Equally exciting are several new queries that have been added. "Scales in a Region/Country/Subunit" allows you to produce a checklist of all of the scales that occur in a particular geographic area. This query can be restricted to all of the scales from the chosen area by searching for the scales that occur on a particular host or by searching for the scales that occur in a particular scale family. A second new query allows you to search the database using a common name. You can even search with just part of the common name and be assisted in finding the full name and its scientific designation. A third new query provides the "Synonymy for a Scale" and includes all of the names that have been used for a taxon of interest.
In the past we have had difficulties in dealing with subspecies names of scales; these problems have now been solved and you can search the database for subspecies taxa. Another problems has been with names of authors that have diacritical marks. We have provided a copy and paste solution to this problem, but anticipate a simpler solution in the near future. Alternative spellings of author names have plagued the bibliographic portion of ScaleNet since its inception and we currently are implementing a table of synonyms that will be used to direct you to the spelling of the name that is used in the references database in ScaleNet. This table needs some enhancements but is a beginning at solving this problem.
There have been several changes in the BASIS database system that have made life much easier for the data entry part of the project and have given new flexibility to the catalogue output. You will notice that the Remarks section is now broken into five sections, each of which is queriable. The sections are: Structure, Systematics, Biology, Economic Importance and Control, and General Remarks. A new system has been added for common names and this is reflected in ScaleNet by the "Common Name Query". The BASIS crew in Canada also converted the system from DOS to Windows and has dealt with the Year 2000 problem by changing the citation codes to four rather than three digit codes.
The reference area has grown nearly 2000 references to a total of over 11,000. This is principally through the efforts of Karen Veilleux who continues to work diligently on the references file.
The current push is to enter all of the information on the Diaspididae which is slightly less than half of the total species in the Coccoidea. This process is currently underway in Israel and the US and it is hoped that the major part of the task will be near completion at the end of 2000.