Wikispecies:Village Pump/Archive 16

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Unclear taxons

Is there any dedicated page where to write inconsistencies in taxons? I've found one: check ordo Stromatoporoida which says it has Astroscleridae familia. But when you look in Astroscleridae, it has different parent tree starting yet from classis. If there's such page to write these issues to, please point me there. If there's not, I'd propose to create one.

Danny B. 23:39, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Unidirectional relationship with Wikipedia

I'm new to Wikispecies, but I am a regular reader and a very lightweight contributor to Wikipedia. As a user of the latter, I'm reading quite a lot of biology articles as of late. Needless to say, they often have links to Wikispecies. And so here I am: now, let me tell you that before asking this question I have read quite a few relevant pages including but not limited to:

Now, I understand perfectly well that Wikispecies must be for taxonomy (navigation) only and not contain any sort of encyclopedic content. However here's an exemplified account of what repeatedly happened to me yesterday:

  1. I read the page about some particular phylum in Wikipedia;
  2. I follow the link for that phylum in Wikispecies;
  3. I browse the taxonomy and find some other interesting taxomy level above, below or completely unrelated to the original phylum;
  4. I manually go back to the English Wikipedia and search the new taxonomy level to read an article about it.

As far as the last point is concerned, of course I can take advantage of my browser's quick search, and use copy & paste. But that's not the point. I believe that for any taxonomy level recorded in Wikispecies there should be exactly one link to the English Wikipedia article about it, if any, or to some non English one if at least that exists. This would establish a link back to Wikipedia and be light enough not to constitute encyclopedic material in any way.

I give preference to the English Wikipedia because it can be considered the main one and from there one will hopefully find links to the various other languages versions. --Blazar 10:33, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

For the "dead" FAQ link, you might be thinking about this page on Meta. We can copy the meta's page back to local. And do you know that we have a lot of pages that are non-existent in Wikipedia. Very often, we cover Tribus and Subgenus but English Wikipedia does not. We are sort of building a record database similar to ITIS and as the FAQ pointed out, we're not a fork of Wikipedia. We are distinct from it. We don't provide information for general-purpose audiences. OhanaUnitedTalk page 12:59, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Re the broken link: sorry, I hadn't realized it was at Wikimedia. Letting this detail aside, I think I made clear enough that I had read and understood documents clearly explaining that Wikispecies is distinct and not a fork of Wikipedia. It is clear enough what it is to me. Yet I wonder whether the inclusion of the link I propose could possibly break this and how: would it amount to provide information for general-purpose audiences? To me, it would just be a tiny tool bringing one to a different project for expanded information. Otherwise all the taxonomic information included here for what is worth may be considered to be a set of strings devoid of any semantic information: but that's not the case, because there are the sources already, and they are considered important... Well, these are my 2cents, I'm not insisting anyway. --Blazar 17:07, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Would you be referring to the links which appear in the left most column of a page; which are links to the taxon pages which exist in the different Wikipedia language projects. This is the bottom most section of the column and is Titled "In Wikipedia" Most of the higher level pages have a number of links, such as those at Vertebrata. It may be that due to the links being the name of the language they might not be recognized as the links they are...--Kevmin 02:04, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
Indeed, I feel such an idiot for this clumsy section since I realized myself just a few minutes ago, and I was hoping nobody had answered in the meantime, but of course it's not a real problem that you did: it was exactly what I was kind of referring to. I probably didn't notice at first because I was mainly looking at lower level pages. I hope that one day the taxonomy will be as complete as possible, and each voice will have a corresponding and well written page in Wikipedia. --Blazar 17:06, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Page: Lampropeltis getula

My comments concern information posted on the Lampropeltis getula page of Wikispecies.

Lampropeltis getula goini and Lampropeltis getula sticticeps are no longer recognized as viable subspecies in the L. getula complex.

Also: The photo of the two striped kingsnakes on this page as being representative of the Common Kingsnake species Lampropeltis getula is somewhat misleading. The animals in the photo are kingsnakes that represent a unique striped phase morph found only in a small area of Southern California and are not representative of the great majority of the getula species, which are primarily banded or "chain" patterned.

Steve Bledsoe

Sources to translations

Do I have to have reliable sources that confirms translations I put into the articles, or is it OK to check up the Swedish (or another language) name on Wikipedia? Calandrella 19:01, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Well, I know have a source to the information in Wikipedia, a quite reliable suh I think ('Birds of the World, a CD from 2002 by Lars Larsson). Calandrella 13:53, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Italic for procaryotes

For Eukaryota there's clear rule for using of italic: genus and lower are italic, and beyond genus are regular (roman). However, for Bacteria and Archaea, there are both ways accepted: either as for eucaryotes, or every Latin names in italics. Generally the latter one is more preferred nowadays. (Reference: Bacterial nomenclature)

But anyway, a mixture should not be accepted, for example, Alteromonadales, ordo and genus are in italic, while familia, classis and above are in regular. I suggest, first discuss to decide a norm, either like eucaryotes, or all latin in italic, then some good guys will run a robot to correct every word that is wrong in the font. --polyhedron 古韻 09:22, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Err, I always thought only genus and lower are in italic. That's what they taught us in high schools & universities. And I would say it would less than optimistic to find someone running a good robot (or bot in short) in Wikispecies. We are always looking for someone to do that but we have very few people who knows how to run bots and come to Wikispecies. OhanaUnitedTalk page 13:39, 21 October 2008 (UTC)


Is it within project scope to edit fungi-related articles here, or to create them?? -- 17:18, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Of course. Feel free to edit or create them! We also do viruses too (but they are rarely edited) OhanaUnitedTalk page 17:33, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

I will do (sorry for posting as an IP address above!). I'll try and get some good photos and get them onto Commons if I can. --Sunstar NW XP 17:43, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

It's ok, I understand. It's because of this bug OhanaUnitedTalk page 17:48, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Wikispecies on mobile phones

Not sure whether this is already familiar, but thanks to the Sevenval AG a mobile phone version of Wikispecies is available, online: --Melancholie 16:39, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Identification keys

Hi All!

My English is too bad to tell exactly what I would like, but I'm trying it. I readed about some aspects of this question here in Community portal and other Wikispecies pages e.g.:

I know, the main goal of this project to allow a taxonomy and nomenclature reference and not a morphological database, but Wikispecies:PR#Wikispecies.27_future page says:

Depending on the user's interests, the contributed contents could make Wikispecies the largest archive of
open-access pictures on British wildlife; a determination key for all European marine organisms...etc.

I think it's a nice "mission" creating keys for identifying organisms and there is the Dichotomous Key wikibook, but I think the Semantic MediaWiki extension allows a best way for this work. Does somebody think to create this idea possible here on Wikispecies?

