Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

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Carboniferous

 

The Terrestrial Arthropod Species Data Fields

 

The terrestrial arthropod species entity contains taxonomic, morphological, and ecological ("ecomorphic") data for each species of arthropod. Data is provided in the ETE database only for the particular life stage encountered as a fossil (notably for insects: naiad, nymph, larva, pupa or adult) without extrapolation of presumed ecomorphic, morphological or other attributes to conspecific life stages. In addition to the Data-Entry Authorization section, each species entry must be associated with at least one reference (which requires the fields ref.author_1 and ref.date). See Reference Data Fields.

Required fields for a terrestrial arthropod species consist of:

Genus asp.genus
Species asp.species
Unique field asp.unf
Data Coordinator sau.coordinator
Data Authorizer sau.authorizer


Higher taxonomic information should be supplied for any genus that is new to the database. Later entries of congeneric species will be automatically supplied with the higher taxonomic information by the software, so it is not necessary to provide it in these cases.

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Activity

Descriptor of activity period for the species.

DATA TYPE

A predefined character string not exceeding 8 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

Time during a 24 hour cycle during which activity (feeding, reproduction, etc.) is greatest.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.activity

ALLOWED VALUES

  Explanation Example
crepusc crepuscular (dawn and dusk) many Sphingidae, Lampyridae
diurnal diurnal (day) Apidae
noctur nocturnal (night) Cimicidae
undet undetermined  

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Anti-Predator Devices

Anti-predator devices inferred for the species.

DATA TYPE

A predefined character string not exceeding 8 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

A categorization of defensive structures that assist in avoiding predation.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.antipred

ALLOWED VALUES

  Explanation Example
absent absent Aphididae
bite to bite, puncture, etc. from the caudal region Centromachidae
cerci cerci Japygidae
color coloration some Nymphalidae
cuticle thick cuticle some Tenebrionidae
feign behavioral modification: threat posturing or feigning death some Scarabaeidae
glands special glands Coreidae
ins_fabr insect constructed (web tunnels, cases) Embiidae
mimicry mimicry many Membracidae
other    
pla_fabr plant constructed (galls, mines, borings) Gracillariidae
spines spines some Acrididae
sting sting Megachilidae
undet undetermined  

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Body Length

Average adult body length, excluding appendages such as antennae and ovipositor, for the species.

DATA TYPE

A real number (optional decimal point).

DESCRIPTION

The average adult body length estimated for the species, in millimeters. This length estimate excludes appendages.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.body_length

ALLOWED VALUES

Any

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Class

The Linnean class to which the species belongs.

DATA TYPE

A character field not exceeding 30 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

The Linnean class to which the species belongs.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.class

ALLOWED VALUES

Any

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Comment

A comment on the addition of a new species, or an update.

DATA TYPE

Character field not exceeding 255 characters.

DESCRIPTION

Each time a species is added to the database, the Data-Entry Authorization section (see the Overview) must be filled out. The same thing occurs whenever the data for the species are updated. Included in this part of the data fields is a comment field. Include here reservations about certain data, explanations of what some inferences were based on, what references were used for what data, and other miscellaneous useful comments on your work in preparing the data for entry. Be brief!

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

sau.comment

ALLOWED VALUES

Any

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Data Authorizer

The authorizer of the data.

DATA TYPE

A character field not exceeding 25 characters. MANDATORY FIELD.

DESCRIPTION

The name of the member of a research group who authorizes the entry of information into the database. This may or may not be the same as the Data Coordinator. It is intended that the currently empowered Authorizers be a small and restricted set of research group members who work closely with the database. Their job is to certify that the data prepared by the Data Coordinator(s) meet the current standards for scientific accuracy and have been entered logically. They are also responsible for catching major errors of a scientific nature, inconsistencies, and misunderstandings on the part of whoever filled out the datasheet. No datasheet can be entered without an Authorizer.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

sau.authorizer

ALLOWED VALUES

Any

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Data Coordinator

The name of the researcher preparing the data for entry.

DATA TYPE

A character string not exceeding 25 characters. MANDATORY FIELD.

