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Re: [beemonitoring] Naming conventions for databases - Representation of unknown species

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  • <adibble2@...>
    Hi Sam, Big snow here, bees not out yet. The Handy Bee Manual might include a brief note about WHY keep undets. I can think of a few reasons -- you probably
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 19, 2013
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      Hi Sam,
       
      Big snow here, bees not out yet.
       
      The Handy Bee Manual might include a brief note about WHY keep undets. I can think of a few reasons -- you probably covered this somewhere and got all these already but if not:
       
      1. Even the undets are part of the data for a site. 
      2. Knowledge is increasing and species limits not currently understood might one day be much clearer. New technology will become available, also.
      3. Some of the more interesting bees might indeed be those that have so far defied identification.
      4. Evolutionary biologists need to look at full extent of variation in a complex.
       
      I suggest that there could be a threshold for quality of a specimen beyond which it is NOT kept. Head lost? How many and which body parts missing? Missing provenance? You will have better ideas about that, but it seems it should be offered as a suggestion if it is not already out there.
       
      Thanks so much!
       
      All best,
       
      Alison
       

      Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 10:28 AM
      Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Naming conventions for databases - Representation of unknown species

       

      Sam,


      I use your e.g.'s for the first four and have not had occasion for number 5.  I also add after the species (F) or (M) to identify sex.

      Denny Johnson
      On Mar 19, 2013, at 9:15 AM, david almquist wrote:

       

      Personally I like short, intuitive, unambiguous and no punctuation whenever possible.

      1. Leaving the species column blank might leave some ambiguity as to whether it was really an unknown species or whether someone just forgot to fill out that field and I've become a fan of filling out field with at least something in parts of our database where it's important to know the difference as an easy future self-check.  Short and intuitive is nice, and without punctuation if possible, as that can be a pain when retrieving and manipulating data, so I would think that "sp" would work best. I don't have an opinion about underscores vs spaces.

      2. "grp" or "group", first preferred, as they're slightly less ambiguous and more intuitive than "gp"

      3. "nr" or "near", as a question mark introduces punctuation that may be a pain when retrieving data and also might imply that the whole species, as in the genus also, is in question.

      4. "or"

      5. "sp A"


      To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
      From: sdroege@...
      Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2013 09:50:45 -0400
      Subject: [beemonitoring] Naming conventions for databases - Representation of unknown species

       


      All:

      It is time for my annual cleaning of my database.  Part of that cleaning requires decided what to do about specimens that are not or only partially recorded to species.

      Is there a standard convention for these things? If so where is it listed and, if not, I think this would be a good discussion to have, given the increased interdigitation of databases.  I will post the results to the next version of the handy bee manual.

      Here are a series of situations that I think could use a standard protocol

      1.  An unknown species
      e.g.  Megachile sp
      Megachile sp.
      Megachile species
      Megachile unknown
      Megachile [with species column left blank]

      2.  Exact species is unknown but can be identified to a group
      e.g.  Nomada bidentate group
      Nomada bidentate_group
      Nomada bidentate_gp

      3.  Not confident of species determination, but feel like it could be a certain species
      e.g. Lasioglossum sagax?
      Lasioglossum near sagax
      Lasioglossum nr sagax
      Lasioglossum nr. sagax
      Lasioglossum near_sagax
      Lasioglossum cf sagax
      etc.

      4.  Either one of two species
      e.g. Halictus ligatus/poeyi
      Halictus ligatus or poeyi
      Halictus ligatus_or_poeyi

      5.   Morpho species
      e.g., Nomada species A
      Nomada species a
      Nomada species 1
      Nomada sp. A
      Nomada sp_A
      etc.

      6.   Other situations?

      Thoughts and practices welcome...posting back to the group would probably be very useful to stimulate discussion.

      sam

      Sam Droege  sdroege@...                     
      w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
      USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
      BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
      Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

      ADLESTROP

      Yes, I remember Adlestrop -
      The name, because one afternoon
      Of heat the express-train drew up there
      Unwontedly. It was late June.