Sorry about my english! Pipi69e 20:54, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Images for Wikispecies entries

Hello, I made a proposal about a naming scheme for images of species on Commons, see Commons:Commons:Village pump#Image redirect naming scheme for taxa. This could be of interest for Wikispecies too.

It is basically a proposal to create redirects in the form of Image:Genus epithet.jpg, which point to the most exemplaric image of the species. For example that would allow to use a template to include images of species in the entry of that species without the need to actually specify the name of a specific image. It would always point to the image which is deemed the most appropiate an exemplaric image to illustrate the species. It is not even relevant, whether the image exists. If no image exists, nothing will be shown. If an image becomes available, it will too appear in the Wikispecies entry immediately.

Such a template on Wikispecies could look like:

{{#ifexist: Media:{{PAGENAME}}.jpg | [[Image:{{PAGENAME}}.jpg|thumb]] | }}

On Uncia uncia this would render as (see right):

Uncia uncia.jpg

(This is actually a random picture and not a especially exemplaric image, it's only to demonstrate it technically. Of course, if the scheme gets implemented, a more exemplaric image will be shown.)

What do you think about it? --Slomox 02:45, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

We also display image on genus page, so using pagename as image file name won't work. OhanaUnitedTalk page 04:52, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
The scheme could easily be extended to also include genuses in the form Image:Genus.jpg. Well, it is not unlikely that this will interfere with other non-biology image names. But even then you could easily add the string "Genus" to the image name: Image:Genus Genus.jpg. So Image:Genus Canus.jpg would redirect to the same image as Image:Canus canus.jpg for example. --::Slomox:: >< 15:01, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
As I mentioned on Commons, sexual dimorphism will be quite hard to be addressed. OhanaUnitedTalk page 16:02, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
This is a solution looking for a problem. We should use any image of an animal that shows off the species in question, not just one that follows a very strict naming scheme. If there's an image called "Holy crap, look at this gnarly fruit fly!.jpg", it's just as potentially useful for Drosophila melanogaster as one named "Drosophila melanogaster.jpg". EVula // talk // // 17:15, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

New bot

Just to get your attention for a minute, we now have a bot tagging interwiki links (as requested by me in Meta). You can read more details on here. I have yet to see any problems with this bot because it has been flagged in over 100 wikis. You can check the contributions here. If there's no objections, I will assign bot flag in a few days. OhanaUnitedTalk page 18:49, 30 October 2008 (UTC)

Seems good. Calandrella 10:25, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

A good reference source

Here is a good source for Author name & publication (applicable for genus rank only): Nomenclator Zoologicus Mariusm 08:34, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Reference misspelling

There are quite a lot of articles referring to "Verzeichniss der Doubletten des Zooligeschen Museums der ... Universitat ... Berlin" in the Reference section. This is misspelled and incomplete. Maybe the reader couldn't decipher the old german letters.

I suggest it means: "Verzeichniß der Doubletten des zoologischen Museums der Königl. Universität zu Berlin"

according to the following sources:

The complete title is
Lichtenstein, M. H. C. (1823) Verzeichniß der Doubletten des zoologischen Museums der Königl. Universität zu Berlin nebst Beschreibung vieler bisher unbekannter Arten von Säugethieren, Vögeln, Amphibien und Fischen - Königl. Preuss. Akad. Wiss. / T. Trautwein, Berlin. I-X, 118 pages

Teebeutel 21:48, 7 November 2008 (UTC)

Maybe you can try download w:AutoWiki Browser (AWB) to correct the mistake. It helps you to do tasks quickly and very similar to bots without applying for bot flag. OhanaUnitedTalk page 05:03, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Vandalism by JarlaxleArtemis

Please delete the user page User:Tristan Miller and block the user. That account was created by long-term vandal JarlaxleArtemis. —Psychonaut 15:22, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Done. That user is blocked in all Wikimedia Projects. Thanks for letting us know. OhanaUnitedTalk page 18:17, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

Naming convention

Hi, is there a naming convention against redirecting recognisable names such as human redirect to homo sapiens? If so, does that render the wiki rather exclusive and useless? (and if not, shouldn't you experts be redirecting some of these pages or categorising whilst you create!!) What is acceptable in the area of redirecting and categorising? RTG 04:20, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

When I first came to Wikispecies, I created a ton of redirects based on the common name for several species of shark. Part of the problem is that each individual animal would need several redirects to accommodate all the different languages. For example, Carcharodon carcharias has eighteen different vernacular names. Personally, I wouldn't have a problem revisiting our "no vernacular redirects" policy... EVula // talk // // 17:11, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
Well it would make absolute sense. What is the point of a genealogy or any other collection if it is in an ancient and foreign language? Of course use of such language for classification is conventional but current convention does nothing to translate. I typed in beetle just now and got an American biologist, elephant and got nothing. I will try entering this thread again.RTG 08:47, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Bats and moths mistake

Somebody has to fix this mistake: Somehow these moths appear under Chiroptera.-- 13:14, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Fixed, it was a misdirection in one of the templates. --Kevmin 21:01, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, but now there are: Macroglossinae and Macroglossinae (Sphingidae). And they include different numbers of subtaxa! Which one is the correct one? -- 22:40, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Also it seems that there should be a Macroglossinae (Chiroptera) according to Wikipedia and others. -- 22:58, 11 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for noticing that also, one of the Contributors changed the existing information on the pages from Chiroptera taxons to Lepidoptera taxons in July. I have reverted the edits back to the Chiroptera info. --Kevmin 01:02, 12 November 2008 (UTC)

Language and Genus conflict

CaCO3 pointed out a conflict between genus and ISO language code. "Zea" is an ISO language code and also a genus. Using "zea" under Vernacular Names section will cause it to believe it's a genus template.[1] What should we do? OhanaUnitedTalk page 01:21, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
I have created the Template:Zea (genus) and have changed all pages who used it. Maybe the solution could be the deletion of the page.
CaCO3 21:56, 28 November 2008 (UTC)


Comment est-il possible que l'espèce Lagopus soit reprise dans la sous-famille Tetraoninae - ce qui est correct - et que, dans la description de l'espèce Lagopus, on voit apparaître la sous-famille Phasianinae - ce qui n'est pas correct????? Et comment corriger cette erreur ? RainbowJos 15:10, 18 November 2008 (UTC)

  • Yes check.svg Done Lycaon 22:26, 18 November 2008 (UTC)
  • Thanks!RainbowJos 16:12, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Block, please

Please, block permanently User:GoblinReh. See his contributions: Special:Contributions/GoblinReh. Thanks. --Sevela.p 16:31, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