DESCRIPTION

The data for each entity are prepared by or under the supervision of a particular researcher (or group of researchers). This (these) person(s) is designated the Data Coordinator, and is the primary source of the information and is responsible for its accuracy. Data Coordinators may or may not also be Data Authorizers. Data Coordinators possess such rights over the data as the Consortium has decided in its general policy on the subject. Briefly, for entities designated as "private", the Data Coordinator's data are treated as a collection that the Data Coordinator is actively working on. Thus, the Data Coordinator must be consulted/informed when other researchers use the data in some project intended for publication. The Data Coordinator may deny permission for such use. The Data Coordinator may initially or at a later time designate the status of a species or locality as "public". In this case, the data become "public domain" and can be used by anyone with access privileges to the database, for any purpose, without informing or obtaining permission from the Data Coordinator. The Consortium has established a time period (5 years from date of entry or last modification) after which data of a particular entity will convert to "public" status, unless there are compelling reasons to retain private status.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

sau.coordinator

ALLOWED VALUES

Any

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Developmental Type

Type of ametamorphic or metamorphic development.

DATA TYPE

A character field not exceeding 8 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

The primary type of ametamorphic or metamorphic development for the species.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.development

ALLOWED VALUES

  Explanation Example
ametabol ametabolous (metamorphosis absent) Archaeognatha
hemimet hemimetabolous (adult-dissimilar naiads present; pupae absent) Hemiptera
holomet holometabolous (larvae and pupae present) Hymenoptera
hypermet hypermetamorphic (larvae strongly differentiated morphologically) many Rhipiphoridae
oligomet oligometabolous (adult-similar nymphs present; pupae absent) Dermaptera
other other  
undet undetermined  

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Diet Type

General food type category.

DATA TYPE

A predefined character string not exceeding 8 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

The most general food type consumed by the taxon being entered (commonly, the genus).

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.diet_type

ALLOWED VALUES

  Explanation Example
algae algivory (algae) Hydroscaphidae, some Corixidae
all omnivory (eclectic diet) Blatellidae, some Forficulidae
animal carnivory (live animal tissue) Aeshyidae, Belostomatidae
blood sanguinivory (blood, lymph, liquified tissues, or any other internal bodily fluids) female Simuliidae, female Culicidae
carrion necrivory (dead animal tissue) Calliphoridae, most Silphidae
detritus detritivory--macrovorous (consump- tion of dead macroscopic particles, including unspecific necrivory) Ephemerellidae, some Perlidae
eggs ovivory (eggs) some Phoridae, some Chloropidae
excreta stercovory (excreta) Scatophagidae, many Muscidae
fil_feed filter feeder (siever or filterer of microscopic particles) larval Simuliidae
flowers flowers some Scarabaeidae
fruit fruit some Tortricidae
fungi fungivory (fungi) some Staphylinidae, Mycetophilidae
gran_sem granivory/seminivory (seeds and grain) Bruchidae, Xyelidae
leaves folivory (leaves) most Pyralidae, Chrysomelidae
nectar nectarivory (flower, fungal and plant fluids, including nectar, honeydew, guttated fluids, surface sweat, deliquescing fungal surfaces, etc.) Sphingidae, Nemestrinidae
nontroph nontrophic (no feeding) adult Ephemeroptera, some adult Lepidoptera (e.g. Tineidae)
plan_sap phytosuccivory (plant sap) Cicadellidae, Thripidae
plants herbivory (undifferentiated) many Acrididae
roots roots Hepialidae
spor_pol sporivory/pollenivory (spores and/or pollen) some Curculionidae, some Helio-dinidae
undet undetermined  
unique unique Galleria on wax (Pyralidae), Psilopa on petroleum (Ephydridae)
wood lignivory (wood) larval Siricidae, larval Buprestidae

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Egg Laying Strategy

Mode of egg deposition for the species.

DATA TYPE

A predefined character string not exceeding 8 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

Mode of egg deposition, including the presence and/or type of egg-embedding substances.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.eggs

ALLOWED VALUES

  Explanation Example
ani_ovip animal-piercing ovipositor (narrow and stylate) Ibaliidae
free eggs freely laid (external ovipositor absent) Mallophaga
gen_ovip generalized ovipositor (unelaborated) Cleridae
marsup marsupiate Belostomatidae
mucus embedded in fluid polysaccharide (froth, mucus, colloidal matrix) some Chironomidae
ootheca oothecate (eggs in leathery case) Blaberidae
other other  
pla_ovip plant-piercing ovipositor (broad and serrate, or telescopic for inserting eggs into crevices of plants, flower buds, etc.) Tenthredinidae
sting ovipositor with a sting Anthophoridae
undet undetermined  
wd_ovip wood-boring ovipositor (very long with a drill tip) Ichneumonidae

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Family

The Linnean family to which the species belongs.

