Wikispecies:Village Pump/Archive 8

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Plant Classification

Do we use the Cronquist system of taxonomy or the PG II system as this will have a major impact on how to enter things that have been missed and are grouped. For example (correct me if i am wrong) in Cronquist system Malvaceae is composed of just the Mavloideae family. In APG II it also includes the Bombacoideae, Brownlowioideae, Byttnerioideae, Dombeyoideae, Grewioideae, Helicteroideae, Sterculioideae, and Tilioideae families. Here in Wikispecies there is a fusion of the two systems with the higher taxonomy of the Cronquist system with Magnolophyta and Magnoliopsida, which are not used in APG II, and then changes to the Cronquist system for the family and lower levels. we should decide on one or the other instead of a fusion of the two. Kevmin 02:37, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

I agree, APG II seems to be the way to go. I would keep the others with redirects since people will still be looking for them. Open2universe 17:33, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Do those two systems (Cronquist and APG II) only apply to vascular plants? I have no real taxonmic experience, but was trying to determine if information on the PLANTS Database could help fill in some gaps here. The PLANTS Database uses the Cronquist system, but assuming that only applies to vascular plants, the PLANTS database also has "... mosses, lichens, and hepatics (liverworts and hornworts) of North America" and the information (excluding images) is in the public domain. All they ask is for is proper citation. I created a Template:PLANTS, similar to Template:ITIS so it is easy to link to them. Any opinions on the usefulness of PLANTS Database as a source here? --Georgeryp 20:17, 12 May 2007 (UTC)
I am a total amateur at this stuff but I have been using the USDA Germplasm Resources Information Network site, mostly because it was easy to extract data, including initial reference. [1]. I think both are okay as initial resources, but we really should have the true references, (e.g. article citations etc.). That is not alwasys so easy to find. Open2universe 12:12, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

About Saola

Hello. I'm editing on the french Wikipedia and make links with WSp. There is a mistake on the genus spelling of Pseudoryx nghetinhensis, the famous saola discovered in Vietnam. Could it be rectified please. Thank you very much.

Rectified. Thanks for noticing. Lycaon 06:49, 5 March 2007 (UTC)


You might be interested in iSpecies; perhaps including a link on the Wikispecies entry for each species? Andy Mabbett 19:22, 2 March 2007 (UTC)


Please be aware of the proposed Species microformat. Comments welcome here or on the wiki at that link. Andy Mabbett 19:25, 2 March 2007 (UTC)


The draft 'species' microformat has been applied to Wikipedia-EN's "taxobox". Please see the taxobox talk page for details. Andy Mabbett 21:51, 10 June 2007 (UTC)

Systematic Lookup Feature

Hi, I'm on Siargao Island in the Philippines. I spent some time wandering about taking pictures of a wide variety of plants and animals. I'd need a way to look up all these species on Wikispecies, but no such features exists. Perhaps the lookup feature used in the Audubon field guides would be a good starting point. Has this been discussed before? I think it would make Wikispecies vastly more interesting, especially for students. Gavin 02:21, 5 March 2007 (UTC)

