Wikispecies:Village pump/Archive 4

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Thinkmap Taxonomy

I was thinking that when Wikispecies was robust enough, it could use Thinkmap to make a navigatable taxonomy chart. An example of Thinkmap in action is the Visual Thesaurus. I realize you'd have to fundraise for this, but I think it's worth it. --Munchkinguy 19:01, 4 January 2006 (UTC)

How should I give article names for plant hybrids?

I am wondering what I should should do with the names that are of the form genus x species. Should I include the x as part of the article name? Or should I use only use it for display. Thanks, Open2universe 12:25, 10 April 2006 (UTC)

Well, I don't know the standards of Wikispecies. However, in any case you should not use the letter "x", but a multiplication sign "×". It should be placed before the specific epithet in a nothospecies (hybrid species), as: Euphorbia ×cornubiensis, in nothogeneric names: ×Brunserine and the recommendation is that there is no space before the name. A hybrid formla is written Euphorbia amygdaloides × Euphorbia wulfenii. All according to the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN), in APPENDIX I: NAMES OF HYBRIDS: Article H.5 [1] Epibase 20:10, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

There has been a change in the Vienna code that states:
Recommendation H.3A
H.3A.1. The multiplication sign ×, indicating the hybrid nature of a taxon, should be placed so as to express that it belongs with the name or epithet but is not actually part of it. The exact amount of space, if any, between the multiplication sign and the initial letter of the name or epithet should depend on what best serves readability.
Note 1. The multiplication sign × in a hybrid formula is always placed between, and separate from, the names of the parents.
H.3A.2. If the multiplication sign is not available it should be approximated by a lower case letter “x” (not italicized).
Maybe there should be a discussion about the usage in Wikispecies. UME 15:32, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

Welcome Template

JaJaon 16:05, 19 June 2006 (UTC) I have designed a new welcome template found here. Please feel free to make alterations. After minor changes are made, I thought it could replace the standard Welcome Template. - Hominidae (Talk) I quite liked the original one, it is less intrusive. And please sign your messages with ~~~~, it adds the date ánd your userpage. Thanks. Lycaon 09:22, 5 January 2006 (UTC)

A bit too green in my opinion. Maybe we could get more current information on the existing welcome page, if needed. Best, Benedikt 21:58, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

Inter-Kingdom name clashes

Is there a policy for dealing with the few cases where a genus name is used for both an animal and a plant or fungus (some are listed on this page, along with much else to wile away a coffee break - [2]). The one I came across was Oenanthe, which is

  • the Wheatear genus of birds (Animalia / Aves / Passeriformes / Muscicapidae)
  • the Water Dropwort genus of Umbellifers (Plantae / Magnoliopsida / Apiales / Apiaceae)

I can see two possible approaches:

Any thoughts?--Keith Edkins 16:10, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

I think it's better to make different pages and disambiguation page. One page would just look disordered. – linnea (talk) 16:16, 8 January 2006 (UTC)

So far I've been using your first approach with a little twitch: Instead of using 'animalia' or 'plantae', I've used the immediate higher taxon. As of now, I haven't ceated disambiguation pages. — Lycaon 17:06, 8 January 2006 (UTC)


This seems to be both a plant (coneflower) and an animal (sea urchin). How is that going to be resolved? 12:33, 15 January 2006 (UTC) See two posts higher for how to solve such problems (as well as Echinacea). -- Lycaon 18:00, 15 January 2006 (UTC) Thanks. I have updated the taxonavigation upstream and downstream of the animal. 14:45, 18 January 2006 (UTC)


Is this a current taxonomic name? Or is it dated? This is what is says in Webster (1913)

"An extensive division of Mammalia. It formerly included the Proboscidea, Hyracoidea, Perissodactyla, and Artiodactyla, but by later writers it is generally restricted to the two latter groups (Ungulata)."