      The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
      No one left and no one came
      On the bare platform. What I saw
      Was Adlestrop - only the name

      And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
      And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
      No whit less still and lonely fair
      Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

      And for that minute a blackbird sang
      Close by, and round him, mistier,
      Farther and farther, all the birds
      Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
            - Edward Thomas


      --
      Bees are Not Optional
      ผึ้งไม่จำเป็น



    • Droege, Sam
      All: It is time for my annual cleaning of my database. Part of that cleaning requires decided what to do about specimens that are not or only partially
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 19, 2013
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        All:

        It is time for my annual cleaning of my database.  Part of that cleaning requires decided what to do about specimens that are not or only partially recorded to species.

        Is there a standard convention for these things? If so where is it listed and, if not, I think this would be a good discussion to have, given the increased interdigitation of databases.  I will post the results to the next version of the handy bee manual.

        Here are a series of situations that I think could use a standard protocol

        1.  An unknown species
        e.g.  Megachile sp
        Megachile sp.
        Megachile species
        Megachile unknown
        Megachile [with species column left blank]

        2.  Exact species is unknown but can be identified to a group
        e.g.  Nomada bidentate group
        Nomada bidentate_group
        Nomada bidentate_gp

        3.  Not confident of species determination, but feel like it could be a certain species
        e.g. Lasioglossum sagax?
        Lasioglossum near sagax
        Lasioglossum nr sagax
        Lasioglossum nr. sagax
        Lasioglossum near_sagax
        Lasioglossum cf sagax
        etc.

        4.  Either one of two species
        e.g. Halictus ligatus/poeyi
        Halictus ligatus or poeyi
        Halictus ligatus_or_poeyi

        5.   Morpho species
        e.g., Nomada species A
        Nomada species a
        Nomada species 1
        Nomada sp. A
        Nomada sp_A
        etc.

        6.   Other situations?

        Thoughts and practices welcome...posting back to the group would probably be very useful to stimulate discussion.

        sam

        Sam Droege  sdroege@...                     
        w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
        USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
        BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
        Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

        ADLESTROP

        Yes, I remember Adlestrop -
        The name, because one afternoon
        Of heat the express-train drew up there
        Unwontedly. It was late June.

        The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
        No one left and no one came
        On the bare platform. What I saw
        Was Adlestrop - only the name

        And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
        And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
        No whit less still and lonely fair
        Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

        And for that minute a blackbird sang
        Close by, and round him, mistier,
        Farther and farther, all the birds
        Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
              - Edward Thomas


        --
        Bees are Not Optional
        ผึ้งไม่จำเป็น
      • david almquist
        Personally I like short, intuitive, unambiguous and no punctuation whenever possible. 1. Leaving the species column blank might leave some ambiguity as to
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 19, 2013
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          Personally I like short, intuitive, unambiguous and no punctuation whenever possible.

          1. Leaving the species column blank might leave some ambiguity as to whether it was really an unknown species or whether someone just forgot to fill out that field and I've become a fan of filling out field with at least something in parts of our database where it's important to know the difference as an easy future self-check.  Short and intuitive is nice, and without punctuation if possible, as that can be a pain when retrieving and manipulating data, so I would think that "sp" would work best. I don't have an opinion about underscores vs spaces.

          2. "grp" or "group", first preferred, as they're slightly less ambiguous and more intuitive than "gp"

          3. "nr" or "near", as a question mark introduces punctuation that may be a pain when retrieving data and also might imply that the whole species, as in the genus also, is in question.

          4. "or"

          5. "sp A"


          To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
          From: sdroege@...
          Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2013 09:50:45 -0400
          Subject: [beemonitoring] Naming conventions for databases - Representation of unknown species

           


          All:

          It is time for my annual cleaning of my database.  Part of that cleaning requires decided what to do about specimens that are not or only partially recorded to species.

          Is there a standard convention for these things? If so where is it listed and, if not, I think this would be a good discussion to have, given the increased interdigitation of databases.  I will post the results to the next version of the handy bee manual.

          Here are a series of situations that I think could use a standard protocol

          1.  An unknown species
          e.g.  Megachile sp
          Megachile sp.
          Megachile species
          Megachile unknown
          Megachile [with species column left blank]

          2.  Exact species is unknown but can be identified to a group
          e.g.  Nomada bidentate group
          Nomada bidentate_group
          Nomada bidentate_gp

          3.  Not confident of species determination, but feel like it could be a certain species
          e.g. Lasioglossum sagax?
          Lasioglossum near sagax
          Lasioglossum nr sagax
          Lasioglossum nr. sagax
          Lasioglossum near_sagax
          Lasioglossum cf sagax
          etc.

