh in the list of included specimens, this actually would make the new name illegitimate. Moreover, I did not check, if one of the references listed by Marsh gives a reference to Carrière's description. I am not sure, if this could make the name illegitimate under ICN Art. 52.2 (e). --Franz Xaver (talk) 01:21, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
Excellent, thanks! - MPF (talk) 10:42, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

Hello @MPF: and @Franz Xaver: I have a couple of points to make. Firstly, I agree with Franz that the Plant List is not an authority, but it is very good at generating a basic list to be checked using the CSV files. It is also not updated regularly the last update was 2012. WCSP is an authority, but not perfect and sometimes can be in error or there can be discussions to be had, however, they are contactable - see the site and are willing to discuss and explain. Now with Widdringtonia there is a disagreement between WCSP and the African Plant Database concerning the status of Widdringtonia cedarbergensis, Widdringtonia wallichii and also the synonymy with Widdringtonia nodiflora. See WCSP Widdringtonia wallichii, APD Widdringtonia wallichii, APD Widdringtonia cedarbergensis, WCSP Widdringtonia nodiflora and APD Widdringtonia nodiflora. In this sort of case I contact WCSP and ask the questions! I would recommend that you do so here and sorry about the spanner in the works so to speak. Andyboorman (talk) 17:26, 8 December 2016 (UTC)

@Andyboorman, MPF: Hello! I have to add, that also APD can be contacted and is reacting positively to suggestions. In this case, I suspect there to be an issue with the typification of Widdringtonia wallichii Endl. ex Carrière and/or the identification of the Wallich specimens. It seems possible, that Carrière's name has to be typified with some collections different from the mentioned Wallich specimens. Moreover, Widdringtonia wallichii Endl. (APD) and Widdringtonia wallichii Endl. ex Carrière (WCSP) not necessarily do belong to the same species. Carrière could have merely used Endlicher's name, but could have described something different. So, this apparent contradiction between APD and WCSP actually maybe is non-existent. Probably the answer is in one of the books by A.Farjon. Regards --Franz Xaver (talk) 18:57, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
OK, I have checked for Wallich's specimens in BM and K. Both were revised by A.Farjon, the one in K (lectotype of Endlicher's name) as W. nodiflora, the other collections in BM as W. cedarbergensis. I am still missing an information on the type of Carrière's name. I could not find anything in P. --Franz Xaver (talk) 19:30, 8 December 2016 (UTC)
@Franz Xaver: and @MPF: Franz your logic vis a vis Widdringtonia wallichii Endl. (APD) and W. wallichii Endl. ex Carr. seems very reasonable. A.Farjon recognises Widdringtonia cedarbergensis and W. nodiflora, but not W. wallichii Endl. ex Carr. in his A Handbook of the World's Conifers, 2012. WCSP note him as a reference extensively, but not for W. wallichii Endl. ex Carr. Incidentally and not unexpectedly, Oxford University's Conifers of the World follows Farjon as he helped develop the resource. It also does not mention W. wallichii Endl. ex Carr. at all, but there could be clues in this extensive database. I can only assume that WCSP made their changes subsequent to publication of A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Anybody contacted WCSP or APD yet? Regards Andyboorman (talk) 14:10, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
@Andyboorman, MPF: OK, if in the book from 2012 W. cedarbergensis still is upheld, it will be best to contact WCSP, who deviate from this. APD seems to reproduce an older state of knowledge. I did not contact any of them. Regards --Franz Xaver (talk) 14:43, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
@Franz Xaver: and @MPF: I will contact WCSP, but I predict that they have not made an error, as their change was in the last couple of years, but perhaps have an opinion contrary to the book. However, their reasoning will be interesting. I will update next week when I hear. Andyboorman (talk) 15:11, 9 December 2016 (UTC)
Thanks all! Yep, the change is a recent one; clearly the original 1847 W. wallichii Endl. is a nom. nud.; presumably what happened is that the validation of the name by Carrière in 1867 was overlooked by later writers such as Farjon. It isn't the first valid name to be overlooked, of course. Of the BM and K specimens that @Franz Xaver: linked to, I would not set much store by Farjon's determinavit slips; I regret to say, I have seen a number of clear misidentifications on his determinavit slips on other specimens. - MPF (talk) 19:22, 9 December 2016 (UTC)

@Franz Xaver: and @MPF: I have heard back from Kew and your analyses are correct. To quote "W. wallichii Carriere (1867) is a valid name but has never been typified. W. cedarbergensis is superfluous, as it includes W. wallichii so the name cannot be used." They also go on to say that it is unlikely that there is a Carriere type for the 1867 name (though not impossible), therefore a neotype will need to be designated and ideally this should be the holotype of W. cedarbergensis. In addition they do not deal with W. wallichii Endl. as it is nom. nud. and they generally do not include invalid names on their synonymy, but they confirm that it is likely to be synonym of W. nodiflora. Hope this helps, I will add the synonymies using WCSP not APD or Farjon. Andyboorman (talk) 11:38, 11 December 2016 (UTC)

Thanks! Re "a neotype will need to be designated and ideally this should be the holotype of W. cedarbergensis" - until this has been done, presumably we can't say the two names are homotypic? - MPF (talk) 16:20, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
@Andyboorman, MPF: Thanks for contacting Kew. In my opinion, the rationale that W. cedarbergensis is a nom. illeg. superfl. can only be accepted based on the fact, that both Marsh and Carrière cite Endlicher's protologue of W. wallichii, who mentioned Wallich's specimens. I don't know, if Carrière could have seen these specimens. If yes, this could be regarded as original material, and a lectotype should be selected from these. However, Carrière's description most likely was based on a living plant – he was "chef de culture" of the living plants collection at Muséum nationale d'histoire naturelle in Paris – see [1]. His statement on W. wallichii in an earlier edition of "Traité général" [2] suggests, that he had it in the Paris live collection. So, it seems possible that there exists some specimen in P, collected before 1867 from the living plant cultivated there and used by Carrière for his description. If yes, this would be the type specimen. Anyway, as according to ICN Art. 52.1 nomenclatural superfluity requires definite inclusion of the type of an older name, it is difficult to argue that W. cedarbergensis is superfluous, when for Carrière's name no original material is extant and thus cannot have been cited by Marsh, and when Marsh did not cite Carrière's protologue. A selection of the holotype of W. cedarbergensis as a neotype of W. wallichii Endl. ex Carrière would make both names homotypic, but not cause W. cedarbergensis to be illegitimate, as such a neotype would not be a "previously designated type" under Art. 52.2. --Franz Xaver (talk) 18:30, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
In short: The inclusion of W. wallichii Endl. by Marsh does not make W. cedarbergensis illegitimate, when W. wallichii Endl. and W. wallichii Endl. ex Carrière are not homotypic. --Franz Xaver (talk) 18:54, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
@Franz Xaver: So W. cedarbergensis is just a synonym in your opinion? Andyboorman (talk) 19:51, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
Yes, as far as I see, it is just a younger synonym. So, the name could again come into use, if by typification of Carrière's name it should turn out, that also this name would fall into synonymy of W. nodiflora. As long as it is not typified, everything is possible. --Franz Xaver (talk) 21:08, 11 December 2016 (UTC)
Endlicher's nomen nudum may well have been supported by a herbarium specimen somewhere, though unfortunately, many of his specimens were destroyed in WWII. I think it can be presumed that he obtained seed, which he passed on to Paris where Carrière grew it and described the plant from the seedlings. That Carrière cited Endlicher as the author of the name strongly suggests his plants derived directly from Endlicher's named specimens; there is no reason to suggest the two names refer to different taxa. Carrière is well-known for not keeping herbarium material of his plants, so we can be fairly certain that there is no original material for Carrière's description, but if any of Endlicher's material is ever traced (unlikely!) it would be a good lectotype. Carrière's description of the foliage is 100% consistent with seedlings (alternate juvenile leaves, and opposite adult scale leaves), but what is interesting is his description of the tree size & shape ("Arbre pyramidal ..." et seq.) - where did he get those details from? Correspondance from Endlicher, perhaps? Or could there be some other earlier published description overlooked somewhere? - MPF (talk) 01:16, 12 December 2016 (UTC)
@MPF: I don't think, that Endlicher actually did play an essential role here. He most likely only repeated in other words, what Hook.f. had written in London J. Bot. 4: 141, and, yes, he baptised the species. (Please, compare both, and also Carrière 1855. There are the same pieces of information.) I suppose, if Endlicher had seen a specimen, he would have given a short description. So, the basis of Endlicher's name would be the Wallich specimens in BM and K. If Endlicher had received a duplicate from the Wallich collections, it is probably lost. Anyway, a specimen seen by Endlicher but not by Carrière cannot be regarded as original material of Carrière's description. (However, it could be used as a neotype.) Paris probably got seeds directly from England. Carrière could have received additional information together with the seeds in a letter, possibly from Kew Gardens (J.D.Hooker). There certainly was some exchange between these institutions. Either this additional information had its basis in notes of the original collector Wallich, or there were reports from later (British) travellers to the Cape. In the latter case, a confusion with a different species (W. nodiflora?) cannot fully be excluded. Anyway, Carrière most likely had only a juvenile plant. He writes in 1867, that the plant was frozen in Paris ("Gèle à Paris"). As he gives some indication in 1855, that he had the plant in his live collection, he would have received seeds around 1850. In my opinion, the ID of the Wallich specimens in BM and K should be checked again, and a neotype for W. wallichii selected from these. --Franz Xaver (talk) 08:12, 12 December 2016 (UTC)


Anyone interested in this genus? Some splitting of it here, for anyone that wants to add it. Full details in the cited refs at the end. - MPF (talk) 21:24, 14 December 2016 (UTC)

Thanks for sharing the information. Great! On page 63 of the publication in PhytoKeys (doi: 10.3897/phytokeys.71.9203), they used one of my photos I had uploaded on Commons: File:Caesalpinia godefroyana 1.jpg The splitting of Caesalpinia is no surprise. I am waiting since about five years, this would happen sometimes. --Franz Xaver (talk) 21:55, 14 December 2016 (UTC)
Have added a couple of references. Andyboorman (talk) 16:48, 16 December 2016 (UTC)

Re: Template:VN[edit]

Apparently the thread here was archived, but to answer your question: Implementing the new version of VN would be replacing the content of Template:VN with that of Template:VN/sandbox, not adding it to it. --Yair rand (talk) 21:38, 15 December 2016 (UTC)

