Topic: Spurious data extraction - why & how?
Yesterday, I extracted all species data relating to a specific site hierarchy using the report wizard and found that the resulting dataset included a number of highly suspect records, as follows: Mantodea (x11 records) & Apteromantis aptera (x1 record) - an order and a species not recorded in the LERC catchment and, as such, with no records in our database.
I saved the dataset and ran precisely the same extraction several times today and was unable to duplicate the result! Using dates and recorders, I searched the database in a variety of ways in an effort to determine the origin of these spurious records and found that records did exist for all the dates and at all the sites in question but none of them involved mantids of any description! Intriguingly, the records did not relate to a single species either, but to a range of common birds, mammals & vascular plants.
Checking through the species dictionaries in R6, I found that the order Mantodea appears only in the Orthoptera dictionary whilst the species A. aptera appears only in the 'list of additional species' dictionary.
I am obviously at a loss as to how and why this occurred and would welcome any tips from those of a more technical bent as to how to avoid it in future. Had this dataset been sent out to a client unchecked, it would have raised more than a few eyebrows!
Any advice or comment welcomed.
Biological Records Centre