          4.  Either one of two species
          e.g. Halictus ligatus/poeyi
          Halictus ligatus or poeyi
          Halictus ligatus_or_poeyi

          5.   Morpho species
          e.g., Nomada species A
          Nomada species a
          Nomada species 1
          Nomada sp. A
          Nomada sp_A
          etc.

          6.   Other situations?

          Thoughts and practices welcome...posting back to the group would probably be very useful to stimulate discussion.

          sam

          Sam Droege  sdroege@...                     
          w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
          USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
          BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
          Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

          ADLESTROP

          Yes, I remember Adlestrop -
          The name, because one afternoon
          Of heat the express-train drew up there
          Unwontedly. It was late June.

          The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
          No one left and no one came
          On the bare platform. What I saw
          Was Adlestrop - only the name

          And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
          And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
          No whit less still and lonely fair
          Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

          And for that minute a blackbird sang
          Close by, and round him, mistier,
          Farther and farther, all the birds
          Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
                - Edward Thomas


          --
          Bees are Not Optional
          ผึ้งไม่จำเป็น

        • Dennis E Johnson
          Sam, I use your e.g. s for the first four and have not had occasion for number 5. I also add after the species (F) or (M) to identify sex. Denny Johnson ...
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 19, 2013
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            Sam,

            I use your e.g.'s for the first four and have not had occasion for number 5.  I also add after the species (F) or (M) to identify sex.

            Denny Johnson
            On Mar 19, 2013, at 9:15 AM, david almquist wrote:

             

            Personally I like short, intuitive, unambiguous and no punctuation whenever possible.

            1. Leaving the species column blank might leave some ambiguity as to whether it was really an unknown species or whether someone just forgot to fill out that field and I've become a fan of filling out field with at least something in parts of our database where it's important to know the difference as an easy future self-check.  Short and intuitive is nice, and without punctuation if possible, as that can be a pain when retrieving and manipulating data, so I would think that "sp" would work best. I don't have an opinion about underscores vs spaces.

            2. "grp" or "group", first preferred, as they're slightly less ambiguous and more intuitive than "gp"

            3. "nr" or "near", as a question mark introduces punctuation that may be a pain when retrieving data and also might imply that the whole species, as in the genus also, is in question.

            4. "or"

            5. "sp A"


            To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
            From: sdroege@...
            Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2013 09:50:45 -0400
            Subject: [beemonitoring] Naming conventions for databases - Representation of unknown species

             


            All:

            It is time for my annual cleaning of my database.  Part of that cleaning requires decided what to do about specimens that are not or only partially recorded to species.

            Is there a standard convention for these things? If so where is it listed and, if not, I think this would be a good discussion to have, given the increased interdigitation of databases.  I will post the results to the next version of the handy bee manual.

            Here are a series of situations that I think could use a standard protocol

            1.  An unknown species
            e.g.  Megachile sp
            Megachile sp.
            Megachile species
            Megachile unknown
            Megachile [with species column left blank]

            2.  Exact species is unknown but can be identified to a group
            e.g.  Nomada bidentate group
            Nomada bidentate_group
            Nomada bidentate_gp

            3.  Not confident of species determination, but feel like it could be a certain species
            e.g. Lasioglossum sagax?
            Lasioglossum near sagax
            Lasioglossum nr sagax
            Lasioglossum nr. sagax
            Lasioglossum near_sagax
            Lasioglossum cf sagax
            etc.

            4.  Either one of two species
            e.g. Halictus ligatus/poeyi
            Halictus ligatus or poeyi
            Halictus ligatus_or_poeyi

            5.   Morpho species
            e.g., Nomada species A
            Nomada species a
            Nomada species 1
            Nomada sp. A
            Nomada sp_A
            etc.

            6.   Other situations?

            Thoughts and practices welcome...posting back to the group would probably be very useful to stimulate discussion.

            sam

            Sam Droege  sdroege@...                     
            w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
            USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
            BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
            Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

            ADLESTROP

            Yes, I remember Adlestrop -
            The name, because one afternoon
            Of heat the express-train drew up there
            Unwontedly. It was late June.

