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Posts tagged ‘identification’

SPNHC 2015 presentation – Taxonomic concept resolution for voucher-based biodiversity information platforms

Slides are up for our SPNHC 2015 concept taxonomy presentation.

Franz 2015 SPNHC Taxonomic concept resolution for voucher-based biodiversity information platforms from taxonbytes

Announcing the Sixth Annual Lepidoptera Course, 16–25 August, 2015

Held at the Southwestern Research Station (SWRS) in the Chiricahua Mountains in SE Arizona (a 2.5 hour drive from Tucson), the focus of the Lep Course 2015 (August 16-25, 2015) is to train graduate students, postdocs, faculty, state and federal employees, and citizen-scientists in the classification and identification of adult Lepidoptera and their larvae. Topics to be covered include the biology and systematics of major families of Lepidoptera, an introduction to adult and larval morphology with a focus on taxonomically important traits, extensive field work that concentrates on  both collecting and photographing adults and larvae, collecting and curatorial techniques, genitalic dissection, larval classification, use (and abuse) of DNA barcoding, and general topics in Lepidoptera systematics, ecology, and evolution.

With its extensive series of Sky Island mountain ranges, SE Arizona has the highest Lepidoptera diversity in the United States. With low desert scrub, oak and mixed oak-pine woodland, lush riparian, juniper, Douglas fir, and mountain meadow habitats – all within a 40 minute drive from the station – the SWRS is an ideal location from which to sample this diversity of both habitats and species.

If you want to interact with other Lepidoptera enthusiasts, see a spectacular Dysschema, identify the Organ of vom Rath, sort through trap samples with hundreds of species, learn about diversity of Lepidoptera, and enjoy the vistas of the SE Arizona, then this course will provide a unique experience.

Partial list of invited instructors (subject to change):

  • Richard Brown (Mississippi Entomological Museum)
  • Jennifer Bundy (RD4AG)
  • Chris Grinter (Illinois Natural History Survey)
  • Don Harvey (Smithsonian Institution)
  • Sangmi Lee (Arizona State University Hasbrouck Insect Collection)
  • Chris Schmidt (Canadian National Collection)
  • Bruce Walsh (University of Arizona)

For more information, see http://research.amnh.org/swrs/education/lepidoptera-course or www.lepcourse.org or contact Bruce Walsh at jbwalsh@u.arizona.edu. You can also see photos and comments from students in the 2011 course at their facebook site, “2011 Lep Course, SWRS SEAZ”.

Symbiota poster at the 10th International Mycological Congress

This a belated poster upload of an innovative study on assessing the accuracy of voucher identifications for lichenized fungi records stored in the Symbiota software platform, presented by Robert Lücking of The Field Museum of Natural History and co-authors at the the 10th International Mycological Congress, Bangkok,Thailand, held on August 03-08, 2014.

Complete poster title: Lücking, R., E. Gilbert, N. Franz, P. Morris, S. Bates, B Thiers & C. Gries. 2014. The Symbiota Portal for North American Collections of Plants, Fungi, and Lichens: how to address the problem of incorrect taxon identifications. inlarge on-line specimen repositories. Poster, 10th International Mycological Congress, Bangkok,Thailand, held on August 03-08, 2014. PDF available here: LueckingEtAl2014-SymbiotaTaxonIdentifications

Weevil Course 2014 – Running Notes

A running post with links to literature and on-line resources, presentations, identification support, and other information accompanying The Weevil Course 2014 (second installment) held from August 05-13 at the Southwestern Research Station in Portal, Arizona. Course related photos are posted on Flickr here.

1. Links to key course/identification resources

2. Miscellaneous course presentations

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Collecting adventures in Panama

My second semester as a graduate student has been spent conducting research with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. Since February, I have been dividing my time between working in STRI’s Insect Collection in Panama City and traveling around Panama collecting insects. In the Collection I’ve been making an interactive identification key to the 29 currently described Panamanian genera of weevils in the subfamily Conoderinae, available shortly in SCAN. This has been possible thanks to the collecting of Henry Stockwell in the 1970s and 1980s, whose large collection of conoderines contains numerous undescribed species.

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Taxonomic names, identifications, and concepts – how to reconcile?

This post is motivated by my (late) discovery of the GBIF “Guidelines for the capture and management of digital zoological names information” (Version 1.1, released in March 2013), authored by Dr. Francisco Welter-Schultes who is (i.a.) the project leader of the resource http://www.animalbase.org/. Jump to the Addendum [response to Stephen Thorpe, May 06, 2014].

The GBIF Guidelines, a dense, informative, and authoritative 126-page document on representing and managing zoological names (which, as GBIF makes clear, ultimately reflects the author’s perspective), also include (pages 3-5) a Section 1.1.2 on Taxon concept models. I found this section to contain a mix of more or less accurate statements and assessments of the interaction among taxonomic names, identification events, and taxonomic concepts. This issue is of interest to me, and has on occasion been discussed on Taxacom, in the TDWG community, and elsewhere. I (henceforth NMF, regular font) will take the opportunity to examine Dr. Welter-Schultes’ (henceforth FWS, italics) perspectives and examples, point by point. Hopefully some readers will find this post helpful.

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Authoring interactive identification keys in SCAN – an introduction

Most recent update: February 26, 2014.

SCAN has activated the module for authoring interactive identification keys, even though the keys themselves are not yet live for potential users. In what follows some of the basic interfaces and practices for authoring keys are introduced. Prospective SCAN members interested in preparing keys individually or in collaboration should contact Nico Franz.

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Weekly reading: Introducing DELTA (DEscriptive Language for TAxonomy)

As part of the series on character coding and analysis, we will learn about the software DELTA during this week’s discussion (February 14, 2014). As stated on its website, “[t]he DELTA format (DEscription Language for TAxonomy) is a flexible and powerful method of recording taxonomic descriptions for computer processing”, and “[i]t was adopted as a standard for data exchange by Biodiversity Information Standards (TDWG).” Read more