DATA TYPE

A character field not exceeding 30 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

The Linnean family to which the species belongs. It should, as usual, begin with an upper-case letter.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

vsp.family

ALLOWED VALUES

Any

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Feeding Habitat

General habitat where the species feeds.

DATA TYPE

A predefined character string not exceeding 8 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

The microhabitat where feeding occurs.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.feeding_hab

ALLOWED VALUES

  Explanation Example
aerial aerial (in air) Asilidae
algae algicolous (algae) most Elmidae
benthic benthic (in substrate; aquatic) Chironomidae
caverns cavernicolous (in caverns) some Gyrillidae
dung in dung Scathophagidae
edaphic edaphic (in soil on land) most Termitidae
epibenth epibenthic (on substrate; aquatic) nymphal Perlidae
epiedaph epiedaphic (on soil on land; unspeci- fied, generalized, and ecologically broad in feeding habitat that may include terrestrial ground-level feeding among dead or live plant material such as, leaves, foliar litter, tree trunks,and decomposing wood, and on soil and unspeci- fied detritus) Carabidae
epizoic epizoic (on animals) Pulicidae
flowers floricolous (flowers) Thripidae
fruit in or on fruit Tephritidae
fungi fungicolous (fungi) many Ciidae
intrzoic intrazoic (in animals) Hypodermatidae
in_wood in or on wood, includ. tree trunk surf. Cupedidae
leaf_lit in leaf litter larval Dolichopodidae
leaves folicolous (foliage) Tenthrediniidae
nektonic nektonic (in water column) Dytiscidae
nests in or on animal's nests, including other insects, mammals, birds, & arthropods Paussidae
neuston neuston (in neuston zone) larval Culicidae
not_app aphagic organisms adult Ephemeroptera
other other  
roots radicicolous (roots) Hepialiidae
sem_gran seminicolous or granicolous (seeds/grains) some Eurytomidae
shorelin along the shoreline of fresh or marine bodies many Staphylinidae
stems caulicolous (stems) Cephidae
wat_surf water surface Gerridae
undet undetermined  

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Food Form

Macroscopic food form type.

DATA TYPE

A predefined character string not exceeding 8 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

The macroscopic form of the food for the species.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.food_form

ALLOWED VALUES

  Explanation Example
liquid liquid Lygaeidae
not_app not applicable some adult Lasiocampidae & Saturniidae
particle particulate larval Simuliidae
solid solid Petaluridae
undet undetermined  

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Fossil Parts

How the fossil is assembled or disassembled.

DATA TYPE

A predefined character string not exceeding 9 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

A general descriptor of how the fossil is assembled or disassembled.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.fos_pts

ALLOWED VALUES

  Explanation
fi_arti final instar, articulated
fi_disart final instar, disarticulated
mt_arti molt, articulated
mt_disart molt, disarticulated
not_app not applicable, as in the case of trace fossils

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Fossil Type

The body part or collection of body parts that constitute the fossil.

DATA TYPE

A predefined character string not exceeding 8 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

A general descriptor of what body part or collection of body parts that constitute the fossil.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.fos_type

ALLOWED VALUES

  Explanation Example
bf_soft body fossil--organs other than wings  
bf_valves body fossil--valves  
bf_wings body fossil--wings  
tf_cases trace fossil (e.g. caddisfly cases) Phryganeidae
tf_plant trace fossil--plant damage (e.g. wood-boring, stem gall,
leaf mine)
Cynipidae, Incurvariidae
tf_soil trace fossil--trail or burrow larval Chironomidae

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Functional Feeding Group

Mode by which food is consumed.