Thank you. The {{VN}} template is now updated. –Tommy Kronkvist, 14:20, 16 December 2016 (UTC).
I notice that English vernacular names are now automatically uncapitalised irrespective of the input. Typically in English many authorities use capital letters, but I guess it is not that important. The en option seems to disappear as well. Are these features of the new "improved" template? Andyboorman (talk) 13:03, 17 December 2016 (UTC)
Hello @Andyboorman: The vernacular names should of course be capitalised, as is also noted in the Help:Vernacular names section. As you say it's not hugely important, but still... The trouble here is that the data is automatically copied from the Wikidata Property called "taxon common name" (P1843), and if listed uncapitalised there then the names will be rendered using only minuscules in Wikispecies as well. An example of that is the Wikidata item Q608215 which mirrors the uncapitalised vernacular name "nicker" (rather than "Nicker") to the Wikispecies Caesalpinia page. Compare this to the Wikidata item Q18498 which instead uses capitalised vernacular names – the result can be seen on our Canis lupus page, complete with capitals.
As for the "en" option gone missing, yes it has, and no it hasn't... The Wikidata "taxon common name" property overrides any vernacular name listed in the Wikispecies pages: if there is an English vernacular name listed at Wikidata, any English vernacular name on the corresponding Wikispecies page will be ignored. The opposite is true as well: if no English VN is listed at Wikidata, then all English VN's listed on Wikispecies will be shown instead.
Note that this is language specific. It is easy to see whether a VN is derived from the Wikispecies page itself, or from Wikidata. Again using the Canis lupus page as an example, all vernacular names fetched from Wikidata are listed without a leading asterisk (English, French, German and Spanish: again, Q18498), whereas the rest (58 languages) are fetched from the Wikispecies page itself and marked with a leading asterisk for each language. I'm sure that in time more and more non-English vernacular names will be added to Wikidata, so that they all reach the same "status", so to speak.
Indeed the system is not yet perfect, but it is my belief that using Wikidata as a main database for these types of data is the right way to go. It will help linking material from all of the different Wikimedia sister projects in the best possible way, so that data not found in for instance Wikipedia can instead be easily found in Wikispecies, and vice versa. Personally I still think we should rid the Wikispecies taxon pages from all vernacular names, or instead perhaps move them all to a few exclusive "vernacular names" pages, with links to the respective taxon pages. This could easily be done by a bot, and would help unclutter the taxon pages. But that's my personal opinion, and another matter. All the best, Tommy Kronkvist, 14:16, 17 December 2016 (UTC).< br />
(The above edits were moved from User talk:Tommy Kronkvist at 18:04, 17 December 2016 (UTC).
Unfortunately, it is pulling in a whole lot of junk (inaccurate names, names attributed to the wrong language, bad capitalisation, cluttering with multiple names in a single language, etc.) and duplication (same names repeated multiple times). Looking really ghastly, and very confusing - it is going to be really hard for casual readers to know which vernacular name is correct in each language. It would be nice if a vernacular name included here with a particular language code could over-ride imports from wikidata so that only the name here is shown. Until then, can the whole mess be turned off? - MPF (talk) 01:22, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
I have now got to agree with @MPF: there really is a lot of junk coming over from Wikidata. Can we stop the process now and revert back to where we were, then have a discussion about the value of vernacular names on WS. At the moment VN is best deleted, which may not what people want! Andyboorman (talk) 10:26, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
If we decide to (temporarily or not) change back to the "Wikispecies only" vernacular names, reverting to the prior version of the VN template is only two click away. Personally I haven't spotted any problems with the new version, but that is most likely due to the fact that I would like to see the vernacular names section gone altogether, hence very seldom read it... In any case, discussing the purpose and value of WS vernacular names as such should probably be done in a separate thread. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 09:32, 19 December 2016 (UTC).
@MPF, Andyboorman: If there is junk imported by this template, I am very much in favour of correcting this on Wikidata. Anyway, can you give examples? --Franz Xaver (talk) 10:08, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
@Franz Xaver: One important issue that would fix a lot is to create the language en-us (American) at Wikidata (very surprisingly, it hasn't been made there, even though en-ca [Canadian] has been), and change all the vernacular names imported from USDA Plants frm 'en' to 'en-us', so they are correctly listed as American names, and not (as at present) incorrectly as English names. While at it, adding en-au (Australian), en-za (South African) and en-in (Indian English) would also be helpful. I'd do it myself, but don't have the computing skills needed to add languages (needs understanding of something called "phabricator"). - MPF (talk) 11:09, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
@MPF: OK, I understand. There exist similar issues in German between Austria, Germany and Switzerland – see e.g. Pinus cembra. Drawing parallels, I suppose that also en-br (British) should be implemented. So, vernacular names that are used in all the English speaking world would be "English", but other names would be restricted to UK, USA, Canada, Australia etc. I understand, that "English" is derived from England, but I suppose that also US-Americans are claiming to speak English. So, a vernacular name restricted to England/UK, should better be marked as British. I don't know, if it would be necessary to subdivide even further, e.g. Scotland? --Franz Xaver (talk) 11:53, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
@Franz Xaver: Thanks! There is already an "en-gb" but in general, I'd say that English is first and foremost the language of English people, so should be added as straight 'en' (particularly for taxa that are native in the region); one option would be to call en-us "American English" rather than just "American", though it is a bit cumbersome. On Scotland, etc., English names for plants are regulated by BSBI with just one official standard name for each taxon, and similarly for most if not all other taxa groups. There are a few very local regional names (particularly for birds in Shetland, e.g. 'Bonxie' for Stercorarius skua), but I'd say these are beyond the remit of Wikidata as well as Wikispecies. - MPF (talk) 15:32, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
Fixed the capitalization issue. --Yair rand (talk) 18:56, 18 December 2016 (UTC)
Great! Formatting all of the vernacular names in the same way, whether fetched from Wikidata or not, is a good thing. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 09:32, 19 December 2016 (UTC).
Excellent, thanks! - MPF (talk) 11:09, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
This still can lead to some "duplicates", of sorts. See for instance Cyanistes teneriffae (African Blue Tit) which exclusively utilises Wikidata for the vernacular names. The corresponding Wikidata item (Q10546857) lists both "Herrerillo Canario" and "Herrerillo canario" (i.e. "tit from the Canary Islands") as Spanish vernacular names. Since the "auto-caps" feature only works for the very first word in a vernacular name they are both rendered in the exact same way here in Wikispecies as well, with one "canario" using lower case initials. Compare this to the Swedish vernacular name of the same species: Wikidata lists "Koboltmes" and "koboltmes" (i.e. "cobalt blue tit"), but since that vernacular name only consists of one word they are both rendered as "Koboltmes" and "Koboltmes" in Wikispecies, i.e. both capitalised. I guess the main problem here is that Wikidata accepts users to input data into its database in a fairly haphazardous manner, but the troubles spills over to our side of the fence, nonetheless... –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 12:29, 19 December 2016 (UTC).
It seems that most of the vernacular names at WD, are imported by bot or similar tools from somewhere. Concerning this Swedish example of "Koboltmes", WD is telling, that one of both entries was imported from Wikispecies. So, deleting this should be acceptable to fix this "duplicate". --Franz Xaver (talk) 12:44, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
Some languages (such as Spanish [3]) not capitalize vernacular names as in English. Then "Herrerillo canario" is the correct form. Burmeister (talk) 14:48, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
I've merged the duplicates at Wikidata on the cited Cyanistes teneriffae, but it will be tedious to do so for everything, unless a bot can be set to do it. - MPF (talk) 15:32, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
Note: In Swedish the vernacular names are not capitalised at all. If "Herrerillo canario" were a Swedish vernacular name it would be formatted as "herrerillo canario", using only lower caps. In consequence we write "blåval" for Blue Whale (Balaenoptera musculus), "vandringsalbatross" for Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans), "gråvarg" for Gray Wolf (Canis lupus), etc. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 09:45, 23 December 2016 (UTC).
Even at the start of a sentence, or in a list like the index of a book? Because that is how the VN list should be considered; items in it are not in the middle of a sentence! - MPF (talk) 12:27, 24 December 2016 (UTC)

The use of vernacular names – or not?[edit]

A bit of a spanner in the works and a question - is VN really worth it? Just take Primula veris BSBI common name Cowslip, but UK vernacular names include, in alphabetical order; Bedlam cowslip, buckles, common cowslip, crewel, cuy lippe, fairy cup, galligaskins, gaskins, herb Peter, key flower, keywort, key of heaven, lady's bunch of keys, lady's candlestick, lady's keys, lady's seal, luck flower, paggles, paigle, paiglewort, palseywort, palsywort, paralysis, peggles, petty mullein, plumrocks, primerole, primet, St Peter's wort and tittypines - all wonderful names! Of course we can have a policy that en (GB) uses only Cowslip. However, Wikidata should really include all of the above plus others as they come light, surely? Is this not the time to question the role and value of VN on WS? Looking at some of the current lists I do wonder. Andyboorman (talk) 19:55, 19 December 2016 (UTC)

That's why the Wikispecies VN guidelines say what they say ;-) "Note that as vernacular names are not an important part of Wikispecies, the vernacular names list in Wikispecies is only a summary; it is not intended to be a comprehensive listing of every local variant that has ever been used. Only include one name per language, which should generally be the standard name used in official publications in the relevant language (such as the IOC World Bird Names list, or the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland plant list)." I think it is a good idea to include the official standard name in each language, but definitely not a good idea to include all those mostly long-forgotten archaic names, it just confuses readers and isn't in our scope - MPF (talk) 21:34, 19 December 2016 (UTC)
The use of Wikidata to import VN to WS has made me once again question the value and use of these names. In addition, is filtering Wikidata for standard names for all languages at all possible? How realistic is the fact checking? Some plant taxon pages have become largely an exercise in generally substantiated synonymy, but then to add a large list of largely unsubstantiated VN - I do now seriously question the later and would be happy to discuss getting rid of the section. Andyboorman (talk) 14:21, 23 December 2016 (UTC)
I really question how worthly VN is at WS, pages are becoming to have 60% or more of the text occupied by dozens of names. I would leave official name in English as used by almost all the classifications and one name, official when existing, for each language where the sp occurs. Or nothing.--Hector Bottai (talk) 18:42, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
@Hector Bottai: Yes, exactly right; that's what the current VN guidelines already state, though they have unfortunately not been followed by some contributors. As the Wikidata import doesn't allow for this, we should delink from it. - MPF (talk) 09:45, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

I've taken the liberty of undoing the VN import from wikidata, given the lack of enthusiasm it has generated here - MPF (talk) 20:37, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

Thanks. I'm frequently on the verge of deleting the {{VN}} template altogether, but since it would be wrong to do so without prior discussion I've luckily been able to resist that urge, so far. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 05:44, 1 January 2017 (UTC).

