Wednesday, April 02, 2008

44,614 ant names in the Hymenoptera Name Server

The ant community is in a very comfortable situation that there are two, if not three independent efforts to create a catalogue of the worlds ants. This helped us at antbase at least to cross-examine our online global ant name server with the recently published Bolton catalogue. We now have 44,614 names associated with ants, 12,359 are currently considered by the experts covering accepted species (i.e.g published record) . This includes all of them in Bolton's catalogue, and those which were different have been resolved through consulting our digital library. At least all the original descriptions are linked to the original publication.

Since January 2008, all new names are entered through Plazi's GoldenGate mark-up editor, that means that all the new names are linked to at least the original description exposed at plazi's SRS, as well as the original publication, if it is not copyrighted.

An example is the recently synonomized Pyramica aschnae.

What is clear from these exercises is that nobody is able to produce a DB that is complete and without errors, and in fact our different approaches allow each other to profit from each other, and right now update their own databases. Hopefully soon, this could go automatically through Webservices via Zoobank. This way we can continue not to talk to each other.

What is also clear is that the community should be a little bit more proactive and send error, missing or new taxon names and publications to any of the initiatives.

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