DATA TYPE

A predefined character string not exceeding 8 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

A general descriptor of the mode by which food is consumed.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.feeding_grp

ALLOWED VALUES

  Explanation Example
borer borer (in indurated tissue; no nutritive tissue) larval Anobiidae, larval Xiphydriidae
chewer chewer  
cutan cutaneous adsorber (nutrients sequestered through the skin) larval Gasterophilidae, female Halic-tophagidae
eff external foliage feeder (on live foliage) Acrididae, larval Saturniidae
fil_feed filter feeder (small particle siever or filterer) larval Hydropsychidae, nymphal Oligo-neuridae
galler galler (in various tissues; nutritive tissue present) most Cecidomyiidae, most Cynipidae
gras_pre grasper-predator (chewer with raptorial structures) Coenogrionidae, Nepidae
miner miner (in soft tissue; no nutritive tissue) Nepticulidae, Agromyzidae
not_app not applicable  
pier_suc piercer-and-sucker (suction of subcutaneous fluids, including specialized methods such as piercing-and-cutting) Membracidae, Reduviidae
sff surface fluid feeder (e.g. honeydew, urine, wounds) Muscidae, Apidae
undet undetermined  
unique unique  

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Genus

The generic name of the species.

DATA TYPE

A character field not exceeding 30 characters in length. MANDATORY FIELD.

DESCRIPTION

The generic name of the species. It should, as usual, begin with an upper-case letter. Exception: Generic names may also be given as "cf." followed by a generic name, or the entries "gen." or "indet.".

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.genus

ALLOWED VALUES

Any

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Hunt/Forage

Life-history strategy by which food is obtained.

DATA TYPE

A predefined character string not exceeding 8 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

A general descriptor of the life-history strategy by which food is obtained for the species.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.hunt_forage

ALLOWED VALUES

  Explanation Example
amb_pred ambush predator (prey can be smaller or larger than predator and not
necessarily consumed in its entirety)
many mygalomorph spiders; larval Myrmeleontidae; adult Odontomachus (Formicidae)
ectopara ectoparasitic (host is initially larger than "predator") Ceratophyllidae
endopara endoparasitic (host is larger than "predator") Stylopidae
ex_plant external plant feeder (includes plant fluids) larval Sphingidae
net_capt net capture Philopotamidae
not_app not applicable  
scaveng scavenging or foraging (includes mucus entrapment) some Mycetophilidae
stl_pred stalk predator (prey can be smaller or larger than predator and not necessarily consumed in its entirety) Mantidae; Reduviidae; Psychodidae
undet undetermined  
unique unique  

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Life Stage

Major life-stage of the fossil.

DATA TYPE

A predefined character string not exceeding 8 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

A general descriptor of the major life-stage of the fossil.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.life_stage

ALLOWED VALUES

  Explanation
adult adult
egg egg
larva larva
nym_nai nymph (terrestrial) or naiad (aquatic)

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Locomotion

Dominant mode of movement from one place to another.

DATA TYPE

A predefined character string not exceeding 8 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

The dominant mode of organismic movement from one place to another.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.locomotion

ALLOWED VALUES

  Explanation Example
bur_nat burrower and natant undifferentiated Phryganeidae
burrow burrower (sensu lato) Gryllotalpidae
cursor cursorial/gressorial (walking) Salpingidae
hydrosta hyrdrostatic creeping (e.g. apodous larval movement) larval Sciaridae
natant natant (swimming) Hydrophilidae
other other  
phoretic phoretic (attached to a shelter host) Nycterbiidae
saltator saltatorial (jumping) Tettigoniidae
undet undetermined  
volant volant (flying) Papilionidae

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Mouthpart Class

Categorizes structurally the mouthpart ensemble and adjacent structures on the head capsule.

DATA TYPE

A predefined character string not exceeding 9 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

A category that structurally categorizes the mouthpart ensemble (both single and functionally co-opted elements) and adjacent structures on the head capsule. The phenetic analysis for which mouthpart classes were established for modern insects is Labandeira (1990).