Missing names[edit]

I understood that all our vernacular anmes had been copied to Wikidata (by User:Magnus Manske), but when I just removed them from the template at Tyto alba (since reverted), many were not fetched from Wikidata. Anyone know why this happened? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:25, 26 December 2016 (UTC)

Wikidata currently lists the vernacular names for Tyto alba (Barn Owl) in 26 different languages, seen here: Q25317. If changing the Wikispecies code in Tyto alba to the plain {{VN}} string without any other parametres, the Wikispecies page will list all 26 of them. As you point out, that's a lot fewer than the 145 vernacular names that used to be listed on the page. The past months Succubot has made quite a few edits to the Wikidata "Barn Owl" page. I haven't checked any of those edits yet, but they might explain why 119 of the vernacular names are now missing. From a quick glance at the Wikidata "Revision History" page it seems that quite a few vernacular names used to be listed under the wrong language(s). –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 13:21, 27 December 2016 (UTC).
As far as I'm aware the export done by Magnus is very incomplete. The names my bot added are from the last two IOC lists. --Succu (talk) 21:01, 27 December 2016 (UTC) PS: Tommy Kronkvist: Unfortunately I missed a structural change in IOC World Bird List. Version 6.4 which I corrected later. --Succu (talk) 21:08, 27 December 2016 (UTC)
@Succu: That's okay – mistakes can happen. Thanks for the corrections! –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 11:53, 28 December 2016 (UTC).

References for taxa authored by Vieillot[edit]

(This matter was discussed on user Dan Koehl's talk page prior to being brought up here.)

Vieillot is the author of hundreds of bird taxa described at the giant 36 volumes of Nouveau Dictionnaire....edited between 1816 and 1819 all available at BHL. I would like your opinion about creating templates for these references and I can see 3 options, first is one template with multiple 36 BHL links to each volume; second is obviously 36 templates, which would make it simpler and direct for each taxon reference; and third, since the volumes were publicated from 1816 to 1819, would be 5 templates each with multiple BHL links. At Vieillot page you can see examples of Tomes 1, 2 and 14 already created. Thanks for your opinions.--Hector Bottai (talk) 12:12, 28 December 2016 (UTC)

I just have seen that the same applies to Gmelin works and the solution adopted was 1 template for each Tomus and Section.--Hector Bottai (talk) 12:24, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
In my opinion, the best solution is to have a reference template for each volume or for each part published separately. Moreover, it might be useful to apply optional parameters, so that the reference may be changed in order to refer to chapters within the volume – see e.g. Template:Oliver, 1868. --Franz Xaver (talk) 14:49, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
I agree: Personally I would prefer the 36 templates option. It is certainly the most convenient solution in the long run – especially with the extra functionality proposed by Franz Xaver. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 15:34, 28 December 2016 (UTC).
Excelent suggestion @Franz Xaver:, at Vieillot there are no chapters or section, so the only parameter is page. Could you format as an example the Tome 1 so I can just copy it for all the 36? Thanks.--Hector Bottai (talk) 17:04, 28 December 2016 (UTC)
@Hector Bottai: See Template:Vieillot, 1816-1 and its use in Geositta cunicularia. --Franz Xaver (talk) 15:17, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
Great @Franz Xaver: --Hector Bottai (talk) 23:45, 29 December 2016 (UTC)
After our agreements for reference templates we have to make 36 templates with a, b, c etc. We dont have an agreement about use in the template Nomenclatural acts or Category:Reference templates. PeterR (talk) 13:38, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
I will work on it, 3 done plus Analyze d'un ornithologie...More important is to use them properly. Happy new year!--Hector Bottai (talk) 12:00, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
Every body a happy new year too PeterR (talk) 13:38, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

Protonym orthography[edit]

What does everyone feel about orthography of protonym citations? In the distant past, a lot of species names were capitalised, a practice forbidden now in both botany and zoology. Is it best to cite protonyms with current capitalisation, or as given in the protologue? I'll admit I've usually done the former without thinking about it, but as an example to show the reverse: the protologue of Phalacrocorax aristotelis desmarestii gives the protonym as Carbo Desmarestii rather than modern Carbo desmarestii. Which is best to give on pages? - MPF (talk) 23:48, 29 December 2016 (UTC)

In plant taxa, I give both the correct spelling and the original – see e.g. Legnephora moorei. --Franz Xaver (talk) 07:43, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
My very personal opinion, not based in any nomenclatural rule or something like that, is that there is no value in using the original spelling, two capitals or things like atri-capilla, or whatever.--Hector Bottai (talk) 23:59, 30 December 2016 (UTC)
I can understand Hector Bottai's standpoint and on a few occasions I've removed the capitalisation from "protonymic" specific names, much like MPF describes. However, from a technical viewpoint I much prefer Franz Xaver's method, as it is more true to the actual records regarding the nomenclature. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 05:57, 1 January 2017 (UTC).

New template to replace magic words[edit]

Template:ISBN I have ported over w:en:Template:ISBN and w:en:Module:Check isxn from en.wp. Magic words as links are being phased out and although we don't have to replace all instances of them now, they will all be removed from MediaWiki in 2017. See mw:Requests_for_comment/Future_of_magic_links. We have about 16,000 entries in Category:Pages using ISBN magic links. —Justin (koavf)TCM 02:42, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

Given how widely used that will be, I've protected it, to admin-only editing. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 18:05, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
@Pigsonthewing: Wise. Not sure if you've seen my cross-wiki edits but I have done the same at all the multingual sources (c:, d:, outreach:, s:mul:, but not m: or mw:) and the English-language editions (but not simples yet). A couple of them (e.g. s:en:) also have the Citation module and I'm not sure how to edit that to include the template rather than the magic link. If you are game to help me, that's handy. If not, then thanks for all your other hard work. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:26, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
Somewhat off topic, but perhaps some of the ISBN related information on this user talk page should be added to the {{ISBN}} template documentation? –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 01:58, 3 January 2017 (UTC).

"Generic groups" etc[edit]

Sometimes I come across taxonavigation "ranks" such as the "Cyphogastra generic group" in Paracupta. What's your take on that format? By the way, in this particular case the "NN generic group" text string is included already in the {{Paracupta}} taxonavigation template, rather than entered on the taxon page itself. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 06:36, 1 January 2017 (UTC).

Not sure about zoology, but in plants these sort of groups are sometimes used by botanical workers to indicate a temporary "work in progress". They have no formal taxonomic standing and IMHO have little use here. Andyboorman (talk) 18:57, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
In zoology, and most used in insects, these are used mainly for species-group taxa. They are informal only, and exist to group together species with some similar traits, but not enough to convince majorities to formally name. They should not be included in Taxonavigation, but can be of some informational status on mainpages of next higher taxon. They are used mainly to subdivide taxa with very large diversity. Neferkheperre (talk) 20:04, 1 January 2017 (UTC)


I see that Koavf the ISSN numbers used for reference templates. In our agreement about reference templates we have to add the reference template in the author page. A lot of his contributions are not in the author pages. He is following here Sthoner. PeterR (talk) 10:16, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

Could we please have an example or two? Thanks Andyboorman (talk) 13:49, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
@PeterR: Sorry, I'm not following either. Can you give a diff of an edit that you think is incorrect? —Justin (koavf)TCM 17:25, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
@PeterR: Same here, I don't fully understand what you mean... Can you please explain further? (As always: feel free to use German or Dutch in my talk page, if you prefer that rather than English.) –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 18:10, 1 January 2017 (UTC).
The recent changes go not far enough back to look it back. This changes have koavf done in december. The only one who knows when he have add the reference templates in the ISSN is Koavf. I hope he can find it back. If I make a reference template I add them in the author page(s) after our reference template agreement, but not by the ISSN page. See: ISSN 1317-5262. PeterR (talk) 15:13, 4 January 2017 (UTC)
@PeterR: I have never made a reference template. Does this help? You can post in German but meine Deutsche nichte ist gut. You can also post on my talk directly. —Justin (koavf)TCM 05:33, 5 January 2017 (UTC)

Collapsible data[edit]

Template:Nadi, etc. Several templates here use collapsible options, which are inaccessible to many users (who have scripts turned off, who have neuro-motor issues, etc.) See w:Wikipedia:Manual_of_Style/Accessibility#Users_with_limited_CSS_or_JavaScript_support and w:MOS:SCROLL. We shouldn't have content under collapsible templates because that makes it difficult for some of our readers to use our site. We discontinue the use of collapsible templates, especially for our actual content in entries. —Justin (koavf)TCM 19:12, 1 January 2017 (UTC)

I thought we had dumped most of these some time ago. I know Nomen and Syn have been disabled, and I am cleaning them out wherever I find them. Neferkheperre (talk) 20:08, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
@Neferkheperre: Last year, I deleted a lot of that with consensus but there was an earlier consensus to keep {{Nadi}}. I would be open to discussing it, of course. But the bigger issue is collapsible templates in general and we have many of them. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:20, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
As I understand, the main issue is accessibility of all the content included in collapsible boxes, as e.g. taxonavigation and others. I don't know exactly, which groups of users are supposed to be affected. Is this issue just about smartphone users? (If it should be about users, who voluntarily have turned off some scripts, I don't think, we should pay attention to these.) If there exists a policy at en-WP, how far would this be applicable here at WS? @Koavf: Can you give a list of collapsible templates, which would be concerned? --Franz Xaver (talk) 20:48, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
@Franz Xaver: Users could have scripts turned off for many reasons: security, they are at stations which are controlled by someone else (like an employer or university), they have older systems which cannot handle them, etc. Additionally, there are users who have a hard time with fine-tuned movements due to medical issues so while some clicking and interaction of the mouse may be inevitable, it should be lessened (they will probably also use tabbed browsing). Some screen readers for users who are blind or who cannot see well will ignore collapsed text. These are all examples that immediately come to mind. This impacts thousands of templates by way of {{Taxonav}}. —Justin (koavf)TCM 21:04, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
To me these examples do not sound, if the issue did affect a significant number of visitors at wikispecies. This seems to be an issue more relevant to wikipedias. For example, I can hardly imagine a person interested in taxonomy or nomenclature, who is blind. OK, there may be some few of them, who lost their sight later, in the same way, as there existed some few composer who happened to become deaf. --Franz Xaver (talk) 21:26, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
@Franz Xaver: I have to admit it's a little surprising and offensive that you wouldn't care about making this information more accessible. Yes, few of our users will have neuro-motor difficulties operating a mouse and a small percentage will use a screen reader but if we know best practices to make the site accessible to them, it takes virtually no effort on our part, and it's consistent with other best practices here and on our sister sites, I don't know why we wouldn't be concerned about accessibility. —Justin (koavf)TCM 21:30, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
I am happy to solve a problem, if it actually is an existing one. However, I am not yet convinced about this here. (Maybe the problem is one an imagined one.) Anyway, the main issue to discuss here would be about the taxonavigation, which is found in almost all of our taxon pages. --Franz Xaver (talk) 21:51, 1 January 2017 (UTC)
I think it is a bit unfair to allude that Franz does not care about accessibility. However, he does make a good point about the existence of a problem that may not be that real. I am not an expert on techniques used by the less able to access websites and screen based data, but perhaps I assume that in 2017 there are processes that overcome most, if not all, of problems associated with collapsible templates and the like. Another point is that if pages become very large and cluttered then it will put off many, as navigation becomes a nightmare. I think we need data before just getting rid of taxonav procedures and the like, particularly if this then requires a fundamental re-design of the pages. Andyboorman (talk) 18:48, 2 January 2017 (UTC)

