Wikidata talk:WikiProject Taxonomy

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On this page, old discussions are archived. An overview of all archives can be found at this page's archive index. The current archive is located at 2018/07. taxa with no Wikidata statements[edit]

en:Category:Taxonbars on possible non-taxon pages is largely populated by articles that are treated as taxa, but which lack taxon statements on Wikidata. I have no doubt there are potential problems on the end, but I would be easier for me to find and address them if the category is drained of items lacking statements. I'm hoping Wikidata folks can add statements (as appropriate) more efficiently than me. Plantdrew (talk) 15:56, 21 April 2018 (UTC)

Looks like this Wikiproject will be closed for awhile due to persistent action by Andy Mabbett. It is to be hoped this will pass, in time. - Brya (talk) 05:34, 22 April 2018 (UTC)
@Brya: seems pretty active to me... Where/what are those discussions? If a project is active, then it's active, regardless of 1 person's (or even several persons') wants and/or deeds. —Tom.Reding (talk) 13:33, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
Really, Brya? Do explain that allegation. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:19, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
@Brya: You seem to have overlooked my question. Please answer it. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 18:34, 6 May 2018 (UTC)
@Plantdrew, Tom.Reding: it would be helpful if en:Category:Taxonbars on possible non-taxon pages distinguished between Wikidata items that have no value for Property:P31 and those that have a value which does not appear to correspond to a taxon name of some kind. Those with no value for P31 could fixed by a bot, I think. Those with an anomalous value need to be looked at individually. My impression is that the overwhelming number of entries in en:Category:Taxonbars on possible non-taxon pages correspond to Wikidata items with no value for P31. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:34, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
Indeed, the vast majority of items in that cat correspond to Wikidata items with no value for P31. These can be separated from items with anomalous values for P31. I'll report back here when that's done. —Tom.Reding (talk) 13:33, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
With PetScan, you could fix them in one go:
--- Jura 13:43, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
I think this is the inverse. only 163 results for en:Category:Taxonbars on possible non-taxon pages that have a value for p31. --NessieVL (talk) 15:45, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
@Peter coxhead: given this PetScan, is a separate cat still warranted? Perhaps a link to it in the cat description instead? —Tom.Reding (talk) 01:53, 27 April 2018 (UTC)
I did find some where there duplicate Wikidata items (one with taxon statements, one without), which I have merged. I'm not sure how to check for duplicates en masse. Plantdrew (talk) 16:31, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
Some of these illustrate perfectly the problems caused by Wikidata's refusal to allow wikipedia articles to link to more than one Wikidata item. Consider en:Snake. This is a taxon article; it's about the taxon Serpentes, with the title being the English name of the taxon. The taxonbar correctly connects to Serpentes (Q25537662). However, in order to show the list of inter-language links in the left hand margin of en:Snake, snake (Q2102) bears the link to en:Snake. Result: the English article appears in en:Category:Taxonbars desynced from Wikidata and en:Category:Taxonbars on possible non-taxon pages – neither really being correct. How can this be fixed?
  • en:Snake could be moved to Serpentes (Q25537662). This would fix the problems in the English Wikipedia, but would lose the inter-language links. I suspect this is what we will have to do, as the only option available, but it's definitely suboptimal.
  • snake (Q2102) could be merged into Serpentes (Q25537662). From a taxonomic point of view, this seems to me the best solution, but there is, I assume, some reason why Wikidata has both items.
  • The best solution would be for Wikidata to allow both snake (Q2102) and Serpentes (Q25537662) to connect to en:Snake. I'm still baffled as to why this is not allowed.
Peter coxhead (talk) 16:48, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
There are apparently fossil Serpentes with legs. If they were around today, we might not call them snakes. Although with that line of reasoning, there should be separate items for "dinosaur" (sometimes large, often feathered, universally extinct) and "Dinosauria" (most known species small, feathered and extant). Plantdrew (talk) 17:36, 25 April 2018 (UTC)
Snakes are identified by skull morphology not by the presence or absence of legs. Hence the theory that snakes are related to mososaurs. Hence the fossil snakes with legs are not an issue as their skull morphology is serpentine. The Pythonidae also technically have rear legs as the have spurs fleft of them either side of the cloaca. Not sure why Wikipedia needs separate articles for snakes and serpentes though, why not merge them? Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 03:51, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
en.Wikipedia doesn't have separate articles for snakes and Serpentes. Wikidata does have separate items for these. Dictionary/lay definitions of snakes put more emphasis on lack of legs than skull morphology (and Wikidata's snake item is an instance of common name (Q502895), with the description "wiggling animal without legs"). It's a similar situation with dinosaurs; the lay definition is that they are big and extinct; the cladist's definition is different. 16:05, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
Wikidata does not consist solely of items on taxonomic concepts, or even mostly. Some 95% of Wikidata items deal with non-taxonomic concepts. Serpentes is a taxonomic concept, but "snake" is not. Different concept, different dataset, different set of incoming links.
        The problem of a mismatch in concept between a Wikipedia and Wikidata occurs often (here commonly referred to as "the Bonnie and Clyde issue"), but especially often with enwiki pages, which often deal with two, three, or more concepts, which would actually warrant a separate page each. Ideally, some additional software should enwiki enable to read data from the additional item. In this case the additional item is linked by "common name of". An especially muddled enwiki page is "cattle". - Brya (talk) 16:48, 26 April 2018 (UTC)
Mismatches occur in many ways. For "berry", enwiki separates the everyday language use from the botanical use. Some other language wikis do not. Languages and cultures differ in how finely they divide up some concepts, or even in which ones they recognize. For monotypic genera, enwiki does not separate the genus and the sole species, other language wikis do. Neither for "berry" nor for monotypic genera is one approach right or wrong; they are just different ways of handling a particular issue. If Wikidata is to serve all language wikis properly (no-one is making a special case for enwiki), its data modelling must be correct. At present it isn't: Wikidata insists on 1:1 relationships where these do not exist in the data it is supposed to be modelling. Until this fundamental error is fixed, problems will persist. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:53, 27 April 2018 (UTC)