Lycaon and Stho002 ( desysoped

EVula and I conferred and asked that a steward (DarkoNeko) desysop those two admins for wheel-warring over New Zealand. Stho002 blocked Lycaon, while Lycaon seems to have been wiki-stalking Stho002 over the RfA. I'm not sure how to proceed--I would think Lycaon should be restored as sysop (in a week or two without RfA) but Stho002's use of tools was very abusive, and I think he should go again through RfA to regain them. Thoughts?--Maxim(talk) 02:55, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

As a non-regular here, I have to say it was a big mistake to make an IP an admin. I say give Lycaon adminship back right now. Stho002 doesn't seem to have any clue whatsoever, and imo has gone rogue. Majorly (talk) 02:58, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
The user made valuable edits, and they were attributed to an individual; the fact that he made them while logged out doesn't really matter much, in my opinion. Not going to argue with you much about the rest, though; I'd have no problem with Lycaon being restored, but I'm definitely not going to flip the switch back on with Stho002. EVula // talk // // 03:00, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
(to Majorly) Lycaon was involved, so it seemed fair to remove his bit as well; however, I have no objection to restore it a few days after this drama clears up.--Maxim(talk) 03:02, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
As far as the diffs can tell, Lycaon stayed friendly and stuck to the rules and policies and repeatedly pointed them out to the offending admin. He also didn't block another admin nor even hinted at it or wanted the other party to quit contributing. The removal of the bits was not warranted. Lycaon 10:57, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't count out the wheel-war and the over-aggressiveness after the RfA. Considering Stho002 was much, much more out of line, I'm very willing to restore your adminship and cratship in a few days, after we get some more comments and (hopefully) this discussion is resolved.--Maxim(talk) 12:38, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
(warning, long text block) Wow, first drama on Wikispecies *grabs microwave popcorn* It's funny to see Maxim nominating Stho002 for adminship, and now alongside with EVula, requesting a steward to desysop Stho002 and Lycaon. I'm afraid to point out that the whole ordeal started with Lycaon bashing through Stho002's RfA, like a bull in china shop, leaving both parties in sour note. While the usage of tools from Stho002 (especially the block) was questionable, he has shown that he is willing to compromise (if you go to Stho002 and my talk page), while Lycaon decided to take a wikibreak to cool things off. I'm not concerned with protecting userified articles, because the chances are rarely will anyone touch anything under userspace except yourself (excluding talk pages). I noticed that Lycaon was telling Stho002 that the New Zealand page is personal research[2] I'm afraid to say that there're many pages similar to New Zealand (such as User:AchtSegel/Insecta, User:AchtSegel/Aves, and User:Alberto Salguero/temp), none of which cause any problems. In my views, the New Zealand page (now userified) is just the same as other 3 pages above. These lists are used to coordinate edits to avoid conflict, but unfortunately (and ironically) this page itself causes conflict. I would suggest a community-wide dispute resolution and give admin tools to both users as long as Stho002 promises that he won't do any controversial actions without first gaining consensus. Stho002 is a valuable contributor, and we surely don't want to lose someone like this in Wikispecies. OhanaUnitedTalk page 05:13, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
I come back from a long holiday weekend and see what has happened!
First of all I absolutely disagree that the New Zealand page is the same as User:AchtSegel/Insecta, User:AchtSegel/Aves, and User:Alberto Salguero/temp). There is a HUGE difference. These are under user accounts and my understanding is that folks may often have articles there that they are either working on or are using as a personal checklist. My first instinct on seeing the New Zealand page is to question why isn't it under User:Stho002/New Zealand. If, on the other hand this community see merits in having this sort of checklist, then should we set parameters. Is it by nation? Ecological region? How does the page serve the wiki as a whole? I understand why Lycaon did what he did. His communication style is a little brusque at times, but I don't get the sense it was personal.
This does lead back to discussions we have had in the past as to how to we represent competing taxonomies when even experts are still undecided? Some have suggested providing notations on what system is currently used. But there has not been consensus.
--Open2universe | Talk 21:19, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
>This does lead back to discussions we have had in the past as to how to we represent competing taxonomies when even experts are still undecided?
Lack of taxonomic consensus among taxonomists is a great big fat fact of life that isn't going to ever go away. See for example Talk:Scydmaenidae in which I discuss two competing and equally current views on the family Scydmaenidae, one says that it is just a subfamily of the staphylinoid family Staphylinidae. The other says that it isn't even a staphylinoid! Although the "disputed" template goes some way to allowing for such disputes, one option still has to be chosen as the one on the main page. Unless there is some sort of overall coordination to make sure that the WHOLE wikispecies taxonomy is consistent, the result of every editor just choosing whatever option suits them in a specific case is inevitably CHAOTIC! Stho002 21:57, 30 November 2008 (UTC) Another good example: Talk:Tasmanitachoides Stho002 22:12, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

>If, on the other hand this community see merits in having this sort of checklist
Another problem here: if by "the community" you mean the admins, then since most of them aren't taxonomists or even users of taxonomic information (Maxim, for example, says he is here just to "whack vandals"), are they qualified to make a decision here? Really, it is the users of Wikispecies out there who need to decide, but there probably aren't that many of them out there until Wikispecies becomes a bit more reliable and well-regarded. But to improve, we need consensus - catch 22! Stho002 22:44, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

To whom it may concern,
My sincerest apologies, but I have unwittingly got tangled up in an unfortunate dispute with the other admins. It is my fault in as much as I probably ought to have discussed the issues with them before proceeding, but I believe that what I was doing was well within the Wikispecies philosophy and only made Wikispecies a more powerful tool than before. Besides, I was on the defensive because admin Lycaon has been against me from the beginning (being the only admin to vote against my adminship), and so I tried to block him for harassing me. I think it is a major exaggeration to say that "Stho002's use of tools was very abusive" - I was acting in self-defense. The issue concerns a page called New Zealand that I created and linked to all taxon pages for species found in New Zealand. We have pages for Taxon Authorities, etc, so why not pages for countries listing their fauna? The crux of the dispute is that I need to be able to protect just the New Zealand page. The main reason for this is that taxonomy isn't completely "objective", and so the page is my interpretation of the published literature on the subject. If anyone can edit it, they will all have different opinions and the result will be the usual chaos. They can however still express their opinions by making alternative pages (with disambiguated New Zealand titles) if they wish, but I don't want anybody fiddling with my opinion, which is at least consistent. Serious biologists can't take Wikispecies seriously if people with inconsistent opinions all try to edit the same information. My idea was a way around this problem, while not actually stopping anybody from contributing their opinions, just stopping them from fiddling with mine! I really think this is an issue which deserves some careful consideration. Wikispecies would only benefit...
Stho002 03:17, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