Herbivora (and Ungulata) are long obsolete taxa. Things have evolved since Webster ;-). Even Artiodactyla may soon not be heard of in favour of Cetartiodactyla (adding whales and relatives to the even-toed ungulates). -- Lycaon 17:51, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Usefullness doubted

I have been editing several taxonomic pages at wikipedia, before I came across this site. After some surfing, I am seriously doubting the usefullness of this site. The reasonsa are the folowing:

  1. Taxonomic information is one thing, but researchers often look for phylogenetic information, which goes much deeper than the taxonomic ranking that is available.
  2. To get an overview of a taxon and the subdivisions in it, I need to click many many pages before I get the information, and I have to combine that all together off wikispecies before it becomes usefull.
  3. There are several other databases in deveopment and online that give you much better info, such as the tree of life , to which this is merely a shallow copy at the moment.

Just my doubts.... -- 19:49, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Wikispecies is in full development, and already far more complete for certain taxa than tree of life (see e.g. ToL-Peracarida vs Wikispecies-Peracarida), to name only that one. When interwiki links and complete references will be fully implemented (see Aves and compair to ToL-Aves for instance) usefullness will be huge. You are welcome to build wikispecies and help to improve its usefullness. Thanks for contributing. Lycaon 21:28, 5 February 2006 (UTC)
You are adressing the amount of information as mesured with the number of entries. I was not talking about that at all. Where is the phylogenetic information? Where do I get the overviews for a specific group? In that sense, this is just a long list.

To add to that. I looked up Macaws (genus Ara), it contains only 8 out of 14 species, [3]. I used Tree of live as an example, sometimes there are other databases with more info. -- 00:08, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Beautiful, you found a gap in Wikispecies' taxonomy, why don't you fill it? That's how we work here. We talk about it now and then, but mostly we add content. ADW is sometimes good as a source but sometimes very limited too. I'm currently compiling a list of all known amphipods from literature (that's more than 8000). There is nowhere on the web, nor in any single publication where you will find that information. If you find a reliable taxonomic source, use it, and help build Wikispecies (ITIS, ADW, ToL, Taxonomicon, Cladeviewer, CAAB, ERMS, GBIF, Fauna Europaea, SysTax, and many more specialized sites). If your concern is phylogenetics, do something about it. 'Classical' systematics and phylogenetics are not mutual exclusive. Use your energy to propose and construct. Lycaon 01:07, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for the denigrating remarks, part of my work is taxonomy and phylogenetics, so I know where I am talking about. -- 04:03, 6 February 2006 (UTC) There is nothing denigrating about telling you you found a gap (??) That beautiful, was meant, I find gaps (and try to fill them) every day on Wikispecies. Also my work is partly envolving taxonomy. I just try to promote a project here. Please get an account and stop hiding behind anonymous remarks. I never hinted that you don't know what you're talking about. If you are a specialist, join and improve the system, instead of only criticizing.Lycaon 07:12, 6 February 2006 (UTC) The Ara species are not missing. 3 of them are listed under Propyrrhura, 1 Diopsittaca, 1 Orthopsittaca, and A. tricolor was probably omitted because it has been extinct for over 100 years. This classification appears to follow Handbook of the Birds of the World (1992-2004). It might perhaps be a sounder criticism that this project is being compiled by different people who may make different choices from the conflicting classifications on offer, making it well nigh impossible to audit for completeness--Keith Edkins ( Talk ) 18:21, 6 February 2006 (UTC)