In my opinion making Wikispecies as accessible as possible to as many users as possible is a no-brainer. Of course we should! That said, I believe that most users with the knowledge of how to disable scripts probably also are tech-savvy enough to add site specific exceptions to any such rule. As a side note, as far as I'm concerned the Vernacular names sections actually needs to be made collapsible as soon as possible. On some pages they're huge, and add little or nothing to the taxonomy or systematics. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 02:27, 3 January 2017 (UTC).

@Tommy Kronkvist: "As a side note, as far as I'm concerned the Vernacular names sections actually needs to be made collapsible as soon as possible. On some pages they're huge" — any particular examples? Shouldn't be too bad if contributors have stuck to the guidelines. If they have multiple names per language, feel free to strip out the excess ones - MPF (talk) 13:22, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
Agreed with Vernacular Names being collapsible ASAP. Why do we use collapse boxes? Surely it is to "hide" non-essential taxon information, but retaining the the data, as it is desirable and relevant, They also keep the basic page easier to read. The reason we did not like nomen and syn was that consensus agreed that these are essential data and should not be "hidden". Taxonav data could be considered essential being higher level classification, but not all agreed. In addition, as far as plants are concerned WS has a problem with higher level (above Ordo) classification, as it uses mixed systems, so it is probably best not to draw too much attention to it. I personally think we need to retain the existing minor use of collapse boxes and extend it to VN, unless there is compelling evidence that they create genuine problems with accessibility. Regards Andyboorman (talk) 15:42, 3 January 2017 (UTC)
@MPF: I cannot think of any really good examples off the top of my head, but one of the nominees for the best/worst/most voluminous VN section can be found on the Passer domesticus page. It contains vernacular names in 129 languages. With the exception of 4 languages listing 2 vernacular names each, they all list only one. The Serbian language is a special case, listing one vernacular name only but in both Gaj's Latin alphabet and the Serbian Cyrillic alphabet. So all in all the 129 languages lists 134 "versions" of the vernacular name, in one form or another. Another example is Cyanistes caeruleus, with 79 VNs in 78 languages. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 21:35, 3 January 2017 (UTC).
@Tommy Kronkvist: Thanks! I've cleaned those two up, though it doesn't make a big difference - I had been thinking more of pages like this old version before cleanup of Primula veris, where there was a huge lot of dubious names listed (under Spanish in particular). I'd think that there will be very few species with as large a number of languages added as Passer domesticus, but obviously, it will grow as wikipedias espand. MPF (talk) 11:32, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
....I tried a test here: Lilium martagon; but I prefer only one name for each species. Orchi (talk) 13:00, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
@Orchi: I've stripped out the duplicates - MPF (talk) 21:46, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
@Orchi: But no scrolling is saved on Lilium martagon because the list of interwiki Wikipedia links is longer than the entry anyway. I don't see many pages on Wikispecies that are so long that they will break a browser and introducing more code will only make the pages bigger for the browser to download/parse/display. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:53, 5 January 2017 (UTC)
@Koavf: I am not sure how much difference these few extra codes will make to download/parse/display issues given the computing power available to the average laptop/tablet/mobile. We do not have adverts after all. Interwiki links are on the separate side bar, so not relevant to the layout of the main taxon page and perhaps given the large number of links we should consider a collapse box for them! Are you also suggesting that VN belongs here? We are exploring ways of making the core taxon data more accessible/easier to read. Regards Andyboorman (talk) 09:22, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
To me this is more a question of legibility and lucidity rather than page length. I most often use a 27″ screen so page length (or computing power) is very seldom an issue – however I don't like a Wikispecies page where almost 50% of the content is made up by vernacular names rather than information regarding taxonomy and nomenclature. It tends to shift the focus of what this site is all about. To me a simple text snippet saying "For vernacular names, see Wikipedia" would be sufficient. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 17:19, 6 January 2017 (UTC).

@Andyboorman: Vernacular names have been in here for awhile and I think they are helpful for searching. I certainly don't think it's out of scope. Do you know of discussion about when it was first added? —Justin (koavf)TCM 17:32, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

@Koavf: Justin, the first time vernacular names are mentioned at the Village Pump is September 15, 2004 in the all of them ok, but how thread. The first time a specific vernacular names section is mentioned as part of a full taxon page is August 7, 2005 in the A few things thread. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 17:56, 6 January 2017 (UTC).
@Koavf: and @Tommy Kronkvist: I do not often add to VN now except to correct obvious errors and capitalise. I agree there is some value, but not sure about the adherence to scope. I tend to put VN in the same category as images - adding interest, but not essential data. As to external searching, a brief test often shows that WS does not usually appear on the first page, unlike WP. The recent use of Wikidata information has highlighted a number of contentious issues as well. Time now to sideline/ditch? Regards Andyboorman (talk) 19:05, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
@Andyboorman: God forbid that a wiki can't change but if a feature has been around for 12/13 years then we'd probably want to be pretty deliberate about removing it. And for what it's worth, I meant internal search rather than from a search engine. I think that vernacular names are consistent with Wikispecies:Charter. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:08, 6 January 2017 (UTC)
@Koavf: You are right - any removal of a well established and used feature needs a lot of thought, full discussion and consensus. I was throwing a bit of devil's advocacy around in good faith. Andyboorman (talk) 20:48, 6 January 2017 (UTC)

Change to Main Page[edit]

See here In accordance with a consensus that we had about 18 months ago, I have added an "Endangered Species of the Month" ("Week" would be nice but even the standard Species of the Week is now of the Month and is sometimes repeated). Any feedback is appreciated. —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:32, 7 January 2017 (UTC)

Good work! Thanks. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 09:58, 7 January 2017 (UTC).

500,000 pages[edit]

Pseudocalotes drogon Created by User:‎Burmeister at 2017-01-07T11:29:37 ‎is our 500,000 page (of course, we have entries on Taxon authorities, publications, and repositories, so we don't have quite a half-million taxonomic entries yet). Special:Statistics reads 500,014 and counting back 14 spots leads us to this entry. In total, there are 892,274 pages including talk pages and redirects. Thanks to Burmeister and all of the hard work of everyone over the past 13 years. —Justin (koavf)TCM 16:44, 7 January 2017 (UTC)

Long pages[edit]

As listed at Special:LongPages we have a dozen pages that are over 100,000 bytes long. Excessive page length can cause problems reading or editing for some users.

The longest is Cumacea (183,785 bytes) - does it need so many references?

The next longest is Auguste-Henri Forel ‎(179,593 bytes). It has a very long list of "Described taxa", none of which are linked to other pages on Wikispecies. It has a separate list of "Authored taxa", saying "5 taxon names... May be incomplete"! What should be done with this?

How can other long pages be trimmed?

Finally, we have some very long user talk pages, not listed on the above 'Special' page. Please check yours (look in the history), and if it is very long, archive some of it. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:27, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

Agree that so large pages are not benefitial for WS. Listing described taxa is a redundancy and should be eliminated. If each authored taxon is adequately categorized, the taxon will appear at the separate authored taxa link, if not it will appear at linked pages. Related to so many references, I don't know if necessary, only the editor would say.--Hector Bottai (talk) 15:06, 9 January 2017 (UTC)
Long taxon pages are mainly due to the large number of species - see Rubus, Bulbophyllum and ‎Hieracium as examples. However, the situation can be improved by removing unresolved combinations and a very good example of this is Rubus. In addition, using a more contemporary approach will help - see the talk page for Hieracium and also for this page there are too many blue link synonyms. However, other that these techniques there is not much we can do about this, except by making the page easier to read by using TOC. I am surprised that Astragalus is not further up the list as it is the most speciose of the plants. Andyboorman (talk) 17:30, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

The top 20 pages are:

  • genus 8
  • person 7
  • list 3
  • 'Catalog:' 2

-- Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 21:42, 9 January 2017 (UTC)

@Pigsonthewing: As you may have seen, I split a few pages yesterday. Splitting catalog/list articles is pretty painless. What to do about genus and person ones is a bit trickier: it will require some more intelligent pruning. —Justin (koavf)TCM 16:37, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes, thank you or those edits. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:54, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

Pages like List of virus species would probably be best dealt with as categories. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:54, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

@Pigsonthewing: Or even better, they could be generated from data on d:, like w:en:List of paintings by Jacob van Ruisdael. Does that seem like something we could or should do here? —Justin (koavf)TCM 18:59, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
Well, of course. But first we need to get all the data into Wikidata. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:39, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

Simplifying CURRENT DATE entry[edit]

We can possibly simplify the CURRENT DATE entry [e.g. Accessed on 10 January 2017] in templates such as {{IPNI}} {{TROPICOS}} etc. by devising a currentdate template which will include:


Which will result for today in: 10 January 2017

Mariusm (talk) 14:07, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

.....that saves a lot of time. Thanks. Orchi (talk) 18:05, 10 January 2017 (UTC)
Agreed Andyboorman (talk) 18:32, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

Category:Taxon authorities[edit]

Just to inform you: There is a little discussion at Wikidata: d:Wikidata_talk:Wikispecies#species:Category:Taxon_authorities. --Succu (talk) 21:05, 10 January 2017 (UTC)

