Taxonomic hierarchy in SDD

Douglas Trainor trainor at UIC.EDU
Tue Nov 27 01:39:21 CET 2001

Taxonomic disagreements aside, I have run into programming "gotchas"
in the past because I did not know about generic homonyms and thus
my code was ignorant of homonyms.  I was surprised then to find both
a corticioid fungus and a marine sponge with the same genus name
(Corticium is in both Carticiaceae and Plakinidae).  Also a surprise
to find both a fungus and a plant with the same genus name (Virgaria).
Then a taxonomic guru told me about the genus Erica for insects/plants.
There are probably two dozen others...


Steve Shattuck wrote:

> If a dataset includes the descriptions of two families and 4 genera but
> doesn't tell you which genera belong to which family you will be forced to
> get this information from someplace else (e.g. ITIS).  If the dataset is
> based on a different arrangement from ITIS you don't know this because the
> dataset didn't tell you because it's not part of the standard. In this case
> the data won't make sense because the family descriptions need to be a
> superset of the genera which belong to them.  I think this is a pretty basic
> problem if we want to support hierarchical data (taxa at different taxonomic
> ranks).
> Again, if you don't want to follow the author of the dataset then you are
> free to ignore the suggested classification - but I would strongly suggest
> that you better know what the author is thinking and ignore all of her data
> if you don't agree with it, not accept the descriptions while rejecting the
> classification.
> Steve

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