WoRMS project Re: [Annelida] Clymenura polaris originaldescription

Sergio Salazar via annelida%40net.bio.net (by savs551216 from hotmail.com)
Thu Feb 7 18:55:16 EST 2008

Dear Edward and colleagues,
The study of polychaetes has had a time when most species were regarded as cosmopolitan (capable of living in different temperature, ecological, depth and geographic conditions, in at least three different oceans). Many of them, however, have been shown to include several different species, often distinguishable with ordinary, routine methods. How did we get there? How did we became used to regard many species as cosmopolitans? There were probably at least two interconnected factors being involved. One was the scarcity of regional monographs, such that the names contained in the few available ones became widespread. The other was that most people were working on ecological studies, with little or no time or interest for taxonomical issues.
We now have much more regional works, and revisions are being prepared and published at an impressive rate. However, most people working on invertebrates are doing ecological work, and many are facing problems connected with non-indigenous species. If the taxonomic revisions are not available for them, what will they do to get some ids? Believe it or not, many are using the websites to find some names for their organisms, no matter what the type locality conditions are. Thus, it is not surprising that cosmopolitan species will re-appear as exotics but, again, there might be several species being involved under the same name.
In any case, please notice that regretfully ecological journals do not require either the deposit of voucher materials, or the indication of the identification guides employed to compile the species names. A suggestion to acknowledge the source for the names, either from your website or from any other means, electronic or traditional, would be helpful for any future studies.
Best wishes,

From: evberghe from iobis.orgTo: savs551216 from hotmail.com; njmaciolek from gmail.comCC: annelida from magpie.bio.indiana.edu; info from marinespecies.org; grassle from marine.rutgers.edu; g.read from niwa.co.nzSubject: RE: WoRMS project Re: [Annelida] Clymenura polaris originaldescriptionDate: Thu, 7 Feb 2008 18:27:25 -0500

Hi all,
The most important thing, IMHO, is not to have voucher specimens or expert identification with each and every picture, but to offer visitors to the web site a clear and objective way of judging the degree of belief they should attach to an identification. Obviously the gold standard is a picture of a voucher specimen identified by an acknowledged authority. We have some pictures like that, but unfortunately only a very small fraction of our collection meets that standard. As long as we make sure that end users know what degree of confidence they can have in de identification, I don’t see a problem in this. This being said, I like the idea of a ‘moderated’ list – where everyone can submit, but pictures are only shown after the taxonomist has ‘approved’ the identification. An intermediate solution could be to hide un-moderated pictures by default, and only show them after the user has been made to see a health warning. 
There are tables to store information on specimens – I do not think that these have links to the pictures right now; that is another issue we might want to improve. Also, it’s clear that the pictures of specimens, in taxonomic terms, will be more valuable than field pictures. So if we do create links between specimens and pictures, we should look for ways to bring these to the taxon details page, rather than to hide them on the specimens details page, one click away from the main taxon details page.

From: Sergio Salazar [mailto:savs551216 from hotmail.com] Sent: 07 February 2008 17:20To: Nancy Maciolek; evberghe from iobis.orgCc: annelida from magpie.bio.indiana.edu; info from marinespecies.org; grassle from marine.rutgers.edu; g.read from niwa.co.nzSubject: RE: WoRMS project Re: [Annelida] Clymenura polaris originaldescription
Dear friends,
Most of the pictures available in internet cannot be linked to a voucher specimen. After several unsuccessful attempts to get some deep water specimens, nicely photographed in several websites, Leslie Harris has told me that most photographers of underwater creatures feel better by making the photographs than collecting, killing, and preserving the specimen.
I have noticed that despite the impressive organisms being depicted, there are no means to check some of the certainly less spectacular, but diagnostic features in the specimen, simply because there is no specimen at all.
I support Nancy’s and Kristian's suggestion and wish we have more voucher materials backing up both, photographs and ecological studies.
Un abrazo,


Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2008 16:38:48 -0500From: njmaciolek from gmail.comTo: evberghe from iobis.orgSubject: Re: WoRMS project Re: [Annelida] Clymenura polaris originaldescriptionCC: annelida from magpie.bio.indiana.edu; info from marinespecies.org; grassle from marine.rutgers.edu; g.read from niwa.co.nzEdward wrote:"While we are very restrictive on who we give edit rights to the taxonomic information, anyone can upload pictures, and put a name on it; and the picture would automatically appear on the authoritative page of the species, thus confounding very rigorously controlled edited content with something over which we have no control at all."Why not restrict the posting of pictures in the same way that you restrict editing of text? Alternatively, put the pictures in a moderation queue so that they do not appear automatically, but only after they have been approved. There is no advantage to building a pictorial database quickly if it contains errors, whether small or egregious.best wishes,NancyNancy J. Maciolek, Ph.D.Polychaete Editor, Zootaxahttp://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/index.html
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