Redirects to the Repository[edit]

The following terms used to redirect to the Repository - holotype, lectotype, neotype, paralectotype, paratype, syntype and type. I am not sure why this was undertaken, but clearly as it stood it was nonsense. I have edited the redirects to the Dictionary and I have also made the entries, if required. I would be grateful if you could look through the dictionary entries and add/edit/amend as required. Thanks Andyboorman (talk) 19:55, 11 January 2017 (UTC)

Dictionary items should of course reside in the Dictionary, so good work. Thanks. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 22:45, 11 January 2017 (UTC).
Sorry, I don't agree with this. The above terms must redirect to the Repositories page where the user is supposed to look for the specific museum. E.g. for [[holotype|MHNG]] – the user would look for "MHNG" in the Repositories. The system was constructed this way before we started using [[MHNG]]. There's no sense in directing to the dictionary. I strongly advise to change the redirects back to Repositories. Mariusm (talk) 06:54, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
The better solution would be to change all the respective articles by a bot in a way as I did manually in e.g. Ambystoma annulatum. Anyway, such a bot fix has been made necessary by the recent split of Repositories by User:Koavf, as also pages linking directly to Repositories now don't work properly any more – e.g. Elvasia oligandra. --Franz Xaver (talk) 09:04, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
@Franz Xaver: but why didn't you change it to our current standard which is {{rl|USNM}} or at least [[USNM]]?? [[Repositories (N–Z)#U|USNM]] isn't the way we're supposed to do it. Mariusm (talk) 10:39, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
@Mariusm: OK, the template you mentioned would work with USNM, but not with botanical repositories listed in Index Herbariorum (NY, K, P ...). I did not know about this template and it is useless for botany. If Template:Rl is standard, I may have missed something. Can you give a link to the relevant discussion? Why is USNM not linked from Repositories (N–Z)? --Franz Xaver (talk) 13:18, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
@Franz Xaver: There's much confusion going on especially between Zoology and Botany regarding repository handling. The template {{Rl|Repository}} just simplifies the job. It adds both [[USNM]] and [[Category: USNM]]. The best way is to have both a page and a category for each and every MUSEUM, REPOSITORY or HERBARIUM and to add the missing ones. So when an HERBARIUM is missing you can go ahead and add one and than use the template {{Rl|Repository}}. We didn't have a specific discussion for this, but that's how we handle repositories in Zoology as a default, to improve on the previous [[holotype|Repository]] style. Mariusm (talk) 13:58, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
@Mariusm: I understand, that this makes sense for zoology. However, as for botany the Index Herbariorum website already is existing, which collects all the relevant information and is updating regularily, this approach would mean to create just a copy of it, including the risk that our copy is missing updates. In my opinion, for botany it would make better sense to link from taxon pages to one of both Repositories pages as I did. There we could add links to the Index Herbariorum entry, as I now did for the Herbarium of the Arnold Arboretum in Repositories (A–M). This saves our worktime and a visitor always would find his way to the latest informations from Index Herbariorum. What do you think? --Franz Xaver (talk) 15:30, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
In my opinion the main issue here is that "holotype" and "lectotype" etc aren't repositories, hence should not redirect to Repositories. Much like e.g. Terry Erwin is a taxon author rather than a publication and therefore shouldn't be redirected to Coleopterists Bulletin – even though he is often published in it. The page about Erwin is however a member of Category:Taxon authorities. In the same way and for the same good reason USNM is a repository, hence the page is a member of Category:Repositories.
That being said, we do need to do quite a lot of work on the Repositories page. For instance the mentioning of USNM and many, many other repositories needs to be linked to their respective Wikispecies pages. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 16:02, 12 January 2017 (UTC).
The basic redirects, as I made them are most definitively not Repository items and they were responses to requests on the Dictionary Talk Page. There also seems to be a Repository/Herbarium/ redirect and/or template issue that needs developing. If a user hits a typus/type/holotype etc. redirect link that cf. just hits the basic Repository page then that way leads to confusion. So I will not reverse my work of redirecting to the dictionary, as it makes more sense and is more familiar to a general user in the context of the general taxon page. Regards Andyboorman (talk) 16:21, 12 January 2017 (UTC)
@Andyboorman: There are hundreds if not thousands of pages which carry the format [[Holotype|MHNG]] (see for example Clubiona rama). When a user sees "MHNG" as a link he expects to clarify on the "MHNG" and not to seek explanation about what an "holotype" is. The format was constructed with the specific intention to allow the user to seek for "MHNG". What you've done is unacceptable in that regard. I will reconvert the redirects myself. Mariusm (talk) 14:18, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
@Mariusm: Whatever, [[Holotype|MHNG]] was a silly idea in the first place. This "holotype" link should have been created differently to make it more explicit that is was designed to link to the Repository when editing the pages. Its consequence of having the word holotype now link to the Repository main page is bizarre to say the least. I do not have enough coding knowledge to correct the original problem, so to be honest I have better things to do on here than worry about this. Particularly, as I am not concerned about adding details about linking to holotype locations. However, in an ideal world you should seek consensus or least opinions before making your reverts. Andyboorman (talk) 17:26, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
@Andyboorman: As I've mentioned earlier, we at Zoology are using now [[MHNG]] and have abandoned the former [[Holotype|MHNG]] style. In due course perhaps a bot will fix the earlier pages. Meanwhile "holotype" should be retained as otherwise it will result in user-misguidance. Sorry for my interfering with your edits, but I saw no other solution. I didn't devise the former repository style so I can't take the blame, yet once the format is present in so many pages it can't be discarded either. Thanks for your cooperation. Mariusm (talk) 08:32, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
Indeed we should seek consensus before risking an edit war amongst the admins... We've already been down that path. As a result some users ended up bereft of their admin credentials and banned, and many of the other users got a little less keen to contribute. That's not an ideal situation, and we all know it.
IMO in this particular case the best solution is to redirect all of the holo-, lecto- etc type pages to back Dictionary, then use AWB to change all present [[Holotype|XXXX]] links into [[Repositories (A–M)|XXXX]] and [[Repositories (N–Z)|XXXX]] links. The already present [[XXXX]] pages linking directly to a repository page (such as [[MHNG]]) should of course remain as is. That way I think most of us would be happy with what links where. As a side gain we would get rid of a whole bunch of redirects, since all of the present "holotype" redirects instead would link directly to the Repository pages. From a bot/AWB point of view there aren't that many repositories listed in Wikispecies, so it could probably be done in a day or two. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 09:05, 14 January 2017 (UTC).
@Mariusm: I think that @Tommy Kronkvist: has a very good plan, quick and easy to implement and uses bots as well. It will rationalise a problem none of us want and neither of us caused. At least we have avoided an unnecessary edit war. Can we have consensus? Got my vote for one. Regards Andyboorman (talk) 09:24, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
@Andyboorman: @Tommy Kronkvist: Very well. I've no objection to Tommy's plan. Mariusm (talk) 09:37, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
Great, that's the way, how it should be done. Moreover, when this task will be completed, I propose to have a second round and change also the instances with [[Repositories|XXXX]] into [[Repositories (A–M)|XXXX]] and [[Repositories (N–Z)|XXXX]]. Regards --Franz Xaver (talk) 09:53, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
Why not change directly to [[XXXX]] pattern, if this is the model used in zoology pages? Burmeister (talk) 13:02, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
@Burmeister: Do you want to create a vast number of red links? At the moment, the majority of repository pages have not yet been created. And some of these only are redirects to Repositories, e.g. UCCIPR. --Franz Xaver (talk) 13:54, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes, red links are not big problems, and will stimulate the creation of the pages. Hidden the repositories link in the repositories list, will not help, and will create a second problem in future. And some repositories pages already exist [like MNRJ], and continue to use MNRJ is unnecessary. [sorry for my bad english] Burmeister (talk) 17:03, 14 January 2017 (UTC)
@Burmeister: @Tommy Kronkvist: @Franz Xaver: I strongly agree with Burmeister. Zoology's majority of museums (~ 90%) have already pages. It would be waste of time to make it a "double" transition. The best way is to transfer [[Holotype|XXXX]] directly to [[XXXX]] and it would be far better still to transfer [[Holotype|XXXX]] to {{rl|XXXX}}Mariusm (talk) 05:13, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
@Mariusm: As only a few of the repositories listed in Repositories (A–M) and Repositories (N–Z) are linked to repository pages, this seems to be an unsubstantiated claim. It's certainly much less than 90% of repositories, but maybe these cover a higher percentage of types. --Franz Xaver (talk) 07:31, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
@Franz Xaver: I think we have a misunderstanding here: Almost none of the actual museum pages are marked with a blue link in the Repositories (A–M) and Repositories (N–Z) pages. The museum pages are indeed preset, for example CNIN isn't marked in blue in the Repositories (A–M) page. Mariusm (talk) 07:45, 15 January 2017 (UTC)
@Mariusm: See here. Moreover, some of these few existing repository pages don't show more information than Repositories (A–M). --Franz Xaver (talk) 08:01, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

I've added links to all the repository acronyms in both Repositories (A–M) and Repositories (N–Z), whether the actual pages exists or not. That makes it is easy for anyone to help out by simply creating pages for the red links there. @Mariusm: I strongly agree with Burmeister as well; actually what he says is what I meant... The best solution is to have [[XXXX]] links/pages for all of the repository acronyms, but until the specific repository pages are created it is better to use [[Repositories nn1|XXXX]] redirects than [[Holotype|XXXX]] redirects. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 09:55, 16 January 2017 (UTC).

