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Non-expert taxonomic identifications.

Marie Pendle AEP2 DFR M.A.PENDLE at dfr.maff.gov.uk
Fri Dec 15 11:35:20 EST 1995




 Hello Annelida readers,

 I've been reading the discussions about taxonomic diagnoses, polychaetes on 

 the move, type localities etc. with a huge amount of interest.  I am one of 

 the growing number of people using polychaetes as part of the marine 
benthic
  fauna population, in an attempt to monitor pollutant disturbance on the
 marine ecosystem.  I have found these discussions to have given me insights 

 that I have previously been unable to ascertain as I have been working in
 relative isolation, only attending workshops occasionally and certainly 
with
  little formal training.  I would now like to add my comments.

 The experts that we rely on produce excellent taxonomic descriptions, but
 unspecialized identifiers struggling with our samples could do with some
 extra help ie are there any obvious visual differences ( colour, shape etc) 

 that may not be taxonomically diagnostic, but a help in separating 
specimens
  before taxonomic confirmation.  Unfortunately, time and financial
 constraints frequently force me to leave far too many queries unresolved.
   Clear glossaries to terminology, or reference to a glossary are also less 

 common than I would like - I have certainly come across terms that have
 required serious research.  Taking two hours to identify a specimen might 
be
  justifiable, but trying to find a classical dictionary to try to unravel a 

 precise but obscure description is a bit frustrating!

 Sorry to have sounded a bit whingey, I have a great respect for all who
 unravel the mysteries of species - I'm just trying to introduce a note of
 practicality.  The newsgroup seems to be an excellent way for discovering
 who is working on what and where - thankyou to all participating.

 Marie Pendle
 MAFF Fisheries Laboratory
 Rememberance Avenue
 Burnham-on-Crouch
 Essex.  CM0 8HA
 United Kingdom

 m.a.pendle at dfr.maff.gov.uk





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