Given the ~2000 pages in en:Category:Taxonbars on possible non-taxon pages (minus the ~155 with a P31), ~70% of them are binomial genus+species matching the regex ^[A-Z][a-z]+ [a-z]+$. I don't think it would be controversial to add, by bot, instance of (P31): taxon (Q16521), taxon rank (P105): species (Q7432), and parent taxon (P171): <genus part of name>, to these binomials. This would fix ~1400 pages, letting us do the remaining assortment of taxa/common names by hand (unless there's some other commonality amongst that 30% that can be automated, we'll see). @Succu: I see you working in this area, could you help, or know someone that could? —Tom.Reding (talk) 01:53, 27 April 2018 (UTC)

Partly done, Tom.Reding. --Succu (talk) 21:10, 26 May 2018 (UTC)

Plant species not on Wikidata[edit]

I've been looking at some plants that are mentioned in Flora Graecae prodromus (Q52483718), an early 19th-century book. While most of the species I've looked for have Wikidata entries, some don't:

  • Phaca boetica
  • Astragalus aristaus
  • Ononis cherleri
  • Trifolium maurtitanicum
  • Trigonella elatior
  • Hedysarum venosum
  • Cytisus divaricatus
  • Trifolium messanense

Are these old names for species that are already represented in Wikidata? Or are they species that exist in other databases but have not been imported yet? Or are they somehow not recognised as species now? Thanks in advance for any help, MartinPoulter (talk) 14:38, 2 May 2018 (UTC)

Most likely, these are not accepted as current names of species today. For example, Trifolium messanense is the basionym of Melilotus messanensis (Q15474322), which in turn is usually considered a synonym of another Melilotus species. On the other hand, ' Phaca boetica ' is here, as Q21876172. In principle, anything is possible. Wikidata (read Succu) has done a good job of scraping the surface of the existing flora, but there is a world of work yet to be done, to create a database in depth. - Brya (talk) 16:45, 2 May 2018 (UTC)
Thanks Brya, that's really useful. Can you recommend a database on which I can look up archaic names such as the Trifolium messanense/Melilotus messanensis (Q15474322) connection? My searches have taken me to IPNI and The Plant List, but this isn't my field and there may be better sources that I'm missing. MartinPoulter (talk) 08:51, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

UPDATE: These have all been resolved using The Plant List, including the creation of new items for Cytisus divaricatus (Q52554851) and Ononis cherleri (Q52554846). MartinPoulter (talk) 09:24, 3 May 2018 (UTC)