Repository pages[edit]

Each repository should have a corresponding item on Wikidata - I've co-incidentally just asked there how best to import the data we have here. We should also have a page for each repository, using a template ({{Repository}}, which can be made to pull data like web links, street address, and coordinates (linking to a map), from Wikidata? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 15:54, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

Further to the above, I have done some more work on {{Repository}}, adding additional fields. Please see the example in use on USNM, and compare with the old version. There is more still to do, not least importing values from Wikidata, and it would probably look better using table markup. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:35, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

The two pages (A-M and N-Z) list a total of 1411 repositories. Category:Repositories contains 587 pages, of which at least a handful are not actually pages for single repositories. We'd therefore need to create around 800 pages. A bot could do this, using the template. We'd also need to create those ~587 pages to use the template. And that still leaves the matter of matching them to existing, or making new, Wikidata items. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 19:02, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

So what is the conclusion here? Keeping things as they are is not acceptable IMO. Andyboorman (talk) 20:39, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

Repository Pages Please Can Something be Done![edit]

@Tommy Kronkvist: @Mariusm: @Burmeister: @Pigsonthewing: @Franz Xaver: @Koavf: This discussion has gone quiet with the problem left to just hang, which is not very satisfactory, surely? Please look at this recent quality edit Coccinia intermedia by @Pharaoh han: and focus on WAG, it is another incident of the confusion. These will continue to grow unless action is taken. It would be great if you could come to a quick consensus soon, particularly as it is so close. As Tommy suggested, a quick bot fix can then be undertaken and then those interested can move on to focus onto pages where detail or content is required. Regards in hope Andyboorman (talk) 16:44, 20 January 2017 (UTC)

I think that a bot can run and change [Holotype|Repositorty] to [Repository] of the repositories pages already created like USMN, BMNH, FMNH, MNRJ... (I think it's a consensus) The pending issue is the repositories not yet created (the redlinks). Burmeister (talk) 17:18, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
Indeed the redlinks are are issue, but we are coping with many of these as taxa. To me it is a very small price to pay and should lead to good development of the Repository, actually sooner rather than later. Andyboorman (talk) 17:57, 20 January 2017 (UTC)
I miss the standard! herbarium abbreviations from Index Herbariorum being used (P is short for Paris herbarium, one of the largest herbaria). Unfortunately, zoological repositories have unstandardized and multiple abbreviations, and disambiguations can't be avoided. --Pharaoh han (talk) 16:44, 21 January 2017 (UTC)

New page[edit]

Hi, I couldn't find a help-desk page to ask a question, so I'm taking it here (hope no one minds). I just created the page Cerace cyanopyga based on the wikitext format of Nomada bouceki, except that I was unfamiliar with the reference template, so I used the cite journal template from Wikipedia. I know that in Wiktionary, the cite web and cite journal are discouraged in favor of dictionaries, so I was wondering if my work on the C. cyanopyga page contradicted any community guidelines. Please let me know, and move this question to a more appropriate page if one exists. Thanks, Icebob99 (talk) 21:55, 12 January 2017 (UTC)

Hi @Icebob99: In Wikispecies the Village Pump actually doubles as a help desk, so you're in the right place! For a first edit I would say that the Cerace cyanopyga page you created is very good. I've made some changes, for instance I added the mandatory "Name" section (complete with author name and year of publication) and removed the discouraged {{Cite web}} in favour of a proper Wikispecies reference template. Information about how citations should be handled on Wikispecies can be found in the Help:Reference section. You can use that help page as a starting point for any type of reference you want to add, regardless whether you're creating templates such as the {{Diakonoff, 1950}} template I made for Cerace cyanopyga, or want to add the citations directly to the page code. Happy editing! –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 01:01, 13 January 2017 (UTC).
I suspected the reference template format was going to be used here. Thanks for the clarification! Icebob99 (talk) 01:34, 13 January 2017 (UTC)

Nominations for Species/Endangered Species of the Month[edit]

Suggestions requested I'd like to encourage users to post a suggestion for February's Species of the Month and the new Endangered Species of the Month. Additionally, if anyone wants to start writing copy on either, that would be great. The past couple of years have seen some of the SotMs recycled from months past, which is a shame since we have almost half a million indexed here. I'm making a MassMessage to that end now so that we can have a couple of weeks to determine which one it should be. Let's say that we'll try to wrap up discussion around the 29th? —Justin (koavf)TCM 07:40, 13 January 2017 (UTC)

My suggestion is the Ghost Orchid Dendrophylax lindenii. Looks good as pics as well. Andyboorman (talk) 13:12, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
  • @Andyboorman: The "good" thing about this nomination is that it's endangered, so it could be the nomination for that prospect. —Justin (koavf)TCM 17:58, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
Cirl Bunting Emberiza cirlus is a personal favourite (and we have audio, too), but I hope we can include a mix of "ugly bugs" and the obscure, as well as the more photogenic headline species. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 13:49, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
Agreed - like Blobfish, False Cat Shark or even Lord Howe Stick Insect? Andyboorman (talk) 17:43, 13 January 2017 (UTC)
A personal favourite of mine is Cyprinodon diabolis, a critically endangered killifish which only natural habitat is the Devil's Hole cavern, Nevada. The cave is deep but the opening (i.e. only surface of the water) is only 1.8 by 5.5 metres, and it is probably the smallest species distribution of any vertebrate. It has been described as the world's rarest fish, with a population of fewer than 200 since 2005. Genetic analysis indicates that the species evolved at the same time the cavern opened up to the surface, about 60,000 years ago. –Tommy Kronkvist (talk), 07:25, 14 January 2017 (UTC).

AutoHotkey for Windows[edit]

AutoHotkey (AHK) is a free, open utility for Windows, that automates actions such as typing a particular string; or opening a programme or website. We've started to compile some example scripts for using it with Wikipedia and sister projects, at en:Wikipedia:AutoHotkey. If you have any AHK scripts that are useful when working on Wikispecies, please share them there, or in a comment here. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:48, 13 January 2017 (UTC)

Ennomomima genus/species — update required here?[edit]

Looking at Wikidata, the species for (all/man) Ennomomima genus are under Zatrephes genus, and that is the ref at GBIF. Just thought that I would mention it and leave you to work it out, though with no mention of "Ennomomima".<shrug> Wikipedia seems to have renamed in December 2016. Billinghurst (talk) 11:33, 14 January 2017 (UTC)

Vincent B. & Laguere, M. 2010. Changements nomenclaturaux en vue de l’actualisation du catalogue des Arctiinae néotropicales (Lepidoptera, Arctiidae). Bulletin de la Société entomologique de France 115(2): 175-184. listed in page 176 Ennomomima as a synonym of Zatrephes [Zatrephes Hübner, [1819] = Ennomomima Toulgoët, 1991, n. syn.] (see [4]). Mariusm (talk) 05:34, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

Gyrophaena chees[edit]

I have copied this user comment from Gyrophaena chees, where it was the only content, and which I have just deleted:

This is clearly an error for CHEESMANI ,a species for which there is no information available, so that,for the moment,i have to leave it out.

I place the following notes on this page,as it has to be deleted anyway.

First note: I have read your "help" and "taxonavigation" pages,but only to my confusion, as i am not an IT specialist.I am only able to contribute the data,someone else then may arrange them correctly.

Second note: You have omitted about a hundred GYROPHAENA species.I could contribute a list of them if i knew where to place it.

It was posted by User:Roenzer. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:45, 15 January 2017 (UTC)

P. Reich[edit]

Who can help me with the full name from P. Reich. He published in Internationale Entomologische Rundschau and Entomologische Rundschau between 1933 and 1938. I can't find anything about this man even not in de.wikipedia. PeterR (talk) 12:25, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

It's probably Paul Reich. See Mitteilungen aus dem Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin. Zoologisches Museum und Institut für Spezielle Zoologie (Berlin). --Succu (talk) 14:31, 16 January 2017 (UTC)

Taxonavigation templates[edit]

@Koavf: What is the reason for adding Category:Taxonavigation templates and Category:Pages with taxonavigation templates? For example see [5]. --Franz Xaver (talk) 11:52, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

I'm concerned by these edits. Something as wide-ranging as this would best be discussed here first. And edits like this one seem very inefficient, as the categories could be emitted by the parent template, in this case {{Eustrophini}}, or the antecedents of that. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:57, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
I don't like these edits at all. These are nested templates, sometimes 15 levels deep and more. The nested categories can cause trouble. I too would expect to have a discussion on this before diving into it. Mariusm (talk) 13:10, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
@Franz Xaver:, @Pigsonthewing:, @Mariusm: I've stopped adding them due to your concerns. I was just clearing out maintenance reports and I figured that a tracking category could be useful but it's certainly not necessary. I'm happy to do whatever everyone thinks is best--I didn't think it would be controversial to add these. I'll take a break for now and check in here to see what everyone says. Do you have alternative schemes that work better? Is this causing any problems with displays or template calls? I'll do some other maintenance in the meantime. —Justin (koavf)TCM 14:59, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
Thank you. I can see some benefit in having categories, but, if used they should be along the lines of "Taxonavigation templates for genus", etc. And they should be namespace-sensitive (or use <includeonly>, so that - for example - Template:Aancistroger should not appear in Category:Pages with taxonavigation templates. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:05, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
@Pigsonthewing: I considered adding some copy like {{#ifeq:{{NAMESPACENUMBER}}|0|[[Category:Pages with taxonavigation templates]]|}} but didn't know if it really mattered. As for dividing it by genus, then I would find it easier to do once they are all in the tracking category. —Justin (koavf)TCM 16:28, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
I don't mean by genus, just by rank, so: "Taxonavigation templates for genus", "Taxonavigation templates for Family", "Taxonavigation templates for order", etc. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:38, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
@Pigsonthewing: I realized that as soon as I wrote my response above. Dumb. —Justin (koavf)TCM 16:40, 17 January 2017 (UTC)
 ;-) Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:44, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

If we are going to add categories, we could do so like this. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 16:44, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

@Pigsonthewing: I 100% think we should use this for navigation. I've actually talked to users at OrthodoxWiki to try to replicate their category structure here. (e.g. see the bottom of The only question would be whether to include a taxa in all parent taxa or just the most immediately above it. That's a big change that I wasn't ready to present yet to the community but I sincerely hope everyone is in favor of that. —Justin (koavf)TCM 20:23, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

Template:URL to diff[edit]

{{URL to diff}} is now available for your (and my!) convenience. Simply type, say:

{{Subst:URL to diff |url= |label=Foo}}

to render:


{{Diff}} is also available, should you prefer to enter diff IDs manually:

{{diff|page=Template:URL_to_diff/doc|diff=2941428|oldid=2940206 |label=Foo2}}

-- Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 14:01, 17 January 2017 (UTC)

High-order category system of Wikispecies[edit]

A while ago, back when Stephen was still around, I wanted to have an in-depth look at it. I never got around to it because I wanted out of the drama, but I'd like to have some talk about it now. There's some high-order questions we probably want to figure out (i.e. "Do we want have nothing in Special:UncategorizedPages?"), but this is really to discuss the strange categories that currently exist.

