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

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 of 9 , Mar 19, 2013
        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 4 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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