            The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
            No one left and no one came
            On the bare platform. What I saw
            Was Adlestrop - only the name

            And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
            And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
            No whit less still and lonely fair
            Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

            And for that minute a blackbird sang
            Close by, and round him, mistier,
            Farther and farther, all the birds
            Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
                  - Edward Thomas


            --
            Bees are Not Optional
            ผึ้งไม่จำเป็น



          • Nicholas Stewart
            GREAT TOPIC Sam! For (1), I leave Species column blank until the specimen is either determined, or not - in which case its stored in my to do with Sam at
            Message 5 of 9 , Mar 19, 2013
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              GREAT TOPIC Sam!

              For (1), I leave 'Species' column blank until the specimen is either determined, or not - in which case its stored in my "to do with Sam at next opportunity &/or via mail" & is given as 'SPECIES'
              This delineates its is a trouble specimen, not simply one yet to be ID'd.

              (2) & (4) I do as your e.g. - except, then the species, or my top 3-5 species, within that taxa group are listed within the *Notes" column.

              I do similarly with (3) - list the species I'm torn amongst (usually in order of most to least likely) in the "Notes" column, leaving the "Species" column for that specimen blank

              A situation that I would like to have addressed is how to deal with specifying your "rare, uncommon, new records & very interesting finds?"

              I tend to frequently use color coding the columns/entries in my databases to help organize, show progress, and indicate work still needing to be done - for my "rare, uncommon, new records & very interesting finds," the specimen ID # is vivid red/yellow.

              Don't exactly know how that previous paragraph is of use to anyone at all, but...

              Anyways- I like the topic!

              Oh! Also, I'd like to touch base soon, Sam - I'd either like to come see you &/OR get a package to you of both: my most infuriating specimens; &, my potentially most important ones... Let me know if either are conducive to your schedule in near future.

              Thanks!!

              *** From my Android Mobile ***
              _________________________________
                          Nick Stewart
                    nick.s2art@...
              _________________________________
                    
                        GA Native Pollinator  
                Assessment & Bio-Inventory

              Georgia Native Pollinator Lab,
                                  A-1300
              1000 University Centre Dr.
              Lawrenceville, GA 30043

              On Mar 19, 2013 9:50 AM, "Droege, Sam" <sdroege@...> wrote:
               


              All:

              It is time for my annual cleaning of my database.  Part of that cleaning requires decided what to do about specimens that are not or only partially recorded to species.

              Is there a standard convention for these things? If so where is it listed and, if not, I think this would be a good discussion to have, given the increased interdigitation of databases.  I will post the results to the next version of the handy bee manual.

              Here are a series of situations that I think could use a standard protocol

              1.  An unknown species
              e.g.  Megachile sp
              Megachile sp.
              Megachile species
              Megachile unknown
              Megachile [with species column left blank]

              2.  Exact species is unknown but can be identified to a group
              e.g.  Nomada bidentate group
              Nomada bidentate_group
              Nomada bidentate_gp

              3.  Not confident of species determination, but feel like it could be a certain species
              e.g. Lasioglossum sagax?
              Lasioglossum near sagax
              Lasioglossum nr sagax
              Lasioglossum nr. sagax
              Lasioglossum near_sagax
              Lasioglossum cf sagax
              etc.

              4.  Either one of two species
              e.g. Halictus ligatus/poeyi
              Halictus ligatus or poeyi
              Halictus ligatus_or_poeyi

              5.   Morpho species
              e.g., Nomada species A
              Nomada species a
              Nomada species 1
              Nomada sp. A
              Nomada sp_A
              etc.

              6.   Other situations?

              Thoughts and practices welcome...posting back to the group would probably be very useful to stimulate discussion.

              sam

              Sam Droege  sdroege@...                     
              w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
              USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
              BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
              Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

              ADLESTROP

              Yes, I remember Adlestrop -
              The name, because one afternoon
              Of heat the express-train drew up there
              Unwontedly. It was late June.

              The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
              No one left and no one came
              On the bare platform. What I saw
              Was Adlestrop - only the name

              And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
              And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
              No whit less still and lonely fair
              Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

              And for that minute a blackbird sang
              Close by, and round him, mistier,
              Farther and farther, all the birds
              Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
                    - Edward Thomas


              --
              Bees are Not Optional
              ผึ้งไม่จำเป็น
            • Jack Neff
              Sam et al. I m not aware of any universal conventions for dealing with ambiguous taxa but I use the following: 1.  Megachile sp. (or Megachile
              Message 6 of 9 , Mar 19, 2013
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                Sam et al.

