Re: How to submit new names / changes to the Species Dictionary
SUBMITTING NEW SPECIES:
If you think that a new species needs to be added then do please submit it here. Before submitting it though take a brief few moments to check that you have given us the necessary information and this will help to speed up the process of adding it to the database.
We need the following:
- The full scientific name
- The authority (the author’s name and date of publication - double-check whether it is bracketed or not*)
any attribute (sens. lat. etc)
- The reason for adding it, including any citation for where the new species was published. We can add a name without the species being published as ‘new to the UK’ but we do obviously like to make sure that it really is necessary to add it.
- it's also useful, for our own records, to have your name & which organisation you represent :)
- if you are letting us know a change to the synonymy of a species then be clear about which is the synonym and which is the new recommended name.
When a new name is requested one of the first things that I do is to check the spelling and authority. I also just double-check that it isn’t listed as a synonym of another taxon. There are several good (but not always comprehensive) online tools for doing this:
- PESI - this is the main European database that we follow for names. It isn’t perfect and it doesn’t include all the synonyms but it is probably the most up to date available.
- Index Fungorum - the world database for fungal taxonomy.
- Taxapad - excellent resource for ichneumons
- Universal Chalidoidea database
- Fishbase - the best database of world fish
- Index Animalium
- WoRMS - World Register of Marine Species
- GBIF/EOL - these are world databases and they can be out of date but they can be used as a last resort for invasive species that have bypassed Europe to get to our shores.
If you have had time to double-check your new name against the most appropriate database then do let me know that too.
* brackets around an authority signify that the species name was originally described as belonging to a different genus and since publication taxonomists have moved the species. For instance, “Musca domestica Linnaeus, 1758” signifies that Linnaeus described a species called “domestica” and placed it into the genus “Musca” in 1758. Whereas “Tachina fera (Linnaeus, 1761)” signifies that Linnaeus described a species called “fera” in 1761 and today we place it in a genus called “Tachina” but this isn’t the genus that Linnaeus used. When you do a bit of digging into the synonymy you find that Linnaeus actually called it “Musca fera”, because Musca was his main dumping ground for anything that looked housefly-ish.
Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road, London, SW7 5BD. (tel: 020 7942 5894)
also Tachinid Recording Scheme (http://tachinidae.org.uk/)