New Taxonomy features loaded

New Taxonomy features loaded - Southern Africa : Since iSPot uploaded the southern African Plant and Animal Taxonomy, users now have access to the latest names as per the South African National Biodiversity Institute official list of names. New features just added are: A taxonomy search.

Since iSPot uploaded the southern African Plant and Animal Taxonomy, users now have access to the latest names as per the South African National Biodiversity Institute official list of names.
New features just added are:

A taxonomy search.

In the search box, type in any taxonomy rank you want (class, order, family, subfamily, tribe, genus*) and iSpot will find all identified records in that group. Find the taxonomy selection in the "Taxonomy tab." (Alternatively you can search within the taxonomy tab).

A taxonomy tree.

From any displayed observation or collection of observations, iSpot shows you all the parents and children. You can thus see which species belong in a genus, which genera in a family, which families in an order, and everything in between. And at a click you can run up and down the taxonomic tree exploring the biodiversity in southern Africa.

This is the first time anything so magical has been available in South Africa: so enjoy it. It is a great learning tool. For instance, did you know that Mammal higher classification has been totally revamped.
* Who belongs to the "Afrotheria"? - the name means African Mammal: and all the species that evolved from the African stock are now recognized due to DNA studies and suddenly weird things are related to elephants.
* Or is the hippo a whale? Search "Whippomorpha" and "climb" up and down the tree to find out!

A taxonomy display.

On the Upper Right Hand side of your screen opposite an observation, the taxonomy of the organism is displayed. (if it doesn't then either the name is not on the SANBI list, there is a spelling error, or there are subspecies/varieties of the species). From this taxonomy you can jump around to relatives at different levels (genus, family, tribe, order, etc.) and see what is on iSpot. Simply click on the level that you want to explore.

Notes:

* At this stage only vertebrates and plants are complete. Some taxonomy exists for Invertebrates and Fungi, but species lists are still being compiled and not yet available at SANBI. We will update the iSpot taxonomy whenever a significant group is added to the National List.

* At this stage synonyms and common names are not yet loaded. Some (plants definitely, also some vertebrates, and some prominent invertebrates) will be added with the next upgrade.

* Genera will be added in November.

* If you notice any errors, or updates, these must please be corrected. Ispot is your chance to "play with" and "break" the National Species List. So please report any weird, outdated or wrong entries by posting them here: here: Using the Species Dictionary.. They will be updated on the National Database and uploaded annually from there onto iSpot.

Have fun! Learn all about who is related to whom and how the new DNA is revolutionizing our ideas about higher taxonomy.

01 Oct 2011
Tony Rebelo