Siargao... that's nice. There's probably an undescribed Crateromys (a large, squirrel-like, arboreal rat) wandering about there.
There is no such feature on Wikispecies (I presume you mean some sort of geographic sorting or a list of fauna and flora occurring in a particular region) and I think it'll be very hard to implement before we are in Wikidata (the "database wiki" that will once replace this "normal" wiki). However, there's a list of mammals on the island at [2]. I fear I can't help you for other taxa. I may be able to help you with the mammals. Ucucha (talk) 06:35, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the comments. There's a common shrub here--probably in the Lauraceae family--that grows in rocky tidal areas putting roots down in just a few cm of sand. I took many pictures of this plant and would love to identify it. Is there any convenient mechanism to do this? If not, one should be implemented. Done properly, students and hobbyists the world over could assist professionals to flesh out the database. Take my plant as an example. Using the mechanism, I would search for this plant by basic data--leaf shape, geography, environment, etc. If a search using all of my known values returns no match, I would upload photos and other field information about the mystery plant. Any interested person could then browse mystery plants by category and assist in identification. For example, a grad student in Japan studying Lauraceae or perhaps SE Asia coastal flora would find my plant listed in these categories. Perhaps he could positively identify it with the photos and field data I've already uploaded. He could then either point me to an existing article in the system. If no article exists, he could create one using my photos and data. Or, if there is insufficient information to positively identify this species, he could reply on the mystery plant's talk page and ask for additional information. This would continue until the plant is identified or perhaps established to be a newly discovered species.
This would need fine tuning to prevent a flood of species ID requests, but, in principle, it could be a great way to get community involvement in Wikispecies. It would be collaborative, fun and useful.
Now, let's see if I can find any of those Crateromys... :) Gavin 11:15, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
On Wikimedia Commons, there is a category Category:Unknown species (which seems to be very, very large). It might be best to upload pictures there (if you have any), but we might as well make a page on Wikispecies for identification (Wikispecies:Identification).
The Crateromys is known only from reports from local people collected in a 1990 survey by Oliver et al. (Oliver, W.L.R., Cox, C.R., Gonzales, P.C. & Heaney, L.R. 1993. Cloud rats in the Philippines – preliminary report on distribution and status. Oryx 27(1):41-48.) It is called "hawili" by locals, who said that it had become extremely scarce (so it might even be extinct now). It might or might not be the same species as C. australis from Dinagat (which itself is known from only one specimen). The original description of this species is on [3]; it includes a photograph of the related C. schadenbergi. Ucucha (talk) 07:35, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
I think that's an excellent idea. --Kempm 17:25, 7 March 2007 (UTC)
I just started putting some ideas down at Wikispecies:Identification and the talk page. Please take a look. Gavin 04:36, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

E O Wilson's wish

In case you're not already aware; This project aligns with E.O Wilson's wish:

...that we will work together to help create the key tool that we need to inspire preservation of Earth's biodiversity: the Encyclopedia of Life [...] an encyclopedia that lives on the Internet, with an ever-evolving page for every species [and which] does not duplicate existing efforts, but instead incorporates them through linking [with a] search technology that can aggregate existing biological information and make it easily accessible.

Andy Mabbett 12:58, 12 March 2007 (UTC)
  • E.O. Wilson is supporting a similar project called the Encyclopedia of Life with apparently only expert contributors although it "...will be a moderated wiki-style environment, freely available to all users everywhere."[4]
    See also Encyclopedia of Life Launched (May 08, 2007). --Georgeryp 15:10, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

ITIS has a new URL!

ITIS, the Integrated Taxonomic Information System, often referred to by folks here, has a new URL. Instead of, it's now just , without the usda part. As of now, there are more than 300 links to pages at ITIS that need to be corrected; currently they just time-out. This is a perfect thing for a bot to do... The list can be found via Special:Linksearch, given here. Let's get cracking! JesseWeinstein 22:44, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

Made an ITIS Template: Template:ITIS -- Ninjamask 01:39, 9 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikispecies request from GBIF

My name is David Remsen and I work for the Global Biodiversity Information Facility [5]in Copenhagen. I was previously associated with the uBio Project [6] of which I was the founder and I recognize some of the posters here and many of the other initiatives mentioned. My focus is on the development of integrative informatics services that utilize taxonomic and nomenclatural concepts to address name-related access impediments for anyone who serves information relating to species. Among these services is a need for users who provide taxonomic browse interfaces to data, to be able to present common name representations of higher taxon names in a dynamic fashion (via synchronous or asychronous web services). I am trying to assemble sources of such higher taxon names within a data structure to serve through a federated nomenclatural service framework. WikiSpecies present many of these and could be a contributor to such a structure. My question is 1) May I draw upon these names as a source for this service and 2) if so, is there are structure way to access these data? - David Remsen (

Of course you may draw on this for data. Everything here is released under GNU Free Documentation License (there shoud be a link at the bottom of the page). Unfortunately extracting the data is not as simple. We are still hoping to get to a wikidatabase format someday. In the mean time you can seach and export individual pages or you can recreate your own wiki with dumps available at Downloads. Help:Taxonavigation section lists are current standards. Open2universe 12:28, 5 April 2007 (UTC)
Another option is to parse the XML-based version of the wiki at the download dump URL given above. --Georgeryp 20:27, 12 May 2007 (UTC)


Please help me on this one. I thought fishbase is the correct reference. Dryke 19:03, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

How has Wikimedia Changed your Life?