Of course, Martin's understandable confusion would not have arisen if, for example, "Trifolium messanense" was given as an alias on Melilotus messanensis (Q15474322). Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 10:14, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
It' not an alias, it's a taxon synonym (P1420) then and can be created as an item by itself connceted to the valid name of the species. If you want to list all synonyms of all species as aliases you will have listes of hundreds in some cases. Better is to built up a list of taxon synonym (P1420) one by one and then connect each other in the database - this is hard work, imho only doable hand-wise to avoid mistakes. -- Achim Raschka (talk) 10:47, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
Quoting Help:Aliases: "Aliases are alternative names for items that are placed in the Also known as column of the table on top of every Wikidata item page... All of the other common names that an entry might go by, including alternative names... should be recorded as aliases". Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:37, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
Yes - but a taxonomic synonym / basionym ist not an "alternative name" for a given taxonomic name or species; it is an alternative hypothesis in a taxonomic manner for the phylogeny of a species. -- Achim Raschka (talk) 19:51, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
I fully agree with Achim Raschka, it is illusory to pretend to organize taxonomic synonyms (according to which author? in which publication? or in which database? in which time period? objective synonyms? subjective synonyms?) by dumping them all as rough Aliases. Every single name used in biological nomenclature should have its own item, and linked to relatives with appropriate and preciese statements (original combination (P1403), taxon synonym (P1420), replaced synonym (for nom. nov.) (P694), etc.). Semantic is precisely the point of Wikidata. PS: a smarter management of vernacular names and their status should be discussed at some point as well, among the many things on the to-do list... Totodu74 (talk) 22:37, 3 May 2018 (UTC)
The use of aliases which I - in accordance with both Wikidata policies and current and best practice - suggest above does not preclude every single name used in biological nomenclature from having its own item. Indeed, aliases are not required to be unique. Furthermore, your suggestion that such use of aliased is an attempt "to organize taxonomic synonyms" is false. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 08:42, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
There are books and web pages which still refer to, for example, White-browed Hawk-Owl as Ninox superciliaris and not Athene superciliaris. Of course N. superciliaris an "alternative name" in the context of Help:Aliases; it is certainly within the scope of that page: "names that an entry might go by". More to the point, it is something which someone wanting to know about White-browed Hawk-Owls might use as a search term on Wikidata. Note also that both en:Athene superciliaris and en:Ninox superciliaris redirect to en:White-browed hawk-owl. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 08:42, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
As taxonomist I totally disagree with you on this topic and strongly oppose to add taxonomic synonyms, basionyms and other taxonomic names as aliases to each other - from my point we really have to be careful with the wording and meaning of synonyms in this case. To elaborate to your example:
Strix superciliaris (Q28114444) Vieillot, 1817 is the taxonomic name of a species in the genus Strix (Q241515)
White-browed Hawk-Owl (Q1267505) (Vieillot, 1817) is the taxonomic name of a species in the genus Ninox (Q913555)
Athene superciliaris (Q28114442) (Vieillot, 1817) is the taxonomic name of a species in the genus Athene (Q663507)
All three refer to a species in a totally different taxonomic framework and the link between each other is taht they are taxon synonym (P1420) (with Strix superciliaris (Q28114444) being the original combination (P1403) of both others). This totally diffenrent of just being an alias name for a species - there is a lot more included in the taxonomic name than this that cannot be covered only to claim it "alias". Therefor in my mindset you are wrong claiming to feed aliases with synonyms and I admit that this is a wrong way for Wikidata to go. -- Achim Raschka (talk) 16:14, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
Would you care to explain why you think I am wrong in the context of how Wikidata uses aliases? Do you dispute that White-browed Hawk-Owl "might go by the name" Ninox superciliaris and "might go by the name" Athene superciliaris? [I also do not believe that you meant to say "White-browed Hawk-Owl (Q1267505) (Vieillot, 1817) is the taxonomic name of a species in the genus Ninox (Q913555)", which is what appears to people viewing Wikidata in English.] Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 18:06, 4 May 2018 (UTC)
Obviously I agree with Achim Raschka and Totodu74, but add that many synonyms are not alternative anythings: they are just errors. Putting in synonyms as aka's is a burden to the project, making editing difficult and causing errors. As to Strix superciliaris, Ninox superciliaris and Athene superciliaris, this is best handled by adding the alias "White-browed Hawk-Owl" to all three items, that is to Strix superciliaris, Ninox superciliaris and Athene superciliaris. - Brya (talk) 04:50, 5 May 2018 (UTC)
Also as a taxonomist I find the use of the term alias for synonyms not in any interest to any dataset. Any site using a declared junior synonym in place of the valid name of a species is wrong, they are in breach of the code and are encouraging the dissemination of incorrect data. Cannot see why any dataset would wish to be so clearly in the wrong. Neither you Andy nor Wikidata are the be all and end of nomenclature, the buck stops with the codes. Live with that reality. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 21:56, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
What a strange response. Nonetheless, I repeat the invitation I made above: Would you care to explain why you think I am wrong in the context of how Wikidata uses aliases? Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 20:09, 19 June 2018 (UTC)
Could you please explain why Help:Aliases states „You should always include: … Scientific (binomial nomenclature) names for species, unless the species has no common name (in which case the scientific name would be the label)” - This "recommendation" makes no sense to me. --Succu (talk) 20:36, 19 June 2018 (UTC)

What to do with Mycoplasma laboratorium?[edit]

Mycoplasma laboratorium (Q1669830) is not a taxon, although it has statements to that effect. Mycoplasma laboratorium has no nomenclatural standing, and the "species" is just Mycoplasma genitalium with a synthetic genome. What are the appropriate statements for this item? Plantdrew (talk) 18:52, 4 May 2018 (UTC)

I've made it instance of (P31) = common name (Q502895). Not perfect, but a go, Plantdrew --Succu (talk) 21:13, 19 June 2018 (UTC)

Type locality[edit]

Does it make sense to expand type locality (geology) (P2695) also to type localities of plants and animals or do we have a dedicated property for this? At least in case of vertebrates and most insects I would say it is a benefit to have the option to include also type localities into the database - what do you think? -- Achim Raschka (talk) 09:21, 16 May 2018 (UTC)

