The BioSystematic Database of World Diptera is approximately 50% of
its way toward the ultimate goal of having an authorative species
database and information portal for flies. Of the three main components, the
nomenclator is about 90% done, the references data file about 50%
completed, and nothing beyond the planning done for the species database
and portal. We have, however, produced a number of products,
which we feel are useful to the community today.
We currently estimate that there are more than 160,000 species of
flies described, for which there are more than 300,000 names. The
nomenclator contains about a quarter of million name records today
representing some 150,000 species. We estimate that there are over 30,000
works that document these names, but only 25,984 are now in our reference
file. For specific details by biotic
regions and families (exclusive of
fossil flies), see our tables and version
report. For more information about the current status of the BDWD see
our our Annual Report for 2007. Our earlier 2004 Annual Report and Annual
Report for 2005 are also still available.
With the interim release (6.5) of the Nomenclator, the BioSystematic
Database of World Diptera has reached its first major milestone: the completion
of Basic Data Entry from secondardy sources (level 1, see our QAS page). The current version (10.5) was placed
online in May 2008 and includes 239,550 species names, 22,906 genus names
and 4,645 family names.
All the names from the various regional Diptera catalogs have been
entered into our master data files. All the new names from the Zoological
Record for the years starting with 1978 (115) to 2006 (142) have also
been entered. In a few cases, more recent catalogs to particular families
were used instead of the treatments in the regional Diptera catalogs.
Finally, for the unpublished fascicles of the Neotropical Diptera catalog
(Papavero, et alia), we have used the card files of the Systematic
Entomology Laboratory. For genus-group names, all the names in Neave's Nomenclator
Zoologica have been entered. Sherborn's Index Animalium (to
1800) has also been checked. Duplicates as discovered have been removed.
The next steps in our data entry and revision plan are as follows.
For Basic Data Entry work, the names in Sherborn's Index Animalium
(to 1850) will be checked against our master files and uniques added
(level 1). Special funding to make a digital
version of Sherborn for this work has been given to the Smithsonian.
We have now begun the next major step, Preliminary Data Review (level
2). As part of this process, references are being added and linked to the
appropriate name record. Already some 25,984 references have been added,
and some 76,000 name records linked to them. This process has now been
finished for 66 of the 153 currently recognized families. Work will
continue on completing the reference database by taking citations from
the regional Diptera catalogs and the Zoological Record.
Moving beyond the Preliminary Data Review level will continue to
follow two different tracks: geographic and taxonomic. For the geographic
approach, the Nearctic Region will be of the highest priority as it
represents the old published data set (1965). For the taxonomic approach,
families will be revised based on our priorities and opportunities
offered to us by collaborators. Collaborators willing to meet our
standards with a precise schedule of production will be given the highest
priority (for example, the Therevidae (Irwin PEET project), Acroceridae
(Schlinger), Syrphidae (guess who?). Otherwise, we will focus the
resources of the BDWD to a number of families of broad interest to the
general community, like the medical important ones (mosquitoes
(Culicidae), black flies (Simuliidae), sand flies (Phlebotominae), bot
flies (Oestridae)), experimental/genetics (Drosophilidae (done by Brake &
Baechli, in press); and environmental quality-indicator groups
The genus-group names will be handled separately from taxonomic or
geographic treatments. They will be treated in their own catalog
following a format similar to that used for the family-group names
Independently, our BDWD tool set will continue to be expanded. This
includes databases of authors, collections, places (current political
units as well as historical gazetteer) and serials.