This message is being crossposted around village pumps and mailing lists - apologies if you receive it more than once!
Have any of the Wikimedia projects had an effect on you in real life, or do you know of someone, or some group of people, who use our projects in real life? If so, we want to hear from you at m:Success Stories - How has Wikimedia Changed your Life?. The hope is that this page can become somewhere to which we can point members of the press so that they can immediately get an idea of the usefulness of our projects. Please, take a look, and add your stories! Martinp23 16:08, 10 April 2007 (UTC)

Request for username change

I would like that my username be changed to User:A.Ou, if that is possible. I had my username changed on the English Wikipedia, so it would greatly help if I can keep my username identical throughout the Wikimedia projects. Thanks, A.Ou 01:43, 16 April 2007 (UTC) (Note: my current username is User:A.JH.Ou; I already altered by signature to reflect my username request)

Re: Elacatinus

I recently created the guide pages and added my images of the genus Elacatinus (Gobiidae).
I had a question regarding the formatting of Elacatinus. I had provided additional range and species description information for the Elacatinus spp. and now they are missing. Did you not want any additional information besides the names and refs? I'd think that the Wikispecies resource would be improved if range, habitat, and physical description was added for each fish.
I noticed my formatting errors when I was done but when I changed the species name on the genus page it deleted my species page! I had to put it back to retrieve my page. Is there a way to change the species and not delete an old node? - Tambja

It is possible to move a page from the wrong name to the correct name. You can then put a deletion request on the redirection which is hereby automatically created. Use the move tab on top of this page for that.
As for habitat, description and distribution info, we do not allow this on wikispecies as this would introduce English-only text which would then have to be translated into umpteen languages, hereby creating possible multiple taxonomies which would be near impossible to handle. That kind of information should therefore go to the wikipedia pages of the respective languages through interwiki linking. Lycaon 16:51, 18 April 2007 (UTC)
Thank you very much for the information. i should have realized that about the languages! Tambja

Redirects for vernacular names?

I'm a regular over at Wikipedia; never visited here before. I should preface this by! I'm sure I'm not bringing up anything new, but I was just wondering why you don't have a redirect system for common names of species (I suspect it may be because it wouldn't be a good idea to limit the languages <even though this is written in English> and thus having each article have numerous redirects would be a bandspace hog?). If I'm speaking greek, an example would be: for Alectoris rufa, there would be a redirect to it from Red-legged Partridge, and so on for all articles. Keep up the fascinating work.-- 03:37, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Wikispecies could be an altlas with a picture for every taxon

Hi. A picture for every child taxon in the father taxon page. One can navigate very easily, and it can be very interessant to navigate.

Dagger symbol

I noticed on Rutledge's talk page that we should be using "†" instead of "&dagger;" If that is still prefered:

  1. Why?
  2. Should it be mentioned on Help:Taxonavigation section or Help:Name section?
  3. Does the † symbolize the taxon is known only as a fossil or that it is extinct?

To make it easier for new contributors and so we do not have to copy-n-paste † (or remember the ALT+ key code) maybe either:

  • A template {{fossil}} or {{extinct}} could be created
  • A † button could be added to the edit toolbar (Toolbar.PNG)

Any opinions? --Georgeryp 19:10, 26 April 2007 (UTC)

If mentioned in the Help section, it should be noted that "†" belongs outside [[wikilinks]] and sp, ssp, etc {{template calls}} but inside templates themselves: see Template:Prosopidae --Georgeryp 14:51, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
By the way... i saw some sites uses †&nbsp;[[link]] and others uses †[[link]] ... so do we need a space between the dagger and link or not? -- Ninjamask 20:07, 3 May 2007 (UTC)
Good point. So it seems †&nbsp;[[link]] is preferred because that should prevent a line break between the dagger and wikilink, the same way [[taxon1]]&nbsp;- [[taxon2]] is the standard in Help:Taxonavigation section. --Georgeryp 17:04, 4 May 2007 (UTC)

Suppl. Pl.

I notice that Supplementum Plantarum has been requested for speedy deletion. The creation of pages on taxon source was discussed above in section #Pages for taxon sources?. Did I miss a later discussion on this topic? Hesperian 23:50, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Bullets in Taxonavigation section

Is there ever a reason to have " * " in the Taxonavigation section? Before I continue removing all those I find, I want to be sure, especially after reading this: User talk:HarrivBOT - removing *
Thanks. Here are some examples: Acuminodeutopinae, Crangonyctidae, and Clarencia --Georgeryp 23:51, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

They can be removed. This is a remnant of possible formatting before the current structure was adopted. Lycaon 00:02, 30 April 2007 (UTC)