I would not favour expanding type locality (geology) (P2695) for that, as all the concepts for geology versus animals (versus plants) are separate. For plants, type localities have no formal status, anyway. A new property is an option, but P189 might also be used, perhaps with a qualifier. - Brya (talk) 17:03, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
The geology property is already mixing up different concepts. Minerals are similar to plants and animals; there is a type specimen in a museum, and the type locality is ancillary data. For stratigraphic units, the type is the locality; a boundary between two rock layers at a particular designated physical location defines the stratigraphic unit. Biological type localities should be a separate property, or at least stratigraphic units need to be handled differently. Plantdrew (talk) 18:40, 16 May 2018 (UTC)
At the moment I would prefer location of discovery (P189) as done in Rausch 572 (Q19359611) but this was reverted two years ago. Please note the zoological definition too. ~-Succu (talk) 22:11, 24 May 2018 (UTC)
The problem is that a species "new to science" is not necessarily a "discovery". Some species can have been known for centuries by local population before being formally described. In any case, the exact name used in publications and in all museums of the world is "type locality". I do not know how to articulate it with the geological concept, but having a property for the "type locality" in biology is necessary. Totodu74 (talk) 11:11, 25 May 2018 (UTC)
@Achim Raschka: Please see discussion of this point in the proposal for this property, at Wikidata:Property proposal/Archive/47#P2695. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 12:48, 25 May 2018 (UTC)
So, it appears we indeed do need a new property. - Brya (talk) 04:34, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
If the new property is restricted to the scope of the ICZN I would support this... --Succu (talk) 21:07, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
agree with @Succu: here, too many times clearly defined terms from nomenclature are being bastardised in these datasets. Make the property and define it as the codes do, and do not let it be used beyond that. Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 22:00, 26 May 2018 (UTC)
Please see the proposal at Wikidata:Property proposal/type locality. Cheers, Totodu74 (talk) 13:53, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

I corrected the wrong usage of type locality (geology) (P2695) at Rausch 572 (Q19359611) but this was (again) reverted. What to do? --Succu (talk) 06:18, 13 June 2018 (UTC)

Edit war on a later homonym, replaced by a nomen novum[edit]

Dear participants, please see the item Baeocera bicolor (Löbl, 1972) (Q52381131), a later homnym of Baeocera bicolor Achard, 1920 (Q52381185) that has been replaced by Baeocera bicolorata (Q24452112).

I cannot express in words how silly it is to state "instance of: Baeocera", but, more importantly, the item is now totally meaningless: we only know it concerns "Baeocera bicolor (Löbl, 1972)" because it is stated in the label (and people here in Wikidata should know labels are not here to provide crucial information, and that statements should standalone, right?!). Could anyone please help on this one? I cannot explain what appears to be such basic concepts to me: English is not my native language and collegiality is always welcomed in Wikimedia projects. Totodu74 (talk) 12:13, 6 June 2018 (UTC)