  1. Anodorhynchus
   * Anodorhynchus glaucusGlaucous Macaw Conservation status: Critical
   * Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus : Hyacinth Macaw Conservation status: Endangered
   * Anodorhynchus leariIndigo Macaw or Lear's Macaw Conservation status: Critical
  1. Cyanopsitta
   * Cyanopsitta spixii : Little Blue Macaw or Spix's Macaw Conservation status: Critical
  1. Ara
   * Ara ararauna : Blue-and-yellow Macaw
   * Ara glaucogularis : Blue-throated Macaw Conservation status: Critical
   * Ara militaris : Military Macaw Conservation status: Vulnerable
   * Ara ambigua : Buffon's Macaw or Great Green Macaw Conservation status: Vulnerable
   * Ara macaoScarlet Macaw or Aracanga
   * Ara chloropteraGreenwing Macaw or Red-and-green Macaw
   * Ara rubrogenysRed-fronted Macaw Conservation status: Endangered
   * Ara severaChestnut-fronted Macaw
   * Ara atwoodiDominican Green-and-Yellow Macaw Conservation status: Extinct (1791)
   * Ara erythrocephala : Jamaican Green-and-Yellow Macaw Conservation status: Extinct (early 1800s)
   * Ara gossei : Jamaican Red Macaw Conservation status: Extinct (late 1700s)
   * Ara guadeloupensis : Lesser Antillean Macaw Conservation status: Extinct (1760)
   * Ara tricolorCuban Macaw Conservation status: Extinct (1885)
  1. Orthopsittaca
   * Orthopsittaca manilataRed-bellied Macaw
  1. Propyrrhura
   * Propyrrhura couloni : Blue-headed Macaw
   * Propyrrhura maracanaIlliger's Macaw or Blue-winged Macaw Conservation status: Vulnerable
   * Propyrrhura auricollisGolden-collared Macaw
  1. Diopsittaca
   * Diopsittaca nobilisRed-shouldered Macaw or Hahn's Macaw

-- 19:00, 6 February 2006 (UTC)


OK, I've cleaned up Rhododendron_catawbiense a little. What else do I need?

What must be done for it's parent Rhododendron? I can't find out what subfamilae Rhododendron_catawbiense is. I'd like to complete the chain from Ericaceae. I tried to fill out a part of the hierarchy, but got tagged as not conforming to the taxonomy. --Edgester 01:59, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Hi there, and welcome. I am not as familiar with plants but am starting to learn. I have been looking at the GRIN database from the United States Department of Agriculture. Here is the link to the genus Rhododendron. USDA You can see that there are a large number of species. There may be other taxonomies. I know in birds there are differing systems. Open2universe 04:16, 10 February 2006 (UTC)

Thanks for your work on Rhododendron. I've apparently discovered the same USDA site as Open2universe and added some of that information already. Searching on the Tribus names yielded quite some results.
The {{NSF}} is not only used for wrong taxonomy but also for incomplete taxonavigation, major incorrect formatting, etc. I normally leave it there for 5 to 10 days as to give the original author opportunity to adjust his/her contribution. Sometimes I adapt it myself. The worst cases eventually get deleted when there is no respons from anyone.

As for formatting, check out other completed pages by frequent contributors (e.g. Keith Edkins, Open2universe or even Myself ;-). There are some Excel sheets/macros around to facilitate input (again ask Keith Edkins or Myself (Lycaon)). -- Lycaon 14:00, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

I'm glad the article is ok now. I just had those two excellent photos that just screamed to be uploaded and given an article. --Edgester 01:30, 13 February 2006 (UTC)

Vernacular names for Galium aparine

Hi Lycaon, Sorry about all the mistakes. one of many things I don't understand is why you replaced my list of vernacular names (common names) with the latin name for Galium aparine? Urtica

Hi, No problems about the mistakes, we welcome every serious contribution. This is however a rather strictly formatted wiki, so everybody makes a few errors when starting. Concerning the vernacular names for Galium aparine, it is customary to only mention one name, namely the main link on the other wiki. There will probably, in the near future be a distinction between interwiki's (links) and vernacular names (not necessarily linked) (see also Interwikis higher up here). We may indeed have to open this discussion again as several contributors have joined since the last time this was talked about, and Wikispecies has probably more than doubled in size too. Lycaon 13:46, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Use of subgenus in page names

I notice that down among the Coleoptera species pages are being given names including subgenus names where they exist, eg Carabus (Megodontus) violaceus, Zyras (Diaulaconia) biseriatus. I feel this isn't 'really' correct: ICZN 5.1: "The scientific name of a species is a combination of two names (a binomen), the first being the generic name and the second being the specific name." If somebody enters Carabus violaceus he ought to go straight to the page, not fall into a search page. At least Carabus violaceus ought to be set up as a redirect. Any opinions? Keith Edkins ( Talk ) 13:04, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

I agree with you and think that the names should be in the binomial form. Open2universe 14:02, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Yes. The only exception may be if there is an hitherto unrecognized homonymy in the genus, with two species in different subgenera having the same name. Maybe the best solution would then be to give the author in the page name (for example Carabus something Jones, 1979 and Carabus something Taylor, 1979 or so). Ucucha (talk) 15:16, 28 February 2006 (UTC)

