The Diptera Site

The BioSystematic Database of World Diptera

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The Diptera Site





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Status Report

Version 10.5 released 6 May 2008

F. Christian Thompson (Custodian) on behalf of the editors

The current release is the most comprehensive and best one to day. Major improvements have been made since version 9.5 was released in July 2007. This database is the largest and most comprehensive set of names now available anywhere online for a group of organisms. The current version contains 156,668 valid species (152,956 extant, the reminder are fossils) represented by 193,974 name records (32% linked to their original bibliographic source; 15% have been reviewed by taxonomic and nomenclatural specialists). There are 11,672 valid genera and 22,887 genus-group names (46% linked, 27% reviewed for nomenclature and 11% reviewed for taxonomy) and there are 4,645 family-group names, none of which have been reviewed since Sabrosky (1999). The bibliographic file now includes 25,937 references. We, the editors, hope this release will be useful for dipterists everywhere. We hope this release will be useful for dipterists everywhere. Please tell us what you like and what we need to correct or improve.

Scope of the Nomenclator of BioSystematic Database of World Diptera is ALL names that have been used for flies, members of the insect order Diptera, in the printed literature. This includes names that no longer apply to flies (77 names proposed for species know assigned to other groups). Also genus-group names which belong to other groups but were used for flies are included. For example, the BDWD includes the name Merulius, a genus of fungus, as the bald cypress gall midge (Taxodiomyia cupressi) was originally thought to be a fungal growth, not a gall of a fly. Like wise, some flies were first described as lices, mites and rotifers.

Name is currently used in the sense of a distinct scientific name under the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. So, different combination, that is, the valid name of a taxon under different classifications, are not included except for the original combination and the current valid combination. Common names are not included.

Coverage. All names from the various regional Diptera catalogs are now included. We have also entered all new names from the Zoological Record starting with 1978 (volume 115) to 2006 (volume 142).

Duplicates have been for the most part eliminated, although a few undoubtedly remain undetected due to spelling variants. Duplicates do not include duplicate publication of names which are clearly indicated as new in the subsequent publications. While such duplicate names are irrelevant as they are always junior homonyms and usually based on the same type (hence, objective synonyms), they are included to document their original proposal and to be comprehensive. There is also the potential possibility that future research on dating of publication may reverse the precedence of the publications in which these identical proposals appear.

Issues. While version 10.5 is the best ever, I am aware of a number of issues that remain to be resolved. There is a very small number (290) of data records which are deficient, missing critical data (such as no page number, no author nor publication year). Many records remain in their original source format and need to be edited so as to meet our BDWD format. Most records need to be linked to their original bibliographic references and also linked to a current taxonomic authority.


Content by F. Christian Thompson

Please send questions and comments to Chris Thompson.
Last Updated: May 5, 2008 by Chris Thompson