If it is a matter of finding words, let's turn to the Preamble of the zoological Code:
"The objects of the Code are to promote stability and universality in the scientific names of animals and to ensure that the name of each taxon is unique and distinct. All its provisions and recommendations are subservient to those ends and none restricts the freedom of taxonomic thought or actions.".
One of the prime reasons for the existence of nomenclature Codes is to make sure that names of taxa are unique: that there cannot be two taxa with the same name. Countless scientists have labored for two centuries to make ensure that this is avoided.
        Trying to make later/junior homonyms into taxon names is like reinventing the wheel, but making sure that this time they are properly square. Making items for such names in whatever form is dubious in itself, these names are hardly notable, although there are cases where there is a structural need.
        And yes, obviously the solution I chose is makeshift, for want of something better. Wikidata needs at least one extra property, to be able to handle such names. But anything is better than making names that cannot be valid names ('objectively invalid names') into taxon names. Avoiding that takes priority over anything. - Brya (talk) 16:34, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
nomenclatural status (P1135): replaced synonym (Q15709329) is doing the job perfectly, you can add a red blinking warning in the label if you want to prevent confusion. different from (P1889) also exist for this purpose. I do not give a damn about the "objects of the Code", we are talking about Wikidata items. I do not ask for treating such names as "valid" though, simply as existing entities (they have been printed) despite their taxonomic fate (that is, again, perfectly described with appropriate statements). I do not consider Wikidata data users as stupid kids... :c Totodu74 (talk) 16:46, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
Including these names in "taxon name" means they are accepted as valid/correct in some of the literature (accepted by somebody, somewhere, somewhen). And readers will accept them as such (there are four Wikipedias which have loads of fictitious species): there appears to be no lower limit to what readers will accept unthinkingly. Not giving a damn about the "objects of the Code" (or any of the vast literature based on it) is very serious, the spirit of out-and-out Original Research, which is not compatible with Wikipedias (or Wikidata) in any way.
        Such names are indeed formal entities, although most of them are not notable. But they must be treated as what they are, not falsely proclaimed to be something else. - Brya (talk) 17:24, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
"accepted by somebody, somewhere, somewhen": exactly, at the very least by (1) somebody: the guy who gave the name (the author that was stated and that you keep removing), (2) somewhere: in the involved publication (3) somewhen: the date of the involved publication. So simple. Totodu74 (talk) 19:34, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
@Totodu74: Could you please give a good source for your claims in your version. Thanks. --Succu (talk) 19:27, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
@Succu: see Die Scaphidiidae (Coleoptera) Südindiens (Q54834123), when the homonymy is identified and corrected, in particular see p. 86. Totodu74 (talk) 19:35, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
According to your source Baeocera dilutior (Q24452130), Baeocera diluta Achard, 1920 (Q52379214) Eubaeocera diluta (Q52379152) represents the same problem. Right? --Succu (talk) 20:01, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
Exactly. All are replacement names (nomen novum in latin), that are rather common in taxonomy. Many more examples exist beyond the ones you cite.
The story is: Baeocera bicolor is described by Achard, 1920. In 1972, Löbl describes Eubaeocera bicolor, that is transfered to Baeocera when Eubaeocera is lumbed in Baeocera. Thus, we have the coexistence of Baeocera bicolor Achard, 1920 and Baeocera bicolor (Löbl, 1972), and the latter homonym has to be renamed. Löbl gives the replacement name (nomen novum) Baeocera bicolorata. To avoid a total mess, the only solution is to have an item for each of the binomial names. The one(s) that has/have been replaced can be identified as such by nomenclatural status (P1135): replaced synonym (Q15709329). Totodu74 (talk) 20:30, 6 June 2018 (UTC)
No, these objectively invalid names were not accepted by their authors as correct/valid. Not in a nomenclatural meaningful sense: the rules are retroactive. From a historical perspective, the author published something which he accepted, just like when I write, say, a book review, I accept what I write. What the author intended is mostly irrelevant: there are a lot of scientific names that were taken from work of an author who really, really did not intend to publish a new name, just like there are a lot of cases where an author intended to publish a new name but failed to meet requirements (for example, lots of cases where an author failed to indicate a type).
        To avoid a total mess, it is essential that "taxon name" P225 is reserved for names of taxa.
        For what it is worth, a "replaced synonym" is only meaningful for the nomen novum. There are plenty of names for which a replacement name was coined, but which still can be used perfectly well. - Brya (talk) 03:21, 7 June 2018 (UTC)
"What the author intended is mostly irrelevant": we precisely intend to attribute opinions to authors or sources. Anyway, we perfectly agree on the fact these homonyms should never had been created in the first place, but bury your head in the sand won't make them disappear. Act like they were "taboo" or have never existed is silly. A name can be used for years to designate something that is eventually renamed once someone realises it was a junior homonym of another valid one.
Another example: "Vespertilio murinus" was described by Linnaeus to designate the greater mouse-eared bat. The name is used for centuries until Miller decided that the dental formula does not match, and that the name should be used to designate the parti-coloured bat. Now the greater mouse-eared bat is called Myotis myotis, and Vespertilio murinus stands for the parti-coloured bat. People like you who discard anything that seems invalid at the time they speak would misread all works published between 1758 and early 1900's.
In this bat example, but in many others comparable to the Baeocera one we discuss here, ignoring that a name used to have different meanings is ridiculous, and will lead to inevitable misunderstanding of the historical literature. The name Baeocera bicolor (Löbl, 1972) existed as such in the literature. Although it turned to be not valid from a nomenclatural point of view (again, statements exist to indicate that clearly), it has not been reduce to inexistence! Just leave this item live, stampled as an INVALID NAME if it pleases you, but not as the currently stupidly empty shell. Totodu74 (talk) 12:33, 7 June 2018 (UTC)
Yes, let's keep a sense of perspective. The "Vespertilio murinus" example surely is totally unconnected with this issue: there is an item for Vespertilio murinus and there is an item for Myotis myotis. These two items allow for various taxonomic viewpoints to be added.