Another query on Carabus - the genus is divided into divisions (e.g. Multistriati) and subdivisions (Latitarsi) which have been set up under simply those names (and always displayed in upright type). Wouldn't it be more correct to call the pages something like Carabus div. Multistriati and Carabus subdiv. Latitarsi? Would the italics as used here be correct or should the div & subdiv names stay in upright? Keith Edkins ( Talk ) 21:21, 1 March 2006 (UTC)

In the absence of any comments I have amended as suggested, displaying as Carabus div. Multistriati etc. Keith Edkins (Talk) 13:50, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Personally, I find that it make it "loud" and don't look very well. And, it isn't in contradiction with the principle out of the discussion about the subgenera? That will probably be a good idea to add a section about this kind of taxon under the genus level in the "help page", cause it's really unclear right now, and anybody do it in a different way. Trépas 14:57, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Isopoda Vernacular Name

I think that for many languages, the vernacular name gived to the Isopoda is wrong: the name gived stand for the suborder Oniscidea. At least the French name was wrong, and I'm practically sure that the English name is too (Woodlice must stand only for the terrestrial Isopoda, but the majorities are aquatic.) It can be a good idea to check it. Sorted (I hope). Keith Edkins (Talk) 12:08, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Vernacular names are a pain, but I recommend that you use the generic name "isopod" for any member of the Crustacean order Isopoda. We need to train the public that this is a suitable name. Then if you wish to use a name for one of the suborders, then I recommend that you check the literature for a variety of the possible names; for example, the Oniscidea can be called variously slaters, woodlice (a particularly egregious name), or the famous dutch word pissebeden. Another example: Limnoriidae might be called gribbles, or wood borers. The list goes on, but it is fairly short as most isopods are not well known to the public. --Isopodz 23:37, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Vernacular name may be a misnomer here. It should ideally be Interwikis. I agree that Isopoda should really be isopods (en), isopoden (nl), isopodes (fr) or something similar. Most people only encounter 'pissebedden', although the majority of species is marine... -- Lycaon 02:25, 4 March 2006 (UTC)

I am new to Wikispecies but I beg to disagree about vernaculars. I think it is extremely important to list all reasonable vernacular names as this is the gateway for many non-scientists and scientists alike to explore speciation. I hope that this project does not become a list of binomens as this is quite esoteric and in my opinion of use only to those specifically working in systematics, taxonomy or cladistics. I am quite familiar with the taxonomy of certain groups of insects and may use the scientific name but I also use the vernacular in a familiar sort of way because of its' color. I often look for information about a particular organism by starting with the vernacular. By the same token I look at some of the new taxonomy and I'm lost until I see a vernacular reference. I recognize the group and "get my bearings." In my professional life we referred to most organisms by the vernacular even knowing the binomen. Obviously there is a need for rigorous scientific description but that doesn't mean the vernacular is useless. How dull the world would be if we only talked about U. horribilis rather than grizzlies or O. mykiss instead of rainbows. By the way, most gardeners know of isopods but by the name sowbugs. I know of scores of rural children that have fun with the little walking trilobytes that tuck and roll. WBM 1:10 23 April, 2006 I mostly agree. It is just about implementation actually. My ideal would be one monolingual wikispecies with both interwikis (with existing links) and vernacular names (linked to other wikis as may be). A search on a vernacular name should then yield taxonomic information plus a link to the wikis in any language for which an article exists. Front pages to Wikispecies should also exist in all languages to explain scope and setup. I don't think there are enough enthousiasts (and even less specialists) around to translate everything into every other language. We should join forces as scientists, but produce something usable for anybody who is interested. -- Lycaon 08:35, 23 April 2006 (UTC)

Common/Normal suffixes

Could we have entries, of the form -aceae or -ales to show what suffixes are used at what taxonomic level e.g. is something that ends "aceae" always a family? 12:44, 12 March 2006 (UTC) There is a list at en:Scientific_classification#Terminations of names. This only applies to family-group names: many taxa names ending in "-ina" or "-aria" are genera rather than animal subtribi or plant infraordines.--Keith Edkins (Talk) 09:00, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

An unfriendly wiki?

