Standards for Species Inventory
This is an evolving document. The documentation for the species inventory
file is rather complete, but still open for changes, etc. Standards for
curation beyond those in the Departmental Collection Policy are there embedded.
See for example, under labels.
Species Inventory File
This species inventory file is implemented in File Maker Pro, version 21,
for both MacIntosh and PC Windows computers. The data are in a single file
with one record per species. The file is designed as a species inventory,
but can also be used to include extensive geographic information, down to
the level of the major political subunits within countries as well as the
names for which primary type material are present. Species inventories differ
from Specimen [label data] inventories in that the record unit is a group
(species) rather than an individual (specimen). So, a species record may
represent the summation of the data from a number of specimens. Other data
files related to curation are LOTS (data associated with new accessions)
and LOANS (data associated with specimen transactions).
Curation requires that collections be labeled as to their contents. Inventory
is the list of the contents of collections. These activities should be linked,
so that as labels are made an inventory can be built. ADP offers the ability
to do this linkage.
The fields and codes follow the Smithsonian Department of Entomology (OIRM
1992), species inventory standards, with one major exception and few minor
ones: This data file does not include subspecies nor infraspecific names;
and some of the permissive values for some fields have been eliminated.
The fields are as follows:
Order: Name of the Order. Use 4 letter codes.
Family: Name of the Family.
*For the GOPHER, if the material of the family is present, but the species
have not been catalogued, then entered a single record. That record will
have the family name filled in, with "material present" entered
into the genus field and "to be inventoried" in the valid species
Subfamily: Name of the Subfamily
Tribe: Name of the Tribe
Genus: Name of present valid genus. When recording undetermined
material, use"undetermined" here and leave species blank.
Species: Name of the present valid species.
*When the record refers to a junior synonym for which primary type material
is present, then an equal sign (=) is added after name. For example, Syrphus
vittafrons Shannon is a junior synonym of Syrphus ribesii (Linnaeus).
Hence, there is a second record, with " ribesii =" entered into
the valid species field, HT in the type field and " vittafrons "
in original species field, and "Shannon" in the author field.
*When recording undetermined material that is identified to genus, use "spp."
here; if not identified to genus, leave field blank.
Author: Name of the author(s) who originally described the species
Year: Year of the publication of the species group name
Original genus: Name of the genus with which the species
group name was originally published in combination with. The SI standard
does not require this item. However, as workers may use different classifications,
this field is necessary to insure that one can retrieve data irrespective
of the current or classification used by search under the original combination!
Original species: Name of the species as originally spelt or
the name of a junior synonym for which type material is present. The data
in this field and the above will allow users to find data when using obsolete
classifications. Also,one uses this field when one wants to capture data
on a type of a junior synonym.
SEX: Sex of the material. Use either
M = Male
F = Female
These codes can be strung together, but be sure to separate codes with a
space. So, if both sexes are available in the series, then enter "M
F". SI Inventory allows W for Worker in the sex field. However, as
workers are always FEMALE in the insect work, this convention is not used.
STAGE: Stage of the material. Use either, see above.
A = Adult
L = Larva
N = Nymph
P = Pupa
E = Egg
TYPE: If there is type material, please enter either
HT = Holotype
ST = Syntype(s)
NT = Neotype
LT = Lectotype
= no type material [default]
This field is used only for PRIMARY type material, which must be segregated.
Secondary type material, such as paratypes and allotypes are not scored
here. Use the Comments, if you want to.
NB: The SI Entomology Inventory allows allotype (AT), cotype
(CT), lectoallotype (LA), metatype (ME), manuscript (MS), morphotype (MT),
neoallotype (NA), neoparatype (NP), paralectotype (PL), paratype (PT), topotype
(TO), and type (TP). Most of these terms are not recognized International
Code of Zoological Nomenclature (CT, LA, NP, NA) or as scientific by systematists
(CT, ME, MS, MT, TO); other are for secondary type (AT, PL, PT) which, while
appropriate for a specimen label database, are irrelevant for species inventory.PIN
PIN: If pinned material is present, enter the number of pinned
specimens or simply X.