                I 'm not aware of any universal conventions for dealing with ambiguous taxa but I use the following:

                1.  Megachile sp. (or Megachile (Megachiloides) sp. if one knows the subgenus)

                2.  Nomada sp. (bidentate grp.)

                3.  Lasioglossum sagax?  (cf sagax is essentially the same but I imagine most people on this forum don't know what cf means.)  near sagax or any of its variants implies the species is close to sagax but not the same. 

                4. Halictus poeyi/ligatus

                5.  Nomada sp. A  (whenever possible one should use subgenera or species groups to help narrow things down in the large genera)

                6.  Sometimes even the generic id is dubious (as in some female eucerines without exposed mouthparts) so one has to go with something ugly like Eucerini: gen? sp. A

                best

                Jack

                John L. Neff
                Central Texas Melittological Institute
                7307 Running Rope
                Austin,TX 78731 USA
                512-345-7219

                From: "Droege, Sam" <sdroege@...>
                To: Bee United <beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 8:50 AM
                Subject: [beemonitoring] Naming conventions for databases - Representation of unknown species

                 

                All:

                It is time for my annual cleaning of my database.  Part of that cleaning requires decided what to do about specimens that are not or only partially recorded to species.

                Is there a standard convention for these things? If so where is it listed and, if not, I think this would be a good discussion to have, given the increased interdigitation of databases.  I will post the results to the next version of the handy bee manual.

                Here are a series of situations that I think could use a standard protocol

                1.  An unknown species
                e.g.  Megachile sp
                Megachile sp.
                Megachile species
                Megachile unknown
                Megachile [with species column left blank]

                2.  Exact species is unknown but can be identified to a group
                e.g.  Nomada bidentate group
                Nomada bidentate_group
                Nomada bidentate_gp

                3.  Not confident of species determination, but feel like it could be a certain species
                e.g. Lasioglossum sagax?
                Lasioglossum near sagax
                Lasioglossum nr sagax
                Lasioglossum nr. sagax
                Lasioglossum near_sagax
                Lasioglossum cf sagax
                etc.

                4.  Either one of two species
                e.g. Halictus ligatus/poeyi
                Halictus ligatus or poeyi
                Halictus ligatus_or_poeyi

                5.   Morpho species
                e.g., Nomada species A
                Nomada species a
                Nomada species 1
                Nomada sp. A
                Nomada sp_A
                etc.

                6.   Other situations?

                Thoughts and practices welcome...posting back to the group would probably be very useful to stimulate discussion.

                sam

                Sam Droege  sdroege@...                     
                w 301-497-5840 h 301-390-7759 fax 301-497-5624
                USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
                BARC-EAST, BLDG 308, RM 124 10300 Balt. Ave., Beltsville, MD  20705
                Http://www.pwrc.usgs.gov

                ADLESTROP

                Yes, I remember Adlestrop -
                The name, because one afternoon
                Of heat the express-train drew up there
                Unwontedly. It was late June.

                The steam hissed. Someone cleared his throat.
                No one left and no one came
                On the bare platform. What I saw
                Was Adlestrop - only the name

                And willows, willow-herb, and grass,
                And meadowsweet, and haycocks dry,
                No whit less still and lonely fair
                Than the high cloudlets in the sky.

                And for that minute a blackbird sang
                Close by, and round him, mistier,
                Farther and farther, all the birds
                Of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire.
                      - Edward Thomas