        And Baeocera bicolor (Löbl, 1972) does have an item. The main problem with the fact that this has an item is that it does not look notable; we may be better of without it. Obviously, it is emphatically not true that Baeocera bicolor has different meanings. There are two separate names that have the same spelling: one of these names is a normal name that can be used as a taxon name; the other is an abnormal 'name' that can never be used as a taxon name: a nomenclatural event. All it does is cause confusion. This is not a matter of "attribute opinions to authors or sources." Scientists have long ago made international agreements to deal with these issues, to create order out of chaos, in the form of normative rules.
        It helps nobody to "not give a damn about" these international agreements and to create chaos out of order. - Brya (talk) 16:53, 7 June 2018 (UTC)
@Brya: I think you are aware that I'm not sharing your restriction on taxon name (P225): „it is essential that "taxon name" P225 is reserved for names of taxa”. This lead us to some very oddly statement constructs here. --Succu (talk) 21:29, 7 June 2018 (UTC)
Yes, but I think you are aware that I feel Wikidata needs at least one new property, to improve on these "very odd statement constructs here". - Brya (talk) 03:31, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
"Obviously, it is emphatically not true that Baeocera bicolor has different meanings." You can add as much emphatical adverb as you want, this stupid sentence will never make sense. Obviously, if you read the word "Baeocera bicolor" after the homonym description, you must be cautious about which acception it designates. The Vespertilio murinus case makes perfect sense. The name designates one species during centuries, then another one since 1907 (and still does). Overlooking this double acception leads you to misread a great extant of the historical literature. Ignoring this obviously obvious factual fact is silly. Totodu74 (talk) 07:46, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
I am sorry to hear that "this stupid sentence will never make sense" to you. Nevertheless, it represents a fundamental fact of biological nomenclature: in this case there are two formal nomenclatural entities which both use the same spelling. In all other respects, these entities are different: among others, they have different types and will (almost always) have different author citations.
        The average world citizen is justified to assume that when he encounters Baeocera bicolor, it will refer to the name of a taxon. The other nomenclatural entity is hopefully only encountered by taxonomists, and hopefully only in synonymy. For all practical purposes, it is best forgotten.
        It may be an obviously obvious factual fact that a copper cent is made from copper and that a plastic button is made from plastic, but that does not mean it has any bearing on the discussion. - Brya (talk) 10:47, 8 June 2018 (UTC)
I am happy to learn that you live in a world where books get automatically corrected when a mistake is spotted long after their publication, but I am living in another reality, Sir. It is thus impossible to have a sane conversation. Totodu74 (talk) 07:23, 9 June 2018 (UTC)
Well, "not giving a damn" about reality, living in a bubble, and creating "fake species" does not strike me as all that sane either. Discussion should focus on what structures can be set up to deal with such "nomenclatural events", in a way that, on the one hand, provides data fields for all relevant data, and, on the other hand, allows for data retrieval in cases where both taxa and "nomenclatural events" are involved. - Brya (talk) 04:38, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
You are the one suggesting to act as if ancient publications will get self-corrected, who is denying reality? I agree we should discuss about structuration of elements, in order to keep factual information and, you are right to insist on that, not mislead the one who would like to make use of taxonomic valid content at a given date. To this end, stating "nomenclatural status (P1135): replaced synonym (Q15709329)" seems very clear and easy to filter results, but I am open to better options. Cheers, Totodu74 (talk) 07:51, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
You are the one who brought up "to act as if ancient publications will get self-corrected," but you never explained what you mean by that.
        The point of the discussion is not "taxonomic valid content" but "nomenclatural content", belonging to a whole different dimension.
        Stating "nomenclatural status (P1135): replaced synonym (Q15709329)" will not solve anything and is misleading. A "replaced synonym", like a basionym only has meaning relative to the other name "AAA bbb is the basionym of CCC bbb" or "DDD eee is the replaced synonym of FFF ggg". A basionym or replaced synonym can be a perfectly ordinary correct / accepted name of a taxon, in its own right. - Brya (talk) 11:09, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
It is clear now that you do not understand what is a replaced synonym (Q15709329). Nomina nova are given "to replace another scientific name, but only when this other name cannot be used for technical, nomenclatural reasons (for example because it is a homonym: it is spelled the same as an existing, older name)", which is exactly our case. replaced synonym (Q15709329) is not the equivalent of synonym (Q1040689). This discussion has been surrealistic from the beginning, it would be necessary to have external advices anyway. Totodu74 (talk) 12:59, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
It is not wise to put much reliance on what enwiki writes about nomenclature (surrealistic is a good word for it), but "to replace another scientific name, but only when this other name cannot be used for technical, nomenclatural reasons (for example because it is a homonym" is not too bad, if it is read from the right angle.
        To take a classic example: Linnaeus gave the dandelion the scientific name of Leontodon taraxacum (1753). Later authors split off a separate genus Taraxacum, but "Taraxacum taraxacum" "cannot be used for technical, nomenclatural reasons" (it would be a tautonym). A replacement name was published: Taraxacum officinale, and Leontodon taraxacum is its replaced synonym. But if a taxonomist decides to treat the dandelion as belonging to Leontodon, its name would once again be Leontodon taraxacum. There is nothing nomenclaturally wrong with Leontodon taraxacum, although taxonomically it is obsolete.
        There are thousands and thousands of cases like this, for example in big genera there are lots of epithets which have already been used, and a taxonomist moving yet more species into this big genus will often find that the combinations he would like to make are preoccupied and he needs to publish replacement names. But any taxonomist who does not like the merge can keep using the original names.
        As for an external source see the IPNI entry. - Brya (talk) 17:42, 29 June 2018 (UTC)
Your examples are other good cases of replaced synonym (Q15709329), just as mine is. Totodu74 (talk) 14:50, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
I am glad to see you agree that a status of "replaced synonym" is meaningless (except in the context of the replacement name). - Brya (talk) 17:06, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
I am sad to see you continuing acting like a troll (or a clown?). Totodu74 (talk) 19:56, 1 July 2018 (UTC)
Calling other users "trolls" or "clowns" is not appropriate behaviour here. Not giving a damn about reality is not appropriate either: this project aims to provide reference-quality data.
        I am reminded of a (IIRC) 11 year old boy who had the one book on his topic and was making Wikipedia pages based on that one book. He had the advantage of you because he at least realized there was more to reality than the one book. - Brya (talk) 17:55, 7 July 2018 (UTC)