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.mouthpart

ALLOWED VALUES

  Explanation Example
adu_ecto adult ectognathate adults & nymphs of most mandibulate in-sects
buc_cone buccal cone Anoplura, Haematomyzidae
cheli generalized chelicerate Araneida
chel_sty chelicerate-stylate some Acari
di_tetr distylate/tetrastylate adult Anisopodidae, Rhagionidae, Mydidae, Therevidae, Ironomyiidae
ecto_sty ectognathous-stylate some adult taxa in Sphaeridae, Rhysodidae, Leiodidae, Cerylonidae, Corylophidae, Eu-cinetidae, Coolooidae
entognat entognathate Collembola, Diplura
ento_sty entognathous-stylate Protura, Neanuridae
fos_com fossate complex larval Planipennia
glossate glossate adult Sapygidae, Scolioidea, Vespoidea & Apoidea; Nemopteridae
haust haustoriate adult Trichoptera
hexasty hexastylate most adult nematocerous Diptera, Tabanoidea
labellate labellate adult Tipuloidea, Tanyderidae, Ptycho-pteridae, Bibionoidea, Brachycera, Nannochoristidae
laciniate laciniate hypoperlids (e.g. Caloneuridae)
lar_ecto larval ectognathate larvae of Mecoptera, Siphonaptera, many Diptera, Coleoptera & Lepidoptera
mandibul mandibulobrustiate larval Trichoptera
maxillo maxillolabiate most adult apocritan Hymenoptera
max_man maxilloped and mandible bearing Crustacea
monocond monocondylate Archaeognatha
mono_di monostylate/distylate adult Asilidae, Acroceridae, Empididae, Bombyliidae
mor_pes mortar-and-pestle Psocoptera, Mallophaga
mthbrush mouthbrush many larval nematocerous Diptera
mouthcone mouthcone Thysanoptera
mouthhook mouthhook larval Cecidomyiidae and Brachycera
nontroph nontrophic adults of Ephemeroptera, Hepialoidea, Lasiocampidae, and Saturniidae
pectinate pectinate subadult Ephemeroptera
rap_ecto raptorial ectognathate Odonata
rasp hypostomal rasp some Acari
red_trop reduced trophic adult Nymphomyiidae, Hyperoscleidae, Gasterophilidae, Acroceridae, Zygaenoidae; adult Hymenoptera-'Parasitica'
rhyncho rhynchophorate adult Curculionoidea
rob_beak robust beak Palaeodictyopteroidea
rostrate rostrate adult Mecoptera, adult Nemopteridae
seg_beak segmented beak Hemiptera
sericter sericterate most larval glossate Lepidoptera and larval symphytan Hymenoptera
siph_man siphonomandibulate some adult Meloidae and Rhipiphoridae
siphonate siphonate most adult Lepidoptera
siph_sty siphonostylate some adult Noctuidae
tristylat tristylate adult Siphonaptera
tub_sty tubulostylate
adult Glossinidae, Hippoboscidae, Streb-lidae, Nycterbiidae
tubulo tubulomandibulate larval Hygrobiidae, Dytiscidae, Gyrinidae, Lampyridae, Drilidae, Lycidae, Pheno-godidae, Cantharidae
undet undetermined  

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Order

The Linnean order to which the species belongs.

DATA TYPE

A character field not exceeding 30 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

The Linnean order to which the species belongs. It should, as usual, begin with an upper-case letter.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.lorder

ALLOWED VALUES

Any

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Physiognomy

Measure of shape and appendicularity.

DATA TYPE

A predefined character string not exceeding 8 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

A descriptor of the measure of shape and appendicularity of the fossil.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.physiog

ALLOWED VALUES

  Explanation Example
asthenic asthenic (gracile; high surface to volume ratio) Hydrometridae
mesic mesic (moderate body shape) Tenebrionidae
pycnic pycnic (robust; low surface to volume ratio) many Scarabaeidae
undet undetermined  

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Population Structure

Indicates whether the species is solitary, social or gregarious.

DATA TYPE

A predefined character string not exceeding 8 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

The degree to which the population structure is characterized by caste polymorphism and division of labor.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.pop_struct

ALLOWED VALUES

  Explanation Example
sbsocial subsocial or gregarious Cryptocercidae
social social (castes) Formicidae
solitary solitary Labiidae
undet undetermined  

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Reproduction

Descriptor of reproduction by a gravid female.

DATA TYPE

A predefined character string not exceeding 8 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

The degree to which embryo-surrounding tissues and structures are produced and/or retained by a gravid female.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.reproduction

ALLOWED VALUES

  Explanation Example
other other  
ovipar oviparous (eggs are laid) Corydalidae
ovi_viv ability to switch between oviparous and viviparous  
ovovivi ovoviviparous (eggs hatched Tachinidae internally)  
undet undetermined  
vivipar viviparous (no eggs) Hippoboscidae

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Selectivity

Descriptor of the taxonomic specificity to which host tissue is consumed.