ALCOHOL: If alcoholic material is present, enter the number of
vials or simply X
SLIDE: If slide material is present, enter the number of slides
or simply X(#
Either actual counts or estimatation may be entered. FCT standard is for
actual counts to be made when there is 2 dozen or fewer specimens (=24)
and estimations rounded up to the nearest 10th for more specimens. If actual
counts are made for greatest numbers, they usually can be identified by
being an exact figure. For example, 36 is an actual count, whereas 30 is
usually an estimate for between 25 and 35 specimens.
BIOREG: Biotic Region(s) from which material was derived. Use
NEA = Nearctic
NEO = Neotropical
PAL = Palaearctic
AFR = Afrotropical
ORI = Oriental
AUS = Australian
OCE = Oceanic
These codes can be strung together for multiple occurrences, but be sure
to separate the codes with a space. So, if material is from both North and
South America, one would enter "NEA NEO". [But see under labels,
NB: SI Inventory allows for additional codes [Africa (AFR), Antaractic
(ANA), Arctic America (ARA), Asia (ASI), Central America (CAM), Caribbean
(CAR), Ethiopian (ETH), Europe (EUR), North American (NAM), New World (NWD),
Oceanic (OCE), South America (SAM) and Worldwide (WOR). Some of these represent
geographic areas, not BIOTIC Regions. Ethiopian is not used as it is inappropriate
(Not Political correct) as was pointed years ago (Crosskey & White 1977)
and was abandoned by BM(NH) and other organizations. Oceania is recognized
by some as one of the principal biogeographic regions, but most accept as
part of the Australian.
Country: OPTIONAL. Country from which the material originated
can be entered here, if desired. Use the two letter FIPS codes. As noted
above, multiple codes are accepted, but should be separated by spaces. For
the 9 largest or biodiversity countries (Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada,
China, Indonesia, Mexico, Russia & USA) the major political subunit
should be used. OPTIONAL. The State or Province or Major political subunit
from which the material originated can be entered here, if desired. Use
the TDWG standards, not the two letter DOD codes. As noted above, multiple
codes are accepted, but should be separated by spaces.
Location: Enter the location of the material. Use either:
USNM = Natural History Building
MSC = Museum Support Center
BARC = Beltsville Agricultural Research Center
BPBM = Bishop Museum
LACM = Los Angeles County Museum
SI documentation lists "BLT" for BARC.
Cabinet: Enter the cabinet number, if desired.
Drawer: Enter the drawer, or Jar, slide box identification number,
if desired. The order should follow that of PIN, ALCOHOL or SLIDE, so if
there is PIN and SLIDE material, the first number refers to the drawer and
the second to the slide box. SI Standard has NO field for Slide box identification,
but has separate fields for Drawer and Jar ID numbers. There are various
schemes for indicating the location of material. As some collections are
arranged in alphabetical order, where the material of a particular species
is found is easy determined from the name and knowing the location of the
family. If a phylogenetic or other kind of arrangement is used, then knowing
the drawer number will simplify the location of material. For FCThompson
collections, where I use a strict alphabetical order, I will not record
drawer numbers. Where I use a phylogenetic order (in my research speciality
(Syrphidae) only, I will capture drawer numbers. These drawer numbers will
be displacements from the start of the family. That is the first drawer
in the Syrphid collection is 1, the next 2, etc. In my working file, I will
use decimals when I add new drawers. Periodically as updates are passed
to the SI official species inventory, the drawers will automatically be
re-numbered and new labels generated.
Curator: Name of the Curator (the person to be contacted for
further information, loans, etc.)
Comments: Free form text field: Enter anything.
Select: A logic field for selection
Revisor: Name of the person who last revised the record. This
may be the identifier or merely the curator.
Revision Date: Date that the computer record was last
revised. Use Year, Month, Day (1994/12/31).
To make the inventory more informative to users on the outside, certain
conventions need to be followed. These are:
1) Use "gen." & "spp." for undetermined material.