                --
                Bees are Not Optional
                ผึ้งไม่จำเป็น


              • Doug Yanega
                Our FileMaker database has the species field separate from the genus field, and can tolerate most punctuation. In situations 1 and 2, we d simply leave the
                Message 7 of 9 , Mar 19, 2013
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                  Our FileMaker database has the species field separate from the genus field, and can tolerate most punctuation. In situations 1 and 2, we'd simply leave the species field blank - the assumption being that it could be a known species, but has not been examined. Situation 3, as you've phrased it, is two very different things - in one case, the ID is reasonably certain but needs to be confirmed (Lasioglossum ?sagax), and in the other, we know for certain that it is NOT sagax, and is undescribed (Lasioglossum cf. sagax). The latter is functionally the same as "Lasioglossum n. sp." except that "cf. sagax" gives some idea of what it is similar to, which can be useful when one has a lot of undescribed taxa in the same genus and needs to keep them straight. If we didn't know what it was, but thought it could possibly be described, that's when we'd use something like "sp. A", your situation 5. Situation 4 has come up only for Agapostemon "angelicus or texanus". We commonly have another situation in our collection, which is unpublished Timberlake names, which we database as if they were valid except that it reads as (e.g.) "pomonensis Timberlake MS". There's lots of Perdita, Dialictus, and Sphecodes in that category.
                  -- 
                  Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
                  Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
                  phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
                               http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
                    "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
                          is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
                • Jason Gibbs
                  Sam, The attached paper might be of interest for those trying to understand the usages of: aff., cf. and ?. To summarize the paper briefly, aff. - means
                  Message 8 of 9 , Mar 19, 2013
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                  Sam,

                  The attached paper might be of interest for those trying to understand the usages of: aff., cf. and ?.

                  To summarize the paper briefly,

                  aff. - means 'similar to', so can be used for unidentified members of species groups, or species which are recognisable as new, but with a closely related species that is described.

                  cf. - means 'compare to', it is useful for provisional determinations. It may or may not belong to the species name given. The attached paper comments on the distinction of 'compare to' vs. 'compare with'. The latter would be more similar to the meaning of 'aff.'

                  ? is much the same as cf., it is useful for uncertain determinations

                  sp. is useful for cases where an identification can't be made or hasn't been attempted.

                  Cheers,

                  Jason

                  --
                  Jason Gibbs, PhD
                  Research Associate
                  Department of Entomology
                  Michigan State University
                  202 Center for Integrated Plant Systems
                  East Lansing, MI, USA
                  48824
                • david almquist
                  It s not that a database may not tolerate punctuation, but sometimes in extracting and manipulating data, punctuation can be a pain. If the sp is known to
                  Message 9 of 9 , Mar 19, 2013
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                    It's not that a database may not tolerate punctuation, but sometimes in extracting and manipulating data, punctuation can be a pain.

                    If the sp is known to genus, then it has been "examined" and if you leave the sp field blank, you won't know in the future if it was an oversight, as in a species determination was made but not entered, or whether it's definitely a specimen that needs more work.  Yes, it's a little redundant, but better entering "sp", or seeing the blank and realizing that you forgot to enter the sp epithet, than later having to find the specimen and put it under the scope only to find out that it was something easily identifiable.

                    The cf sagax example is still ambiguous as to whether it's an undescribed sp or one that's probably/questionably sagax.  If you're sure that it's a n sp, then it should be ...n sp nr[or cf] sagax.


                    To: beemonitoring@yahoogroups.com
                    From: dyanega@...
                    Date: Tue, 19 Mar 2013 09:20:59 -0700
                    Subject: Re: [beemonitoring] Naming conventions for databases - Representation of unknown species

                     
                    Our FileMaker database has the species field separate from the genus field, and can tolerate most punctuation. In situations 1 and 2, we'd simply leave the species field blank - the assumption being that it could be a known species, but has not been examined. Situation 3, as you've phrased it, is two very different things - in one case, the ID is reasonably certain but needs to be confirmed (Lasioglossum ?sagax), and in the other, we know for certain that it is NOT sagax, and is undescribed (Lasioglossum cf. sagax). The latter is functionally the same as "Lasioglossum n. sp." except that "cf. sagax" gives some idea of what it is similar to, which can be useful when one has a lot of undescribed taxa in the same genus and needs to keep them straight. If we didn't know what it was, but thought it could possibly be described, that's when we'd use something like "sp. A", your situation 5. Situation 4 has come up only for Agapostemon "angelicus or texanus". We commonly have another situation in our collection, which is unpublished Timberlake names, which we database as if they were valid except that it reads as (e.g.) "pomonensis Timberlake MS". There's lots of Perdita, Dialictus, and Sphecodes in that category.

                    -- 
                    Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
                    Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
                    phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
                                 http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
                      "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
                            is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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