Totodu74, Brya: Could you please stop this. It's not helpful. --Succu (talk) 21:16, 7 July 2018 (UTC)

Indeed it is not helpful that a user not only does not want to discuss ways in which Wikidata might represent a class of data, but continues to deny reality. - Brya (talk) 04:33, 8 July 2018 (UTC)

Non-standard taxon ID properties[edit]

The following taxon ID properties differ substantially from the typical:

  1. AlgaeBase URL (P1348) (3 different URL formats)
  2. GRIN URL (P1421) (3 different URL formats)
  3. LPSN URL (P1991) (might be difficult/undesirable to convert due to at least 2 different URL formats, i.e. Salmonella enterica (Q2264864) vs. Alcaligenaceae (Q138442))

in that they

  1. aren't, but could be changed (I think) to use formatter URL (P1630),
  2. have "URL" in their name changed to "ID",
  3. have their "Data Type" changed from "URL" to "External identifier", similar to BHL Page ID (P687),
  4. have instance of (P31) Wikidata property to identify taxa (Q42396390) added,
  5. other dissimilarities, that I haven't noticed, conformed.

I'm unsure of the ins and outs of performing all of the above changes, so want to bring it up here for consensus, and/or for someone more knowledgeable to perform. —Tom.Reding (talk) 18:24, 10 June 2018 (UTC)

AlgaeBase has 3 different URL formats: for species, genus, higher taxa and one extra format for short taxonomic lists. --Thiotrix (talk) 11:36, 11 June 2018 (UTC)
Ah, Rat (Q26018)s. —Tom.Reding (talk) 23:34, 11 June 2018 (UTC)
AlgaeBase URL (P1348) updated, showing all 3 example URLs. —Tom.Reding (talk) 13:59, 12 June 2018 (UTC)
Please note the property proposal for GRIN URL (P1421). --Succu (talk) 16:40, 12 June 2018 (UTC)
GRIN URL (P1421) examples updated. —Tom.Reding (talk) 14:46, 13 June 2018 (UTC)

 ResolvedTom.Reding (talk) 14:46, 13 June 2018 (UTC)

Taxon rank = "genus" and description = "species of beetle"[edit]

Hi! The Wikidata have 257 elements for taxa with taxon rank (P105) = genus (Q34740) ("genus") and with the description = "species of beetle" today.