As I mentioned on my talk page, I'd have no problem discussing the merits of what you're proposing. But blocking and protecting? Way over the line. At the very least, the idea that a page is "yours", and that nobody else can or should edit it, is very contrary to the very idea of a wiki. On every edit page, there's this line of text: "If you do not want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, then do not submit it here." EVula // talk // // 03:24, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't think you quite understand what I'm saying: (1) yes, in retrospect, I ought to have discussed it first, but it just makes so much sense I didn't think any admins would have a problem with it; (2) my idea is consistent with the very idea of a wiki (or at least with what is good about the idea of a wiki) - everybody can still have their say - but the whole thing becomes pointless and nobody takes Wikispecies seriously if there isn't a way of getting consistent and reliable information, particularly in a field as complex as Taxonomy. My idea was a way of getting consistency/reliability/credibility of information while not restricting anyone the right to have their say - and it was just ONE page I wanted to protect! Think about it ... Stho002 03:33, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
That you think such actions make "so much sense [you] didn't think any admins would have a problem with it" is indicative of egregious errors of judgment. That you think such actions are "consistent with the very idea of a wiki" is indicative of serious misunderstanding. Mike.lifeguard | @meta 03:38, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
OK then, answer me this: what is the point of having a site containing highly complex and technical information (taxonomy/nomenclature), if everyones conflicting opinions and different levels of understanding mix together to create chaos??? Believe me, I know plenty of professional taxonomists and none of them take Wikispecies seriously. Anyway, you have overlooked that fact that I wasn't trying to protect everything, JUST ONE PAGE THAT WOULDN'T HAVE EXISTED AT ALL IF I HADN'T CREATED IT, and from that one page, people could be confident of getting consistent information which might actually be useful to them. Maybe I am wrong, and the site functions purely as amusement to amateurs, like a video game X-box or something ... Stho002 03:46, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, you obviously do not understand the basic principles of how our wikis work. Do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars. — Mike.lifeguard | @meta 04:19, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Well, if I don't understand, and you do, then a little less negative criticism and a little more explanation of where I am going wrong exactly, could be a little bit more constructive and instructive... Stho002 04:42, 28 November 2008 (UTC) PS: Anyway, we have moved on from Monopoly to "Tomb Raider", or whatever ... :)
This is precisely the problem (or boon) of wikis, depending from which viewpoint you are looking at it. Is a wiki there to provide information that is 100% correct, and thus needs to limit the editing, or is it there to provide a mixture of all the different opinions on a subject, including the crackpots, thus letting everyone tell it like it is, their own way. I'm not sure a wiki focused on giving out correct information should allow random editing to articles. Jacina 08:23, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Some comments on this subject:

  1. It was really a mistake to promote Stho002 to admin being too impulsive and unpredicted to make the appropriate use of his new "powers".
  2. Lycaon is over-zealous to impose the rules in their strictest and absolute form, and needs to relax and allow some margin for new ideas and some minor adjustments which will only improve and inject some life into this project. No harm in allowing this one page to be protected, as it is an "auxiliary" page and not a "species" page.
  3. The majority of the admins here are regrettably not knowledgeable in taxonomy, so their judgmant is impaired as to the necessity of taking some measures to make the data here coherent and consistent. Protecting some pages is a good measure in my opinion to avoid chaos.
  4. I value Stho002's contributions and urge him to keep going at it...

Mariusm 10:56, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Just as what I said in my long text block of comments, give those 2 the tools back but they have to promise not to bite each other. New Zealand is not a species page, but auxiliary page (as pointed out by Mariusm. This issue shouldn't be blown up into major drama in the first place. If the admins were wheel-warring over a species page, then I would have stepped in. But arguing over an auxiliary page that is now userified? It's just lame. Do we really have nothing to do here and instead, following those crowds at Wikipedia, to go into lame edit war over trivial matters? OhanaUnitedTalk page 14:29, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
I agrree with OhanaUnited that they both make valuable contributions to the project and it would be a shame to lose either. This being said Stho002 was promoted a little too quickly and does not understand all of the implications of posting to a wiki from what I have seen. I would agree with the opion to reinstate Lycaon in a week. However I would reccomend that Stho002, who stated during promotion that he didt want to be an admin. in the first place, should stay as a regular contributor for now. The contentious page has been moved to a subpage of his userpage so it will likely get negligible traffic from now on, and thus not need any protection. --Kevmin 22:29, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
I know what I think of this. I think we should move the IP's contributions to an account and redirect the userpage of that IP to the account's userpage (usertalk if he doesn't have one) and let that account work his way towards administrator privilidges. Also, why not temporarily disable the rights that were given in the first place? Wikimedianediter (talk) (contributions) (email) Wikimedianediter 12:27, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Unfortunately, Lycaon chased away Stho002. Even though I haven't given up my hopes, it's less than likely that Stho002 will return. Lycaon was nit-picking on minor & trivial issues, not looking at the big picture, starting a drama with such a small problem and causing the whole thing to be blown way out of magnitude, and wheel-war with Stho002. And now, the end result is that the project lost a valuable contributor, which made over 13,000 edits (over 11,000 in mainspace). This kind of accomplishment is no easy task, because most admins (me included) are no where close to his contributions. And there's no way to persuade him back since he didn't confirm his email so we are unable to contact him privately via email. OhanaUnitedTalk page 21:58, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

who follows who

Stho002 have make the New Zealand side with his opinion about Families etc. But when I have new bulletins from Zootaxa or others with other information can I then change the family or have I ask him first to do this?

PeterR 13:37, 28 November 2008 (UTC)


Yes check.svg Resolved.

While the focus is on admin issues, I would also like to point out that Cometstyles got promoted by a steward to bureaucrat per emergency action due to vandalism on Nov. 25. While no one objects this promotion, I would like to see Cometstyles to go through a normal RfA to demonstrate that the community has formally given the trust to him to be a bureaucrat, instead of getting a non-temporary bureaucrat as a result of emergency intervention. OhanaUnitedTalk page 17:24, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Er, what would warrant an emergency bureaucrat action? Someone just had to be renamed or the world would be destroyed? EVula // talk // // 19:53, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
He was a sysop. Temporary sysops are useful when there's a vandal and no local admin immediately around. As for the bureaucrat part, I think Ohana is confusing it with the bot flag I gave him after he was flooding the recent changes.--Maxim(talk) 19:58, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
Nevermind, didn't realize the sysop flag has been taken off. All's well ends well. OhanaUnitedTalk page 20:41, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
I iz teh evil? O_O ..--Cometstyles 21:43, 28 November 2008 (UTC)