The highest order category currently number 30. I'll focus on those here (and delve into subcategory systems not discussed below at later times). I count the following:

Now in my opinion these groups fall into four different broader categories:

  • Clearly good categories (but which may need renaming or moving within the hierarchy)
    • A, E, G
  • Clearly bad categories (generally I consider all subcategories of these equally as bad categories)
    • B, F-1
  • Category in need of further discussions as to both organisation and usefulness
    • C, D, F-2

I will come back to discuss what to do with various bits of the hierarchy, but I believe the last three categories, owing to their complexity and/or need to talk about their usefulness, should be cleared first. Circeus (talk) 01:58, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

@Circeus: I imagine this is coming up now in no small part due to my massive amount of edits. One of my goals in 2017 for Wikispecies is cleaning up and logically organizing categories but that starts with categorizing everything so that I can get a look at them all in the first place. Several months ago, I went through the most basic part of the hierarchy trying to bring some logic to it and it was only after I had finished the maintenance reports that I wanted to submit my "vision" to the community. (But please don't think I am trying to cut you off--I'm very glad that you are interested in discussing this.) Simply put, the root category should probably only have about a half-dozen options—including the meta category of Category:Wikispecies about help, maintenance, policy, etc. I very much hope the community wants to see navigation of the sort that Andy proposed above and that we think that the style I suggested from OrthodoxWiki is worthwhile. If anyone cares more about my opinions, I'd be happy to lay them out at length but I'm very much interested in reading others' take on this topic. Thanks again. —Justin (koavf)TCM 05:12, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
Actually it is completely unrelated to your work (although I'm aware that some preliminary work had been done in the interval). I started formulating my thoughts better a little after new year and had something written in my sandbox a little over a week ago.
I have a similar vision to your. In fact I expect/hope that eventually everything except what's in category A will get either moved down in the hierarchy or deleted altogether, but for most of what I've listed here (regardless of whether they were Stephen creations or not), I didn't feel entirely comfortable with unilaterally deleting them, plus I figure discussing whether we want to have "reference by topic" is a worthwhile discussion to initiate. I'm neutral on that issue. Circeus (talk) 06:05, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

@Circeus: I commend your "courage" in opening this problematic Pandora's box. Since Stephen devised a plethora of categories, many of them conflicting and irrelevant, we're in exigency figuring out which we need and which we don't, and how to organize the ones we do need. My tendency is to altogether brush aside the categories we do have and to start out with a clean sheet. To resolve (1) Which are the essential categories we need? (2) How to organize them? Mariusm (talk) 07:32, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

The categories I am most highly concerned with are those in group C and D. Group C are possibly relevant (as I explain below), but I lack expertise to really determine how relevant to taxonomy/nomenclaturet they are, but I'm not entirely clear that categories (as opposed to lists) are the most useful way to collate this information. Both category groups are (in my opinion) in serious need of a concerted reorganisation effort, and determining a useful hierarchy should not be left to single user: that's what lead to this... less than ideal system in the first place! Circeus (talk) 07:54, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

My reasoning is that as the first step we have to concentrate and agree upon the main categories. We might follow this by turning our focus on the sub-categories for each of the main ones. The main categories can be for example:

  1. Taxon (s)
  2. Taxon Authorities
  3. Publications
  4. Journals & Books
  5. Residencies
  6. Geographic Locations

Mariusm (talk) 12:56, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

My attitude towards categorisation in general is a reservation against new categories. (1) Every system of categories needs some maintainance work. When everybody is supposed to participate in maintainance, this needs consensus among a majority of the regular members of the community. If not, a start easily is made by somebody, but later on interests of the initiator may shift, and the category may get neglected. Moreover, personal capacities of WS are limited. So, in my opinion, we should be restrictive and accept only category systems, that really are helpful. But there is a strong reservation against every nice-to-have category, especially if the initiator cannot explain easily, why this is good and helpful. (2) I don't like the prospects of a messy mix of ideosyncratic categorisation systems, where categories are filled randomly. I don't like categories, where hardly anybody knows, what has to be in it and what should not be in. Ideally, a category should include most of the existing articles/subcategories belonging there, and not only some few of them, and there should be a minimum of misclassified entries. I am warning of making a quick start of some new categorisations in the hope, that someone else sometimes in the future will fill it.
This said, I would like to question also some categories under the "good" section A), especially in Category:Names, but also in some other main categories there. If there seems to be nobody left to continue with categorisation and maintainance, the category may well be deleted at all. Regards --Franz Xaver (talk) 17:09, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

How I'm proceeding[edit]

Just to clarify: My goal is to prevent this discussion from escalating into a complicated nest of topics resulting in no consensus. As such I intend to proceed through in small, fairly easy to handle chunks to reach clear consensus upon in a progressive way. Because these three sets of categories have to be dealt with eventually, and represent somewhat similar issues (complicated, somewhat incomplete and isolated category subsets), I've chosen to start with them.

I fully intend to cover the entirety of the higher-order categories(including some thorny issues at the core of what Wikispecies is about, namely whether we are about "names" or "taxa"), but doing all of it all at once it a recipe for accomplishing nothing. So I would appreciate if we could try and keep the discussion on-focus? Circeus (talk) 17:56, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

@Circeus: I have had a look at the categories you have isolated and I think that the majority, if not all, of B-on wards can be deleted with no harm to the project. They look just like as series of uncompleted or unsuccessful experiments and very confusing without the background thoughts. See here Oxynaspis joankovenae, New Zealand Threat Classification System, CASIZ overlap with Repository?, Baffling and Taxonomic theory very incomplete Regards Andyboorman (talk) 20:59, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes, most of the categories from B onwards (and some parts of A) seem to be problematic or unnecessary to me. --Franz Xaver (talk) 22:48, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

Fossil categories[edit]

This system is a mixed creation by Stephen, @Kevmin: and @Neferkheperre:, of which only the latter has been active of late. It mixes and matches physical source (e.g. amber), period (cretaceous, pleistocene, pliocene...), geography (Category:Geologic Formations) and taxonomy.

I believe to be made useful (i.e. if we keep it) it needs (in addition to being much more widely used) either a complete redesigning on bases agree by all (note that a completely different system is being used under Category:Ostracoda) or a reduction to the single Category:Fossil taxa (with parent category:Extinct taxa) at least until we have more editors interested in this specific area. The information is probably manageable as pages instead of categories in the meantime. Circeus (talk) 01:58, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

I view the geologic formations categories (which should include amber categories as a subset) to be the temporal equivalent of the geographic locations categories for extant taxa. The ostracods category is something I dont understand either and there are subcategories in Category:Fossil taxa that are currently misscategorized.--Kevmin (talk) 16:37, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
Given that there is (as I understand it) a significant consensus against geographical categories, I'm not sure if that's an argument in favor or against them here. (Which is a separate issue entirely from having type information on name pages, for which I rather we were broad than restrictive.) Circeus (talk) 17:43, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
In my opinion, we should consider some categorisation according to geological period. However, the rest seems to be unnecessary and may trigger the creation of a chain of subcategories with the potential to be unmanageable in the long run. Even the geological period would need some guidelines in order to keep it consistent. Anyway, I am not in favor to have fossils as a subcategory of Category:Extinct taxa. This would mash up paleontology with conservation issues, given the fact, that "extinct" is one of the assessment categories of the IUCN Red List. --Franz Xaver (talk) 23:03, 18 January 2017 (UTC)


These categories relate mostly to symbiotic or parasitic relationships. A discussion needs to take place with regard both to their usefulness overall and to how to organise them.

This is not an area of expertise to me, but I am given to understand that symbiotic and parasitic relationship quite often are tangentially relevant to taxonomy (notably in lichens). However given the rather... spotty coverage and unwieldy structure of these categories at this point I am somewhat at a loss as to the best way to treat them. Circeus (talk) 01:58, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

At least this will need some clearance. How can Category:Parasitic Cirripedia be a subcategory of Category:Symbiotic marine taxa? As far as I see, in Category:Mangrove Symbionts there are at least some species included, that may be stenoecious species, but not at all symbionts. --Franz Xaver (talk) 23:12, 18 January 2017 (UTC)


This hierarchy is a creation of @Kempf EK:. It mixes both aspects of the fossil system (but with a markedly idiosyncratic category structure completely unrelated to that in Category:Fossil taxa) and bio/ecololgical categories, some of which I find of greatly dubious usefulness for wikispecies (e.g. Category:Luminescent Ostracoda). Circeus (talk) 01:58, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

Proposal for policy[edit]

Wikispecies:Categories Are we suggesting that there should be a policy regarding the creation/maintenance of categories? If so, I'd like to take a couple of weeks to talk about our category structure, proposed maintenance, and to draft up some copy for a vote around mid-February. Does that seem wise? —Justin (koavf)TCM 21:15, 18 January 2017 (UTC)

Addendum And lest it seem like I'm undermining User:Circeus' approach, I hope I'm not. I think that he is correct that we should have more specific conversations about particular issues with categorization that hammer out a definable consensus rather than a sprawling talk that resolves nothing. —Justin (koavf)TCM 21:59, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
I don't think there's much of a need for a category-specific policy. In my mind this would ultimately be an extension of a content policy if we had a proper one... but we don't. We only have (as far as I'm aware) Wikispecies:What Wikispecies is not, and that page is clearly not detailed enough to clarify, for example, whether a category like category:publishers is appropriate. That page even states "Wikispecies do[es] not have any pages about the actual universities or museums themselves", which given that no one objected to category:repositories (and people in fact seemed to consider it good content), is clearly untrue.
Yes, I intend to eventually bring up this issue at some point, but maybe a separate debate need to be launched about content policy and the nature of Wikispecies' data. Specifically we can't seem to figure out if we store nomenclatural information in general (i.e. should all name have pages regardless of their taxonomical/nomenclatural status?) or "taxonomical" information only (i.e. we only have separate content pages for names in current use). These lead to significantly different approaches to categories. For example, if the former is accurate, then we have little justification for having categories with the words "species" or "genus" in them, for we are not interested in taxa, only in names of taxa. If the latter is accurate, then a _lot_ of pages for synonyms should have their data merged into the accepted name. Circeus (talk) 22:08, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
Some time ago, I had addressed the names versus species question. However, to my disappointment, there was not much response. Maybe, the reason was, that at that time Thorpe had claimed, that people at WS are unable to understand the question. Anyway, this would be another discussion.
Concerning a policy on categories, I wished that everyone understands, that an introduction of a new set of categories may have consequences for all of the WS community. In such cases, a discussion at the Village Pump should be required before implementation. The addition of these two new categories to the taxonavigation templates are an example. If these two categories are OK, everybody creating taxonavigation templates would be required to include these categories. So, probably everyone would be concerned and everyone should be informed, so that he could add these categories. In my understanding, we should define here, which kind of newly created categories require some discussion here. --Franz Xaver (talk) 22:41, 18 January 2017 (UTC)
@Circeus: if I read you right, your primary task is to reevaluate what WS is and what it isn't. In this you departed from your initial goal of categories organizing. Please take in consideration that WS is an evolving project and as such it can't have too rigid restrictions. Some loose ends are essential to allow for improvements & adjustments. For example — we'll have to eventually address the incorporation of geographic distribution data which is an essential part of every serious catalog or species directory, yet you can't impose this by strict policy — it must gradually evolve from failed starts and trials into a coherent state. Mariusm (talk) 07:31, 19 January 2017 (UTC)
@Mariusm: @Franz Xaver: @Koavf: @Tommy Kronkvist: I thought @Circeus: was after some consensus/thoughts about clearing out some rather useless categories before an in depth discussion about the topic or indeed the philosophy of WS. More of a maintenance task me thinks a bit like Repository links above. I think we should be grateful and support both initiatives. Having said that could the offending categories be delinked from taxon pages and parked as subcategories into Categories for Discussion? We could then agree to delete or develop them as required. Andyboorman (talk) 16:11, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

