[tdwg-content] DwC taxonomic terms

Richard Pyle deepreef at bishopmuseum.org
Thu Sep 10 05:47:42 CEST 2009

Dear All,

After a series of off-list conversations with Peter DeVries, Dave Remsen,
and others; and thanks to John W. for pointing me to the active list of
terms, I would like to offer some additional thoughts on the "Core Taxon"
terms; but before I do, I want to make sure I understand how the existing
terms are intended to be used.

>>>From the perspective of an Occurrence (specimen/observation/etc.) record
represented through DwC, it seems to me that there are three sets of
name/taxon terms:

1. "As Identified"
[Information about how the record is currently identified.]

- scientificName
- scientificNameID
- scientificNameAuthorship
- taxonAccordingTo
- taxonAccordingToID

2. "As originally established"
[Information about the original name as established under the Code]

- originalTaxonName
- originalTaxonNameID
- namePublishedIn
- namePublishedInID

3. "Opinion of Data Provider"
[Information about how the data provider interprets the correct name.]

- acceptedTaxon
- acceptedTaxonID

I'm not entirely certain which "set" of names the following terms would
apply to:

- rank
- verbatimRank
- higherTaxonName
- higherTaxonNameID
- higherClassification
- kingdom
- phylum
- class
- order
- family
- genus
- subgenus
- specificEpithet
- infraspecificEpithet

According to the current draft spreadsheet
, it seems that the first two apply specifically to the "scientificName",
and therefore belong in the first set (i.e., rank according to how it was
identified; not necessarily how the Data Provider now treats it, or what the
original rank was).  I assume the rest all apply to "Opinion of Data
Provider"; but this is not explicitly stated.

For example, consider the specimen BPBM 13492. It was most recently
identified as "Centropyge flavicauda Fraser-Brunner 1933".  Our current
treatment of this species is as a junior synonym of "Centropyge fisheri
(Snyder 1904)".  The original description "fisheri" by Snyder (1904) placed
it in the genus "Holacanthus".

I'm assuming that I would present this record via DwC using the above terms
as follows:

1. As Identified:

scientificName: Centropyge flavicauda 
scientificNameAuthorship: Fraser-Brunner 1933
taxonAccordingTo: Allen, G.R. 1980. Butterfly and angelfishes of the world.
Volume II. Mergus Publishers. Pp. 149-352.

2. As originally established:

- originalTaxonName: Centropyge flavicauda Fraser-Brunner 1933
- originalTaxonNameID:
- namePublishedIn: Fraser-Brunner, A. 1933. A revision of the chaetodont
fishes of the subfamily Pomacanthinae. Proceedings of the General Meetings
for Scientific Business of the Zoological Society of London 1933 (pt 3, no.
30): 543-599, Pl. 1.
- namePublishedInID:

3. Opinion of Data Provider:

acceptedTaxon: Centropyge fisheri

If my assumptions are correct, then "specificEpithet" would be "fisheri",
not "flavicauda" -- correct?

Once I get a sense from this list whether I am interpreting the terms
correctly (or not), I'll offer some specific comments on the taxon terms.


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