World wide leps lists

Doug Yanega dyanega at
Mon Jan 14 17:11:09 EST 2002

Nice to hear from you, Markku.

>dyanega at (Doug Yanega) writes:
>>  I've been seeking any and all electronic worldwide Lep lists for over
>>  a year, and have yet to find one that is genuinely comprehensive and
>>  up-to-date. Markku's is indeed the closest thing, but for my purposes
>>  the interface is problematic (as noted, it is NOT compact);
>I'm could produce "compact" version, if I could decide on what the
>format would be. It would be a text file.
>The most simplest would be just to have huge file with lines
>    superfamily;family;subfamily;genus;species;ssp;author
>or something similar. However that is not really "compact", as it
>replicates a lot of higher taxa for each line.

That's not what I meant. Your present pages have all the data, and 
it's mostly in the right form, but not all on a single page, and 
mixed in with lots of subsidiary data, maps, photos, and other 
information that exceeds the requirements of a purely taxonomic aid. 
With trimming, it's nearly perfect. For example, in 10 minutes of 
parsing, I was able to convert your Papilionidae pages to extract the 
following (line spacing omitted):

FAM Papilionidae
SUBF Baroniinae
GEN Baronia Salvin, 1893
SP Baronia brevicornis Salvin, 1893
SUBF Parnasiinae
TRIB Parnassini
GEN Archon Hübner, 1822
SP Archon apollinus (Herbst, 1789)
ORIG Papilio apollinus Herbst, 1789
SSYN Papilio thia Hübner, [1805-1806]
GEN Hypermnestra Ménétriés, 1846
GSYN Ismene Nickerl, 1846 (preocc. Ismene Savigny, 1816, Ismene Swainson, 1820)
SP Hypermnestra helios (Nickerl, 1846)
SSP Hypermnestra helios helios (Nickerl, 1846)
ORIG Ismene helios Nickerl, 1846
SSP Hypermnestra helios persica Neuburger, 1900
SSP Hypermnestra helios hyrcana Sheljuzhko, 1956
GEN Parnassius Latreille, 1804

THAT is a compact list (very little redundancy), readable as is, and 
would convert, with trivial ease, into a full-scale hierarchical 
relational database if it was downloaded. It includes dates, ranks, 
synonyms, original combinations; all data that you already have on 
your pages, except for the rank designation prefix. There are 
websites like this already out there for other taxa, and I've already 
converted most of them. Data given in this format is sufficient to 
allow curators to organize a collection, especially in tracking all 
synonyms (above, GSYN is a generic synonym, SSYN is a species 
synonym). Checklists without synonyms are considerably less useful. 
Also crucial is the *original combination*. D'Abrera makes nice 
books, but never gives the original combination for names. Again, the 
data above are what I consider the minimum essential to constitute an 
actual Authority File, and your website has them: just not structured 
the right way for conversion. If you would actually consider making 
an alternative format available, the template I give above is nearly 
ideal. A table would also work, but be a bit more redundant.

Again, I can discuss this privately with anyone working on this sort 
of thing; my goal is all of Insecta, ultimately, and while that's 
probably wishful thinking, I've already got about 10% done, which 
ain't bad! Adding the leps will help get me closer...


Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California - Riverside, Riverside, CA 92521
phone: (909) 787-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82


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