2) Use the "=" convention when entering data on types of junior
3) Make family records for families not yet inventoried (DONE for Diptera).
The GOPHER format is:
Genus, Species, Family: Biotic-Region Curator Location PIN(Pin) Type SLIDE(Slide)
ALCOHOL(Alcohol) Genus, Species, Author, Year, The PIN, SLIDE ALCOHOL
prefix is suppressed if there is no value in those fields. Labels This program
will generated a number of different labels for the collection; other labels
are generated manually. All the labels I believe are necessary for a properly
curated collection are listed and discussed below.
RULES for labelling the collection:
Every cabinet door should have a label on the outer door which indicates
the contents of the cabinet unless EMPTY. Also, every cabinet door
will have an label indicating its location (orange, with DIPTERA
followed by sequential number). If the cabinet contains PROFILE units,
the names of those units should be listed. AND a profile work form should
be taped to the inside of the door. If the cabinet contains other things,
such as RESEARCH materials, LOANS, STORAGE of equipment,
etc. Key words may be used to indicated the contains. Obviously, there may
be a mixture of things, but if the mixture contains profiled units, the
non-profiled material should be indicated on the profile work sheet. Every
drawer, slide box or alcoholic tray should have a label. If the storage
unit is empty (for example, a drawer with unit trays but not specimens)
then THERE SHOULD BE NO LABEL. Every unit within the drawer, slide
box or alcoholic tray should have a label. Cabinet: A label suitable for
an insect cabinet. Lists the Family (families, i.e., names of the units
profiled) and if only one family, optionally the genera included in the
cabinet. Currently generated with Ventura Publisher from WordPerfect files.
Drawer: A label suitable for an insect drawer. Lists the family and the
genera included in the drawer. Optionally list the first and last included
species, where a genus spans multiple drawers. Currently generated with
Ventura Publisher from WordPerfect files. Header: Currently there are no
standards for a genus header label. Should there be. I prefer to place a
label with the Genus name Author followed by the type species on the bottom
on a 1/16 unit tray. I generate these in WordPerfect and print them out
on Avery labels. The information necessary to generate these labels is not
recorded in the Species Inventory database, but is in the Biosystematic
Database of World Diptera (and ultimately the BIOTA Nomenclatorial database).
Species Header: A label suitable for heading up a series of units including
a species or suitable to be included within a single unit. Two different
approaches to labelling species in the pinned collection exist. One approach
is to put a species header label inside each unit. This has a limitation
in that it is difficult to change labels without damaging specimens. The
other approach is to place the label outside of the unit, but this means
that the label is only loosely associated with the unit. I prefer the second
approach as it allows one to put more data on the header label if necessary
and is easier to maintain. I will, however, add an unit name label (see
below) to each unit, placing it in the posterior right hand corner [which
will also insure that there is a clear space in which to insert one's fingers
when lifting out the unit tray.
Type Specimen: A label suitable for indicating the presence of
primary type material. This is similar to a determination label but in red
ink and with the original combination of genus species Author and the bottomline
states "See Type Collection". I plan to generate these once, when
the SELGEM type inventory is downloaded and available to Curators.
Name: A label suitable to indicating the contents of a unit tray.
This label will be similar to a determination label with the current valid
combination (Genus & Species) and the bottomline gives name of the revisor
and year of Revision. This label will be placed in posterior right corner
of every unit. The data for revision and date are derived from the audit
fields. These labels may be colored to reflect the biotic regions of the
material. For special research project, such as Costa Rican Biodiversity
Inventory, I will isolate the Costa Rican material into a separate unit
with a GREEN Unit Name Labels. For Local material (DELMARVA Biodiversity
Inventory, I will use RED Unit Name Labels. These labels will have an additional
line to indicate the name of the special project.
Indicators: I consider the pinned collection my main collection
and will use labels, such as & quot; see Slide Collection "see Alcoholic
Collection" to indicate the location of additional material. These
will be pre-printed labels.