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
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
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
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
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.
MAFF Fisheries Laboratory
Essex. CM0 8HA
m.a.pendle at dfr.maff.gov.uk