I agree very much with this. For along time, there has been ongoing discussions from people with different opinions, it would be good to settle the relevant policy and working routines, maing the cooperation more easy. AND avoid conflicts. Dan Koehl (talk) 19:24, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

A modest proposal[edit]

I think this comment of @Franz Xaver: resonates most with me:

I don't like categories, where hardly anybody knows, what has to be in it and what should not be in. Ideally, a category should include most of the existing articles/subcategories belonging there, and not only some few of them, and there should be a minimum of misclassified entries.

As such here's the three primary rules I think categories for taxa/name pages should be judged by:

  1. Is the category directly relevant to the taxonomy or the nomenclature, broadly construed, of the name/taxon on that page?
  2. Is it straightforward to tell, from the data one can reasonably expect to find on that page, whether the name/taxon belongs to that category?
  3. Is the category facially redundant with an existing page?

I was already working with criteria 1 and 3 in mind, but Franz' comment makes it abundantly clearl to myself what exactly was bothering me about the three category groups I've put up for discussion here.

By these criteria no category/subcategory under B,C or D is salvageable other than Category:Fossil_taxa, of which no subcategory is salvageable. Being a fossil taxa triggers a number of rules under the nomenclatural codes, and fulfills Criterion #1. All other details (time period, geological formation...) are essentially equivalent to geographical details for living taxa, which there is (As far as I know, correct me if I am wrong) broad consensus not categorise by, essentially because it fail this criteria. If they were onsidered to fulfill criterion #1, all categories in group B and C fall would still fall afoul of criterion #2, as only specialists of the relevant would be able to tell where they belonged at all within these categories. Categories of group C should probably be handled as material (i.e. list pages) in userspace, or are more useful to Wikipedia.

Both categories under F fall afoul of criterion #3, and their subcategories to one of the other two criteria.

Circeus (talk) 03:16, 20 January 2017 (UTC)

A new category[edit]

Category:Monotypic taxa Not sure where to put this so I figured I would just alert other editors that I have created it. —Justin (koavf)TCM 04:44, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

In my opinion, this category is not a useful one. Please, delete it. --Franz Xaver (talk) 05:33, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
Actually it is not really clear, where to use Template:Moty, including this category. Should it be used e.g. for the family Symplocaceae, which contains only one genus with however about 300 species? (This would be contrary to the usual practice in botany.) Should it be used for every species, which at present is not subdivided into subspecies? In this case, it would concern the vast majority of species. --Franz Xaver (talk) 06:00, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
@Franz Xaver: Do you think the template should go as well? —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:02, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
Yes, this should also be removed, however only after a final discussion. There was some controversy on this template – see Wikispecies:Village pump/Archive 26#Help. The template was blanked for some time. I do not know, whether anybody is using it at present. --Franz Xaver (talk) 06:08, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

Im blocked again[edit]

Just to inform, I have once again been blocked on SwWp, see Rfc Swedish Wikipedia blocking policy violation and Administrator abuse. :( Dan Koehl (talk) 19:26, 19 January 2017 (UTC)

identification with species[edit]

Anyone who knows about or interested in determining this photo with the correct species. Sobreira ►〓 (parlez) 13:57, 20 January 2017 (UTC)

I'll check more later, but for the moment I've put it in Category:Unidentified Ploceus. In principle though, it is a captive bird, and therefore very suspect, including a high risk of it being a hybrid - I would certainly not use it to illustrate any article about the species, least of all the Wikispecies page. Find a good quality located wild bird for use instead. - MPF (talk) 23:21, 20 January 2017 (UTC)

Template deletion[edit]

Template:Moty Should this be deleted or remain? Note the discussion linked by Franz Xaver above. Thoughts? —Justin (koavf)TCM 06:10, 23 January 2017 (UTC)

This template is used in circa 1000 pages. I think it may be used (and even a category added) but only in monotypic genera. Also the graphic isn't quite appropriate. Mariusm (talk) 06:43, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
@Mariusm: I made and then deleted the category over the past four hours. Do you think the template is valuable? —Justin (koavf)TCM 08:52, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
@Koavf: I think that the category is needed more than the template because it lets group all the mono-species genera for whoever interested. I suggest making 2 categories: (1) monotypic genera (2) monotypic familiae (meaning families containing one species only - to group these will be really interesting). There can be also 2 corresponding templates, each containing the respective category within. Mariusm (talk) 10:29, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
@Koavf: and @Mariusm: I use the template for various taxa, but would not disagree with changing its appearance. LInking to ctaegories is fine as well and could be useful. Andyboorman (talk) 11:20, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
My issue with the term "monotypic" is, that there are different practices of use in zoology and botany, as described in en:Monospecificity. By this, the term has lost much of its clearness and significance. If it should be agreed, that higher taxa containing only one species should be tagged somehow, I would rather prefer having two different terms (= categories, templates), i.e. "unispecific" for botany and "monospecific" for zoology. This could be used for tagging monospecific/unispecific taxa at any rank. Anyway, "monospecific" can also be used in botany. So, using the term "monospecific" for both zoology and botany is also acceptable to me, but I have a strong reservation against the somewhat ambiguous term "monotypic". As Mariusm, I would rather like to have a category only approach. --Franz Xaver (talk) 13:55, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
Please, see also the argumentation by Lundqvist (1990) in Taxon 39: 138 – JSTOR. (The proposed change of the Code did not pass, but the argumentation shows one more facet of this problematic term.) --Franz Xaver (talk) 14:14, 23 January 2017 (UTC)
I agree with Marius. "Monotypic" is simply not clear. If created, it should use a code-neutral term, like "single-species genera" or "single-genus families" as appropriate. Circeus (talk) 05:35, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
I disagree with Marius and Franz, as to me monotypic is a perfectly clear and understandable word commonly used in science, even though the exact meanings differ according to disciple. These differing meanings can be picked up in the WS dictionary. By the way unispecific and monospecific are linguistic synonyms in the English language, whose precise meanings also will only be apparent in context, due to differing meanings of the word specificity . Monotypic may not have strict status in formal taxonomy, but neither do many other common terms used here and in literature. By inventing our own sets of terminology we are going against the precept that WS does not invent, but reflects. When a peer reviewed scientific paper writes about a monotypic family, subfamily, tribe or genus they are making legitimate points of classification and taxonomy and using the tag on a taxon page here is not misleading but a mere reflection. All IMO of course. Andyboorman (talk) 10:28, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
To clarify my position, I'm not opposed to the word "monotypic" per se. I'm opposed to its unqualified usage, meaning grouping monotypic-genus with monotypic-familia with monotypic-tribe etc. It makes no sense to lump all these instances together in a single category. Moreover, by the phrase "monotipic taxon" one can't be sure if it means "a single species in a familia" or "a single genus in a familia". By specifying "monotypic genus" and "monotypic familia" for two distinct cases, and by referring exclusively to "a single species in a genus/familia" all this confusion will be avoided. Mariusm (talk) 11:30, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
@Andyboorman: That's the problem with the term "monotypic": It is commonly used and everyone thinks, he knows the meaning. However, if one is looking more closely, one will notice, that the term is used to mean different things. The terms "monospecific" (or "unispecific") are less ambiguous. ("Unispecific" is less commonly used. It's meaning is the same.) That's not an invention of a new terminology – see doi: 10.1111/j.1096-3642.2010.00681.x, doi: 10.1111/jbi.12507, doi: 10.3372/wi.34.34201. These terms are not derived from "specificity" but from "species". Thus, they clearly are meaning taxa (genera, tribes, families) containing only a single species. On the contrary, a "monotypic family" may mean either a family like Symplocaceae (see [6]) with more than 300 species or really a monospecific family like Ticodendraceae (see [7]. If WS was trying to restrict the meaning (or use) of the ambiguous term "monotypic taxon", actually someone may object this to be an invention. Regards --Franz Xaver (talk) 16:44, 24 January 2017 (UTC)
@Franz Xaver: I do not disagree with your examples, both are monotypic and only Ticondendraceae is monospecific/unispecific. So what actually is the problem with that? Monospecificity is a particular more restricted case of a monotypic genus. Monotypic still has value as a description and is commonly used and understood as such for many reasons, surely? As to @Mariusm:'s point, it may have value to be that pedantic to enable greater clarity for the less specialist user. However, if it comes down to producing a hierarchy of categories then that is another debate. As to etymology I believe it is a bastard word derived from Greek, monos + Latin, species, form, facere, to make. It also has particularly defined usages in population biology, ecology and medicine, how geeky is that! Regards Andyboorman (talk) 19:04, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

[Undent] @Andyboorman: It's not even clear to anyone in this discussion what type of pages the template should be/is meant to be used on in the first place. Helwingiaceae and Cannaceae are monogeneric, but not monospecific. Phyllonomaceae is both, yet the genus didn't get the template. Why would that be? Finally while using it on a species page may be, strictly speaking, accurate, it is probably the least helpful place I can think of to put this template on. (And besides I'm pretty sure "monotypic" is not normally used for species in any branch of biology.) Circeus (talk) 21:17, 24 January 2017 (UTC)

Internal error[edit]

I have on my computer an internal error: [WIdFvwpAAD8AAVa-hv0AAACF] 2017-01-24 12:17:03: Fatal exception of type "ConfigException". Who can help.PeterR (talk) 12:22, 24 January 2017 (UTC) Its ok now again PeterR (talk) 12:22, 24 January 2017 (UTC)