DATA TYPE

A predefined character string not exceeding 7 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

The taxonomic specificity to which host tissue (plant, fungal, animal or otherwise) is consumed. Stenophagy=a few related species within a genus; Oligophagy=related genera within a family or among closely-related families; Euryphagy=no pattern of host specificity.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.selectivity

ALLOWED VALUES

  Explanation
eury euryphagous (broad specificity) - unrelated species, genera and families
not_app not applicable
oligo oligophagous (intermediate specificity) - closely related genera within families
steno stenophagous (narrow specificity) - closely related species
undet undetermined

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Species

The species epithet of the species.

DATA TYPE

A character field not exceeding 30 characters in length. MANDATORY FIELD.

DESCRIPTION

The species name of the species. It is always entirely in lower case. Species may also be recorded as "sp.", "indet.", or preceded by "cf." to indicate different levels of uncertainty in assignment. These three strings are the only ones that the graphical interface recognizes as alternatives to Linnean names. "sp." implies that it is known that this is a new or separate species, but that it currently has no formal taxonomic name; use "indet." for a species that is not identifiable at the species level. "cf." is to indicate any of the many tentative assignments (including "aff.", "near", ? species, etc.). "cf." entries always are recorded as separate species, not as instances of the referred species.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.species

ALLOWED VALUES

Any

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Status

The current status (public or private) of a species record.

DATA TYPE

A predefined character string not exceeding 15 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

Every species or locality record in the Database at any moment is assigned a status, which indicates the level of access permitted to that record. Currently, the value "public" indicates that the record is essentially "public domain" and will be made available without restriction in the public domain version of the ETE Database. The value "private" indicates that the record will be accessible only to those researchers who have access to the ongoing working database. Records will ordinarily be entered with "private" status until the members of the Project (q.v.) that has generated them releases them to the public. The Data Coordinator (q.v.) for each record is ultimately responsible for any changes of its status. Additional values for status may eventually be added if it becomes necessary to specify in finer detail the access level of an entity.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.status

ALLOWED VALUES

private
public

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Unique

Makes the species entry unique.

DATA TYPE

A character field not exceeding 30 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

At times the occurrences of the same species at different localities will still differ in some ecologically meaningful way. For example, the same named species may be of substantially different size in different fossil localities. In order to record the size appropriate to each locality, one must somehow separate the two species occurrences -- as if they were two separate species. At other times, adequate identifications may be unavailable, or systematic work needs to be done, such that the best one can do is to identify to some higher taxon (e.g., Somegenus sp.). In such a case, "Somegenus sp." is what the computer will search on when a species list is entered. But there may be many undescribed species of Somegenus, each different in ecologically meaningful ways, and found in a variety of localities. Yet, they all have the same generic and specific name as far as the computer is concerned. They need to be treated individually.

The unique field is the way to do this. In addition to Genus and Species, this field is also searched when a species name is input as part of a species list. In effect, the ETE Database uses "trinomial" designations for its "species". Thus, to separate occurrences of Somegenus, all one has to do is to specify an entry in the unique field. It might be a letter or a number, or an abbreviation for a locality, or any string of 30 characters or fewer that will serve to identify it uniquely. Remember that other people might be working with Somegenus as well, so naming a species "Somegenus sp. A" (i.e., the unique field = "A") might inadvertently identify it incorrectly as another one already in the database. One fairly safe solution would be to include some kind of locality, regional, or temporal designations within the 30-character string -- increasing the probability that the unique field will really be unique.

Data Coordinators must keep track of their own usages and assignments using this field, and they should become aware of the ways in which the species (or close relatives) that they are working with may have already been entered by other workers. The computer cannot sort out a nomenclatural mess where two different things have been given the same name by mistake. On the other hand, excessive use of the unique field, resulting in a situation where all or most occurrences of a species are distinguished as unique, should also be avoided. This is surely unnecessary, takes up valuable storage space, and can also become confusing to other workers.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.unf

ALLOWED VALUES

Any

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Vagility

Spatial mobility of an individual during the lifetime.

DATA TYPE

A predefined character string not exceeding 8 characters in length.

DESCRIPTION

The degree of spatial mobility during the lifetime of an individual.

INTERNAL TABLE.FIELD NAMES

asp.vagility

ALLOWED VALUES

  Explanation Example
act_vagi actively vagile (under own power) Lestidae
pas_vagi passively vagile (external power) Ricinidae
sessile sessile (fixed) Pseudococcidae
undet undetermined  

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