Final comments before packing up and heading over to Wikiversity

Hello All,
Somebody (in Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A) has posted the following message on my talkpage: At you can do original research and create pages that contain your opinions without others adding their two cents to your pages. 18:29, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
This may be my best option under the circumstances. I am currently considering it. However, I would like to make the following points crystal clear:
(1) My 'New Zealand' page is not "original research" in the sense that would be inappropriate for Wikispecies. It is based entirely on published references which I have compiled at my own expense over the last 10 years or so. However, it seems to me that most of the admins here don't really understand taxonomy and think that the taxon pages are just simple "objective" statements of published facts. The reality is that different people's interpretation and understanding of published "facts" differ greatly, and if you allow everybody to have their say, the result is useless chaos. My innovation (i.e., the 'New Zealand' page) was intended to help to minimise these problems while only protecting a single auxiliary page. (2) Most of you don't seem to understand that it is Lycaon who is acting against Wikispecies here. He claims to be a Belgian marine biologist, and I'm sure that is right. To survive in such a professional context requires a certain level of aggression, fueled by ego, and has less to do with actual talent or knowledge. I came along with the ability to make a bigger contribution than he can manage, and he took an instant dislike to me (I have seen this happen over and over again - there is always someone with a fragile ego, and there are a few Lycaon clones over here trying to block my every move), being the only admin to oppose my adminship, and then "coincidentally" being the one to cry foul at my 'New Zealand' page. On the other hand, I was just trying to improve Wikispecies for the public good. (3) I did not abuse sysop tools - I made very little use of them at all, actually. The main thing I did was just to protect that one auxiliary page ('New Zealand'). When Lycaon wouldn't stop harassing me, I made a gesture only by blocking him - I knew he'd get out of it easily enough. Apart from whacking the occasional vandal, there is nothing else I can foresee needing sysop tools for. (4) Nobody has yet attempted to answer a question that I asked: what use is Wikispecies??? Taxonomic information is highly technical and specialized.By far the majority of all species are obscure and of interest only to a handful of specialists. If the information on Wikispecies isn't reliable, who the hell cares about Wikispecies???
Stho002 01:06, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

All I see here is a failure to understand the most basic premises which underly the success of our wikis. I think you will be disappointed on Wikiversity as well. — Mike.lifeguard | @meta 02:05, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
Thanks yet again Mike for offering the sort of constructive, positive, and witty comment that I have come to expect from you! It does appear, yes, that the suggestion regarding Wikiversity wasn't entirely accurate. However, I will think of something - watch this space...

PS: Yet again, no answer to my question: what exactly is the point of Wikispecies? I also note that you seem to think you own the wikis - "our wikis"... the one thing I thought I did understand is that wikis were supposed to be for everyone ...
Have a nice day
Stho002 02:13, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Stho002, please don't leave, we value your contributions. You are an expert in this field and nobody disagrees with your contributions (Lycaon included, I'm sure). You just need to understand a bit more about how wiki works. It's not a one-man's-band. You have to accept the fact that someone in the world will disagree about your views and opinions. The success of Wikipedia is collaboration. On the other hand, I strongly disagree with what Lycaon did. Instead of agreeing that he took part in the wheel-war, he used admin seniority as a way to defend his actions[3] OhanaUnitedTalk page 03:21, 29 November 2008 (UTC)
thanks Ohana for having something far more sensible to say than some others have managed. I am not petty minded, so I will not be leaving Wikispecies, though my 'New Zealand' page might be. You might notice that I am continuing to add useful pages through all of this - but I don't see Lycaon being very active! You might notice that somewhere early on in Lycaon's rantings he put in the summary field of a message "leave something for the rest of us". This betrays his real problem with me - he doesn't care about Wikispecies becoming complete - it only counts for him if HE is one of the main contributors.Stho002 03:29, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Also, and no offence Ohana, but you are rather badly misunderstanding me if you think I don't 'accept the fact that someone in the world will disagree about your views and opinions'. This is the whole point. I know that only too well! I was just trying to find a way where others could disagree without destroying my opinions in the process! A single auxiliary page that was protected by me would have been a solid backbone on which to hang an awful lot of potentially very useful userfied information - but nobody seems to be able to understand me on this!!!! Stho002 03:33, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

I see this page how he have organized the Insecta. Its means that there are different ways to organized the Insecta. But to understand about which philosophy the author have used you have make this sides. I should like to have such a side for the moths after Fibiger. This means not that you can't change his or Fibiger philosophy. You can disussed on the Authors side or herein Villagepump.

PeterR 15:12, 29 November 2008 (UTC)

Communication breakdown

This "discussion" seems to be suffering from a communication breakdown, so please allow me to clear a few points up:
(1) Ohana: don't worry, I haven't gone, and I have no intention of leaving Wikispecies (despite the occasional blast of hot air to the contrary, i.e, my Wikiversity comments). As I said, I am not egoistic, nor petty minded, and there are many constructive things I can still do for the project independently of the "New Zealand" page. I would like to challenge Lycaon to take a similar attitude and to continue making his valuable contributions... Stho002 00:14, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
(2) PeterR's comments above perfectly illustrate a point I have being trying to make. PeterR is a great contributor, with oodles of enthusiasm, eagerness, and energy, and I respect him for that. However, his understanding of taxonomy isn't really up there where it should be, I'm afraid. He is good for putting in species/genus level information, but he seems to just want to follow whatever classification the authors of the publication he is currently looking at follow. This is no good, because (i) different authors use different (and mutually inconsistent) classifications; and (ii) you can't trust alpha taxonomists for higher-level classification. The higher-level classification (above genus) must be decided by weighing up the scientific evidence in publications which specifically tackle the higher-classification by phylogenetic methods. Not an easy task ... Stho002 00:21, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
(3) See this comment above: This is precisely the problem (or boon) of wikis, depending from which viewpoint you are looking at it. Is a wiki there to provide information that is 100% correct, and thus needs to limit the editing, or is it there to provide a mixture of all the different opinions on a subject, including the crackpots, thus letting everyone tell it like it is, their own way. I'm not sure a wiki focused on giving out correct information should allow random editing to articles. Jacina 08:23, 28 November 2008 (UTC)
I think the basic idea behind the wiki philosophy is sound: everyone does have the right to contribute their own opinion, even crackpots (and Lycaon!!! :) ). Note however that this doesn't mean that everyone's opinion is "equal", or that everyone with an opinion on a subject ought to be considered before any action is taken or decision made (or else no actions would be taken, nor decisions made!) I think though that a HUGE mistake has been made: alternative opinions are just that - alternatives - and must be expressed, so to speak, "in parallel". If you try to COMBINE all the different (and mutually inconsistent) opinions into a single overall opinion, it will all cancel itself out and you will be left with precisely ZERO! Each person's opinion belongs to them, and although others have the right to express alternative opinions, they do not have the right to revise, dilute, or destroy the opinions already expressed by others. That's my opinion anyway - take it or leave it! Stho002 00:32, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
(4) Although Wikipedia and the like can perhaps get away without worrying too much about the absolute reliability/accuracy of contributed information, the situation here at Wikispecies is different. If we just confined ourselves to lions, tigers, elephants, etc. then that would be one thing, but 90+% of the species on Earth are tiny and obscure little things whose existence is only of interest to a handful of specialists. The taxonomic/nomenclatural information provided on Wikispecies is HIGHLY technical, and so if it isn't very reliable/verifiable, what's the point??? I would like to see Wikispecies become a serious resource of taxonomic information, wouldn't you??? Stho002 00:41, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