I don't like it being implied that I am being uncollaborative and that my editing ability may be blocked. So to avoid having this turn into the most unfriendly wiki that I have attempted to contribute to, I would like to make this public comment.

I am going through the ICZN's official list and adding content (including name, reference, and type genus/species, as well as some synonyms). However, the lists don't provide the taxonomic heirarchy, and I do not usually know what it is unless it has already been added to the wiki. I do not believe that this content should be considered useless because I don't have the taxonavigation for it. Other editors who do have that information should be able to come back later and add it. This is the very definition of collaboration and this kind of help would be greatly appreciated by me (and I'm sure by other current or future editors). Because Wikispecies is not a fork of Wikipedia, I assume that many of the general policies apply here as they would in Wikipedia, including these: Wikipedia:Assume good faith: "...we assume that most people who work on the project are trying to help it, not hurt it." Wikipedia:Editing policy: "Improve pages wherever you can, and don't worry about leaving them imperfect. However, avoid deleting information wherever possible." (I do expect other editors to later improve the pages that I create.)

I am also considering creating a special template and category for pages which have an incomplete or missing taxonomic heirarchy. If you would like to discuss this issue further, please do so here, not on my talk page. Thank you. —Mike 00:24, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Excellent! This is exactly what I think. Some users here are trying to force their own rules (not the community's). I was even told that my contributions would be deleted if they don't match higher taxa and they contain broken (red) links. I see no sensible point behind this. This is definitely uncollaborative and unfriendly. You can not force your own rules as they are common rules. --Alperen 13:19, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Mike, Alperen: In response to Mike's quotes I would quote Wikipedia:Don't disrupt Wikipedia to illustrate a point: "Discussion, rather than unilateral action, is the preferred means of changing policies." Wikispecies hasn't really got round to writing any "Policies", but I would contend that "Work top-down" and "Avoid orphaned pages" are de facto policies insofar as all regular contributors - what I would define as "the community" - were working that way up to a few days ago. To stick (I hope) to the point of the discussion, there are (to my mind) good reasons for working this way:
(1) The Orphaned pages list is a quality check - anything showing here should be either a mistake or vandalism, and roving members of "the community" take time occasionally to sort them out. The last time it was refreshed there were just 4 entries. Next time, I believe there will be several hundred of yours, beyond the scope of anybody to sort out (other than by wasting all your work by deleting the lot, probably bot-assisted), and spamming out any real mistakes or vandalism. It will generally take several times as long for somebody else to construct the hierarchy as it does for you to insert an orphaned record - if, indeed, the data can be located at all for less fashionable phyla. Which bears onto:
(2) Working top-down ensures internal integrity of the project, as those doing so will be forced to adopt a consistent phylogeny (incidentally - this comment to everybody - it would be helpful to give a reference to the scheme you have actually followed!) Coming in from the bottom, or at family level in the middle, runs all sorts of risks of outright conflict or presentational differences (what levels are worth including) with those starting from the top, which may well require every page you have created to be changed. I don't know what the coverage of the ICZN's official list is, but I would have thought it could only tell which names are available as validly published, not whether the latest classification actually makes use of them - so it appears that some of Mike's insertions will never fit into the hierarchy, certainly not at the same level as he has created them.

I trust I have abided by the "spirit of being helpful" (Wikipedia:Please do not bite the newcomers). I'm sure nobody sets out to be unfriendly - I never found them so when I started - but to introduce a completely new way of working is likely to be seen as disruptive to the point where admins (of whom I admit to being one, albeit a new one) start considering blocks and deletions. You clearly both have a lot of data to upload, but I really do beseech you to do so in way which will not cause aggravation to others.--Keith Edkins (Talk) 18:16, 13 March 2006 (UTC)

Ditto what Keith says. I know it may seem easy to go back in later and fill in the higher taxa information, but life is complicated and the relationships are complicated. I am concerned that it might create more work in the future, rather than less. Alperen, if you are working from a list, maybe you could find places where the higher taxa do exist already and start there? Just a thought. Open2universe 12:40, 14 March 2006 (UTC)