I believe all contributors here at wikispecies would like to see wikispecies become a "serious resource of taxonomic information", and not even necessarily confined to just that. The project was started with only few rules, most rules we have now, have evolved over the past years, and I am sure they will evolve further. There is one common rule that all wikis have in common. Discuss new ideas and try to reach community consensus. That's the only right way to introduce new ideas. --Kempm 16:27, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
I don't mean to pull a technicality on you (too much like Lycaon's tactics), but I would just draw your attention to the following dated correspondence on Maxim's talk page (Maxim was the one who nominated me for adminship, so it seemed appropriate for me to ask his advice on this issue):
OK, so what do I need to do now to become an admin? Also, I quite like the idea of having pages for localities (maybe just countries) on which one could list their biota as links to the species pages. Has anybody thought of this? Would anyone object? 02:02, 13 November 2008 (UTC)
He didn't respond to this, even after I asked again, so I'm afraid I interpreted this to mean that it wasn't a big deal - so I just went ahead and "used my initiative". Oh well, I learn from my mistakes, and I have learned a lot in my life so far!!! Stho002 20:16, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Copy of discussion on Open2universe talk page

Here are my current concerns
  1. As a group we have not even established that distribution should be a part of a wikispecies article. Your arguments seem to hinge on this premise. I personally am against it but I could be persuaded.
  2. If we choose to add checklists, I would like to see guidelines created. Countries? Ecological regions? Insects only? You say people have found it useful. In what way? And how did they find it? Did you send a link?
  3. Until either of these is resolved I think your New Zealand page should be under your user account. You can still send people to that page.
  4. I do see the protection of an auxiliary page when there has not been evidence of vandalism as problematic and do not believe it is justified

--Open2universe | Talk 13:24, 1 December 2008 (UTC)

Here are my current answers:

(1) > As a group we have not even established that distribution should be a part of a wikispecies article
I think you mean that as a group you haven't even thought of it. I have many entomologist colleagues here in New Zealand who find my New Zealand page to be the ONLY thing on Wikispecies to be of any real practical use to them! Most (but not all) taxonomists in the world have a main focus on the country that they are based in. But this is even more true of amateurs - they mostly want to know what species are found in their country. The key point is that Wikispecies needs to be useful in a practical sense, and having distribution makes it a lot more useful. Personally, I can't see the point in having vernacular names for every little obscure species - not useful.
(2) Guidelines: it would be most straightforward just to have distribution pages for countries, but no reason to restrict them to any particular taxon like insects. On the other hand, since the distribution pages are auxiliary, does it matter if they proliferate to include regions other than just countries (provided that they keep to a basic faunistic format)? I created my New Zealand page partly in response to demand from certain colleague/friends, so they know about it from me. In what way do they find it useful? Well, for example, one of them works in biosecurity risk assessment, and needs to know if a species has been recorded before from New Zealand. Particularly with Coleoptera (beetles), my New Zealand page is currently the only reliable source of such information.
(3) Protection: there are several good reasons for protection of the page:

  • Users of the page want to be able to cite it, but it makes little sense to cite an open edit article
  • Because taxonomy is always open to different opinions/interpretations, an open edit article could rapidly become a chaotic jumble of conflicting opinions, and I won't always be around to watch the page for such counterproductive editing. The linked taxon pages are open edit, and I have just tried to minimise the need for protection to JUST ONE PAGE in order to provide some sort of solid backbone to make the information reliable
  • There is a real danger here in N.Z. that certain people will continue to divert a great deal of research funding (which ought to go to taxonomic revisions) into doing these sorts of checklists and will spend far too much time on them and produce a poor quality product. As long as my New Zealand page is open edit, they can claim that it isn't to be taken seriously, but simply use the information I have provided for their own gain...

Stho002 20:20, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Also: another group who find the N.Z. page very useful are Masters/PhD students (the scientists of the future). Currently, in N.Z. anyway, this sort of information is under the tight control of a few "hard nut" entomologists, and students do not have good access to reliable information.Stho002 21:09, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

I really dont understand why create a page "New Zealand" and not a "Category:New Zealand's life form". There are infinite categories ... this will be define the search of a Wikispecies user.
Imagine a Wikispecies with pages like: Amazonia, South Atlantic, Saara, Texas, Honshu, Black Sea, Alaska, Gibraltar ... there are infinite geographical names ... we will lose the focus on species !
Thanks for the attention ... and forgive my bad English.
CaCO3 20:52, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

I think you are seeing a problem that isn't there! I don't think adding extra pages means we lose the focus on species!
  • the geographical pages take an ENORMOUS amount of work to write (I have been collecting references for N.Z. beetles for a decade!), so I don't think that many people will take on the HUGE task of creating such pages
  • even if they do, the focus of these pages is species! So how can we lose the focus on species???!!! In order to make my N.Z. page complete, I must now create all the linked genus/species pages (many currently in red on the N.Z. page). The N.Z. page provides a focus and motivation for creating all the linked species pages.
  • we already have a HUGE number of pages for taxon authorities - these aren't species! Have we already lost focus on species because of all these taxon authority pages??? I think not.
  • what use are all the species pages if we don't tie them together in some practically useful way, such as by country???
let us not be opposed to change just because it is change. If it is useful, do it ... Stho002 21:03, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't mind seeing distribution on talk page. It does no harm to anyone. But I really don't see the need to protect New Zealand. You won't achieve a lot by protecting it, nor losing a lot by not protecting it because we got a quiet project here. Quite unlike Wikipedia where information can change every minute, ours rarely change, if at all. OhanaUnitedTalk page 21:07, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Realistically Ohana, "quiet" = overlooked because not considered useful or reliable Stho002 21:11, 3 December 2008 (UTC) As I said to Open2, I was chatting recently to a VERY powerful chief editor of a VERY PROMINENT taxonomic journal (who I won't name) who immediately dismissed the idea of Wikispecies, and said that Encyclopaedia of Life was the way to go "because they have $14million"... Stho002 21:13, 3 December 2008 (UTC) I have contributed a great deal of taxonomic info to Wikispecies (both N.Z. oriented and world oriented), and all I ask in return is one auxilliary page that I can protect ... :( Stho002 21:16, 3 December 2008 (UTC)
Please answer the following questions:

(1) Who (what sort of people) is Wikispecies intended to benefit and in what ways?
(2) Who actually is benefitting from Wikispecies currently, and to what extent? Ohana's "quiet project" remark (above) suggests that few people benefit...
(3) What good reason could there possibly be for not wanting to make Wikispecies more useful to a wider range of people (while remaining true to it's core philosophy and aims - we could become very popular if we posted porn(!), but that is clearly outside of the core philosophy! We surely want to be as popular/successful/well regarded as we can be AS A PROVIDER OF (RELIABLE) INFORMATION ON SPECIES. Stho002 21:37, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

The discussion about including Distrubution sections on Wikispecies have been discussed. Not even just once, but by now almost a million times :) The answer to why not include it here on Wikispecies has always been something along these lines: the data is not language-independent, and therefore it should be best put on the wikipedia sisterprojects of your preferred language. See the wikimedia projects as one big pool, where you don't want to have duplicate information.
The reasons of wikispecies' existance seem to be slightly unclear. From bits and pieces found on old lemma's I think the project was started with the idea trying to get the scientific world interested to work on a wiki. I have not found any clues that wikispecies was just confined to taxonomy and nomenclature. As time progressed the scientific world apparently didn't feel like working on a wiki, or saw dangers, or even criticized the wiki. Look on it like that and perhaps Wikispecies has failed in its mission. There is no cooperation from the scientific world whatsoever, and the project even forgot about that purpose.
Wikispecies has now grown to a directory of taxonomic and nomenclarural use. For the past years we waited for a new kind of wiki to arrive: Wikidata. I believed that wikispecies would be ported into a wikidata database, and our data would be used as a taxonomic umbrella for all the other wikiprojects. I'm not sure if that day ever comes :) --Kempm 23:40, 4 December 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Kempm that 'there is no cooperation from the scientific world whatsoever'. My point is that all it takes is a rethink on how to provide more reliable information, and then the scientific world will sit up and listen - I know because I am on the edges of the scientific world (but an independent). I know scientists (entomologists) who are using my New Zealand page, but they would be far happier if it (just that one page) were edit protected. That would ensure more reliability - they would know who wrote it and when. If we don't change and step up, Wikispecies remains lost and pointless ... Stho002 05:42, 5 December 2008 (UTC)

Single User Login

In case people are not aware bug 14407 seems to have been fixed, so thank you to Brion Vibber. This means users no longer have to login separately for Wikispecies if they are logged into other Wikimedia projects. The effect can already be seen in the log of new users [4]. Suicidalhamster (talk) 22:40, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

It couldn't be done without the help from Wing. OhanaUnitedTalk page 16:16, 4 December 2008 (UTC)

Some time has passed after the desysops...

What should be done now? Should Lycaon and Stho002 have the user rights restored? Maxim(talk) 01:41, 7 December 2008 (UTC)

Give Stho002 back on the condition that he promises not to abuse the buttons. As for Lycaon, he's no longer active and the chances are we won't hear anything from him anymore. If he decides to come back then he will need to face the judgement from the community. OhanaUnitedTalk page 04:22, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Please define "abuse"! I only used the sysop buttons to improve Wikispecies and defend myself against harrassment by Lycaon Stho002 04:29, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Yes, even thought what you are doing are viewed as "good" to some of us, you have to be civil even if the other party is not being civil to you. Your approach also cannot be so pointy towards things. OhanaUnitedTalk page 05:06, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
I shall promise to be the very epitome of civility, and I shall be "blunt" instead of "pointy", and shall just quietly get on with it ... :) Stho002 05:17, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
I don't think Stho002 needs the admin tools. The work he does here doesn't require them. My concern is that he doesn't even agree that he abused the admin tools. He merely promises to be civil, not to abuse his power as an admin. --Open2universe | Talk 12:55, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
He did show the need for tools when it comes to rolling back vandalism and deleting nonsense page. OhanaUnitedTalk page 16:03, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
I would prefer him to just go through RFA again. I think he should show that he still has the trust of the Wikispecies community (to the extent that there is one). Ucucha (talk) 17:27, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps I shouldn't comment on this, because I wasn't here to vote on stho002's RfA either, but. I do doubt somewhat whether stho has the right ideas about a wiki. I had the impression that stho misunderstood the fundamentals of how a wiki should be used, etc. I'm referring to the incident that led to removing his bit, but also to the discussion for example on Ucucha's talk page, where he showed a misunderstanding of the fundamentals of a wiki, and also about the steps to take when trying to get consensus for new ideas. My feelings therefore tell me that I think it would be best if he familiarizes himself more with the basics and user aspects of the wiki, before applying for Admin.
Having said that, I must admit that I am not so sure if he has misused his adminship. I am not taking sides in the Lycaon-stho cat-fight. --Kempm 20:37, 8 December 2008 (UTC)
those who think I misunderstand the wiki principle misunderstand me. I understand it, but I just don't think it works for taxonomy because there are too many taxonomic disagreements among taxonomists and if nobody coordinates the WHOLE wiki to try to make the classification consistent, then chaos results. This is in part why the scientific community has turned up its nose at Wikispecies, so who now are our audience?? Anyway, I realise that we can't reinvent the whole Wiki, so I just try to make some minimal changes to try to improve things, such as by protecting my New Zealand page so it doesn't risk becoming chaotic in the future. As I said before, alternative opinions are just that - alternatives - and it is a logical fallacy to try to combine inconsistent opinions into a single overall opinion. Different opinions should be seen side by side. So please don't tell me that I don't understand the wiki principle... Stho002 21:22, 8 December 2008 (UTC)

Chaos occurs in the classification of Insecta because genera are embedded in tribes, and tribes are embedded in subfamilies. One normally expects genera to be listed under families. (Stho002 has listed the genera in each family on the New Zealand page) This chaotic situation can readily be corrected by just adding all of the genera in a "Genera Overview" under the family name as I have done with   Syrphidae Ed Uebel
That is true, in part, but chaos also occurs because there isn't always agreement over which genera ought to be considered valid as opposed to synonyms, or sometimes even to which family a genus belongs. More common still these days is disagreement about which families are valid and/or where they belong in the classification (see talk: Scydmaenidae for a good example. Stho002 20:00, 11 December 2008 (UTC)


why is this page and his Subpages in the main Namespace? daniel B 12:11, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