As an example, Was it disruptive when I made Rhododendron catawbiense and added all/most of the higher categories to make sure it wasn't an orphan? How should a person who only wants to contribute to one species go about doing it? --Edgester 17:19, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
Edgester, Rhododendron catawbiense, is not a good example of being disruptive (although this is too heavy a word for any good faith addition anyway). One single species is manageable anytime. The problem arises when somebody adds hundreds of taxa with incomplete, or worse: wrong, taxonavigation. In the latter case it may be months before this gets corrected. That's why the 'top-down' approach is so much encouraged. There might, however, be a solution for the species-only contributor. User Alperen has mentioned (on my talk page) the use of templates, which could be filled in afterwards. If properly implemented this could mimimize the work for those who do the effort later on, to fill up the taxonavigation. -- Lycaon 18:45, 26 March 2006 (UTC)
Lycaon, thanks for the clarification. I'm definitely a one or two species contributor. Is there some template or tag to use to flag a complete and verified taxonomy or an incomplete taxonomy? --Edgester 02:07, 28 March 2006 (UTC)

Linking to sister project?

Just wondering, does this project eventually plan to link to wikipedia articles? For example we have the article Anseranas semipalmata here on wikispecies, but wikipedia also has an article on the same species under its common name Magpie-goose. Is there a way we can make a link to this article, furthermore what sort of format do want for doing this? --Mrdude 20:38, 29 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Yes, I just saw that there is indeed a link, sorry about that. --Mrdude 20:40, 29 March 2006 (UTC)


Just wondering, is the focus of this project to make a repository of information regarding only current species of life, or is it trying to be a total source, including surviving and extinct species?-14 April 2006, 16:42 (EST)

We currently include extinct species. Open2universe 00:08, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

I think we should stop doing so. Extinct species are very important for understanding the tree of life. In fact, they are already included in some groups. Ucucha (talk) 05:22, 15 April 2006 (UTC)

Vandal attack

Hi, I'm Lightdarkness from the English Wikipedia. A few of us in the vandalism monitoring channels noticed a vandal had attacked Wikispecies. m:User:Suisui gave me temporary sysop to rollback all of the edits. I have blocked the vandal (User: for one week (Didn't do indef so the Wikispecies admins could take care of it). He has been causing trouble at en WP, so an indef wouldn't kill the project. I can be contacted at w:User_talk:Lightdarkness if you need to reach me. Thank you. --Lightdarkness 05:52, 16 April 2006 (UTC) I have temporarily been sysop'd again, due to threats made by the vandals. There were a few malicious edits, but all is quiet for now. --Lightdarkness 01:28, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

What is allowed on wikispecies?

What exactly is the point of wikispecies when wikipedia contains so many article on species and it's growing, what purpose does it serve?Wikifeces

Inschrijving leden voor VWN

Beste Wikianen,

Mensen die lid willen worden van Vereniging Wikimedia Nederland, kunnen zich nu als zodanig aanmelden. Op kunt u meer informatie vinden over de inschrijfprocedure en de te volgen stappen. Ik hoop dat wij vele leden mogen verwelkomen.

Met vriendelijke groet, Lodewijk Gelauff aka Effeietsanders 21:06, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

URL change

I've moved Wikispecies from to and given it a [Image:Wikispecies favicon.xcf|temporary favicon]] that's distinct from Wikipedia. Old URLs should automatically and permanently redirect to the new location; the only disruption expected is that you might have to log in again. --Brion VIBBER 00:56, 18 May 2006 (UTC)

Links to Wikipedia articles

wikispecie's usefulness could be greatly enhanced were it linked to wikiPEDIA articles on the particular organism or group of organisms shown. for example i may search for "arabidopsis thaliana" on wSPECIES and it will come up with the relevent taxonomy. however if there were also direct links to the pages in wikiPEDIA on this plant, it would be far better.


There's a picture of a dog on the canis lupus page. Mind if change it for a picture of a wolf? Thewolfstar 01:53, 24 May 2006 (UTC)