No good reason. I didn't think too much about it. And since it is not being updated lately, I don't know that I would bother changing it. --Open2universe | Talk 01:48, 16 December 2008 (UTC)
It makes more sense to put it under userspace or Wikispecies space OhanaUnitedTalk page 03:20, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

It's project-related page thus it belongs to the Project: (Wikispecies:) namespace.
Danny B. 11:02, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Indicating lectotype species of genera

Anyone think this is a good idea? It would be quite easy to do by adding bold formatting to the lectotype species on the genus pages, e.g. {{sp|P|otentilla|recta}} {{sp|P|otentilla|rehderiana}} '''{{sp|P|otentilla|reptans}}''' {{sp|P|otentilla|robbinsiana}} - MPF 23:12, 18 December 2008 (UTC)

  1. There is no such thing as "lectotype species of genera", just type species [except perhaps in botany - I forget about plants! Stho002 23:39, 18 December 2008 (UTC)]
  2. We already state the type species (when known) of a genus in the name section of the genus page
  3. The type species might be a synonym which therefore isn't on the species list for the genus, so it could get confusing if you do it your way

Stho002 23:15, 18 December 2008 (UTC)


How should we format pages under Virus domain? I was planning to add species to Coronavirus, only to discover that there isn't any consistent formatting for viruses. Going back to coronavirus, there are groups of species that is very different from the normal categorization and won't fit into the standard formatting. Does anyone know the format of viruses in scientific sources or databases? OhanaUnitedTalk page 03:53, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

I know nothing, but try googling references like this one for information:
Stho002 04:52, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

My opinion is to keep the general pormat of Familia-Genus-Species with the exception of replacing Subspecies with "Strains" [or "Isolates"] as I did in this page. The strains' names are not binomal-standard (and the species names neither). They go like Potato spindle tuber viroid:avocado where Potato spindle tuber viroid is the species name and the extention :avocado indicates the strain.
Someone who filled-in virus info indicated the species names as type species like: "Type Species: Apple scar skin viroid", but I think this system is wrong and must be altered. Mariusm 07:30, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
But if it's divided into different groups (like the coronavirus), should we treat each group as subgenera (with a page just for the groups of the virus) or present every virus in different groups of same genus on the same page? It's very common to give abbreviations to different virus strains. Should we do that? OhanaUnitedTalk page 15:01, 22 December 2008 (UTC)
The groups of Coronavirus need not to be treated as subgenera, but as groups of species. I changed Coronavirus to reflect this. Please look at the page to see how I did this. Now you can create a page for each virus species, and add to it the strains where needed. As for the abbreviations, they can just be included in the name at the end, like "SARS-Coronavirus HSZ-A", which will be also the page's name. Mariusm 08:37, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Looks nice, but with all the bullets and indenting, it looks a bit messy. But nevertheless, good job on getting out of comfort zone and add them in. Perhaps we should discuss how the bullets and indenting should be. OhanaUnitedTalk page 14:41, 23 December 2008 (UTC)
Species groups are also common in genera other then viruses. Look for instance here and here. I agree we must devise a standard on species groups, which must be specified in the help section too. I think sections headings with 4 '=' for groups and '*' bullets for sub-groups looks OK. Lets wait and see if someone has a better suggestion ... But to create a separate page for each group would be really cumbersome and unproductive. Mariusm 06:11, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
You should start by linking the page on influenza to flu and influenza and listing common colds at common cold or else people who arent attempting degree standard learning will be unlikely to see them. To create groups without names is even less productive than what Mariusm is talking about. RTG 09:16, 26 December 2008 (UTC)

Species barcode reader !?

An interesting recent development assigns a "barcode" to each species, derived from a section of the DNA. Future taxonomists will take an hair or an insect's leg, put it in a "species barcode reader" and get the exact species name, or realize they have found a new undescribed species. Specialists suggest no less then 8 million species wait to be described, so this barcode system will be of great help. Look for more info here Mariusm 06:39, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

The "gel jockeys" would have us believe just about anything! Their idea of taxonomy is to grind a specimen up and stick it through a machine which spits out an identification. This certainly isn't my idea of taxonomy ...
Stho002 20:38, 24 December 2008 (UTC)
But DNA is the one of the better and faster way to compare and judge whether 2 organisms are same species, different subspecies, or different species. OhanaUnitedTalk page 01:19, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
I doubt it is that simple (particularly because names are still attached to species via type specimens which are mostly unsuitable for the extraction of DNA). Anyway, the one thing that DNA might be good for is associating males/females, larvae/adults etc., but for some reason it hardly ever gets used for that...Stho002 01:29, 25 December 2008 (UTC)
Stho002, I think your criticism is way too harsh, and I'm willing to explain you exactly why:
  1. The traditional methods for classifying plants & animals demand great skill and time, while DNA examination is much faster and easier.
  2. It was proved beyond doubt that a segment of the mitochondrial DNA can distinguish animal species, and this was rigorously tested across divers animal types.
  3. Actually the method of barcoding is much more reliable than the traditional one, because it is just a set of 4 code letters: C, A, T, G, and independent of subjective visual observations and interpretations.
  4. DNA barcode survays have revealed cryptic species lurking in museum drawers in every serious study made so far.
  5. Some species are so look-alikes, they can't be visually distinguished at all. Take for example the butterfly Astraptes fulgerator. Only after DNA studies, taxonomists realized it consists of at least 10 different species.
  6. Only this method can assess quickly enough regional biodiversity by field scientists, giving governaments and organizations the necessary info to act upon it on preserving "hot spots".
By the way, here is a nice blog on this subject. Mariusm 17:55, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

Well, I'm not wanting to get into an argument about it - if you think it is a good thing then good for you - but just some thoughts:
>The traditional methods for classifying plants & animals demand great skill and time, while DNA examination is much faster and easier

  1. Some could see this as a "dumbing down" - traditional taxonomy/diagnostics is a talent and an art which ought to be encouraged
  2. Maybe it could work for routine diagnostic work on specific taxa of economic/medical significance, but not across the board
  3. It is dangerous to just blindly accept what a machine spits out at you as the "right answer" without understanding what is going on sufficiently well to be able to tell if something has gone wrong
  4. some of us don't see the splitting of species into endless "cryptic species" as a good thing - there are far too many morphologically distinct species in the world waiting to be described and documented without "inventing" more!
  5. Once again, the naming of species relies on type specimens which are typically not in fit state to have their DNA analysed. If we were to "start again" with a new system for naming, then everything up to now starting with Linnaeus will become worthless - including Wikispecies!

Stho002 22:22, 25 December 2008 (UTC)