SELECT ?taxons ?penLabel ?rankLabel ?penDescr WHERE {
  VALUES ?taxons { wd:Q1935385 wd:Q1945395 wd:Q2560476 wd:Q16266780 wd:Q5546715 wd:Q18345376 wd:Q4841210 
  wd:Q5395452 wd:Q6528696 wd:Q7845607 wd:Q14716851 wd:Q14725260 wd:Q14825601 wd:Q14827973 wd:Q14831421 
  wd:Q14831472 wd:Q14831496 wd:Q14831637 wd:Q14831780 wd:Q14831796 wd:Q14832041 wd:Q14832105 wd:Q14832273 
  wd:Q14832315 wd:Q14832355 wd:Q14832397 wd:Q14832544 wd:Q14832566 wd:Q14832589 wd:Q14832614 wd:Q14832620 
  wd:Q14832759 wd:Q14832813 wd:Q14833059 wd:Q14833175 wd:Q14833187 wd:Q14833753 wd:Q14834872 wd:Q14835043 
  wd:Q14835156 wd:Q14835338 wd:Q14835859 wd:Q14839726 wd:Q14843539 wd:Q14844971 wd:Q14848550 wd:Q14848616 
  wd:Q14849280 wd:Q14849338 wd:Q14884412 wd:Q4038436 wd:Q4052451 wd:Q5419256 wd:Q5594146 wd:Q5644141 
  wd:Q7135170 wd:Q7165156 wd:Q7246900 wd:Q14714163 wd:Q14714171 wd:Q14716892 wd:Q14812508 wd:Q14814805 
  wd:Q14835040 wd:Q14844553 wd:Q14844974  wd:Q14846736 wd:Q14847084 wd:Q14847204 wd:Q14847760 wd:Q14847838 
  wd:Q14848069 wd:Q14848149 wd:Q14848252 wd:Q14848395 wd:Q14848982 wd:Q14849330 wd:Q14849348 wd:Q14849725 
  wd:Q14849983 wd:Q14851611 wd:Q14884620 wd:Q15861095 wd:Q15870432 wd:Q15871912 wd:Q4811804 wd:Q7161181 
  wd:Q14660346 wd:Q5281684 wd:Q5414600 wd:Q5470251 wd:Q5577165 wd:Q5697838 wd:Q5956123 wd:Q14682930 
  wd:Q14831942 wd:Q14831992 wd:Q14832368 wd:Q14832498 wd:Q14832900 wd:Q14832986 wd:Q14832989 wd:Q14835831 
  wd:Q14841964 wd:Q14843617 wd:Q14844012 wd:Q14844123 wd:Q14844558 wd:Q14844556 wd:Q14845007 wd:Q14845030 
  wd:Q14846585 wd:Q14850433 wd:Q15870223 wd:Q15870864 wd:Q18349597 wd:Q7258170 wd:Q14747502 wd:Q14826317 
  wd:Q14826347 wd:Q14826580 wd:Q14829461 wd:Q14829634 wd:Q14830358 wd:Q14830940 wd:Q14831370 wd:Q14831480 
  wd:Q14831585 wd:Q14831605 wd:Q14831642 wd:Q14831683 wd:Q14831901 wd:Q14831911 wd:Q14831930 wd:Q14831973 
  wd:Q14832052 wd:Q14832056 wd:Q14832063 wd:Q14832071 wd:Q14832069 wd:Q14832083 wd:Q14832123 wd:Q14832130 
  wd:Q14832362 wd:Q14832378 wd:Q14832539 wd:Q14832536 wd:Q14832563 wd:Q14832573 wd:Q14832578 wd:Q14832611 
  wd:Q14832617 wd:Q14832683 wd:Q14832686 wd:Q14832708 wd:Q14832715 wd:Q14832720 wd:Q14832781 wd:Q14832799 
  wd:Q14832876 wd:Q14833030 wd:Q14833069 wd:Q14833080 wd:Q14833251 wd:Q14833248 wd:Q14834449 wd:Q14834455 
  wd:Q14834850 wd:Q14837723 wd:Q14838057 wd:Q14842519 wd:Q14843589 wd:Q14844040 wd:Q14845010 wd:Q14846588 
  wd:Q14846805 wd:Q14848043 wd:Q14878774 wd:Q14896457 wd:Q15871331 wd:Q19598661 wd:Q3108733 wd:Q3216184 
  wd:Q4038363 wd:Q4735431 wd:Q4811807 wd:Q4812912 wd:Q4813043 wd:Q4813114 wd:Q5405837 wd:Q5406863 
  wd:Q5410926 wd:Q5414568 wd:Q5419266 wd:Q7846237 wd:Q9080014 wd:Q14699063 wd:Q14702270 wd:Q14702733 
  wd:Q14719081 wd:Q7115116 wd:Q14821270 wd:Q14822643 wd:Q14823731 wd:Q14824452 wd:Q14826299 wd:Q14827735 
  wd:Q14828920 wd:Q14829079 wd:Q14829889 wd:Q14830011 wd:Q14830337 wd:Q14830512 wd:Q14747068 wd:Q14798893 
  wd:Q14799389 wd:Q14801706 wd:Q14805709 wd:Q14815106 wd:Q14831101 wd:Q14831452 wd:Q14831462 wd:Q14831530 
  wd:Q14831548 wd:Q14831563 wd:Q14831592 wd:Q14831640 wd:Q14831694 wd:Q14831716 wd:Q14831801 wd:Q14832140 
  wd:Q14832261 wd:Q14832386 wd:Q14832516 wd:Q14832533 wd:Q14832690 wd:Q14832770 wd:Q14832808 wd:Q14832865 
  wd:Q14832892 wd:Q14832952 wd:Q14832984 wd:Q14833019 wd:Q14833183 wd:Q14839096 wd:Q14839814 wd:Q14840397 
  wd:Q14841373 wd:Q14847621 wd:Q14849263 wd:Q15619914 wd:Q15871522 wd:Q15871885 wd:Q15872021 wd:Q15885566 
  wd:Q15951507 wd:Q18011915 }

  OPTIONAL { ?taxons schema:description ?penDescr.  FILTER((LANG(?penDescr)) = "en")  }
  OPTIONAL { ?taxons wdt:P105 ?rank. }
  OPTIONAL { ?rank rdfs:label ?rankLabel.           FILTER((LANG(?rankLabel)) = "en") }
  OPTIONAL { ?taxons rdfs:label ?penLabel.          FILTER((LANG(?penLabel)) = "en")  }

Try it!

I plan to replace descriptions "species of beetle" with "genus of beetles" for these items.

Best regards. --Renamerr (talk) 09:09, 24 June 2018 (UTC)

As far as I can see, these items had the correct label "genus of insects", but user:MechQuesterBot replaced these in an act of rebellion. He was since then blocked. The description "genus of insects" is better than "genus of beetles". - Brya (talk) 10:17, 24 June 2018 (UTC)
 Resolved. I replaced description of these items with "genus of insects". --Renamerr (talk) 07:08, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

Identifying the type specimen for a species[edit]

I'm currently working with the Oxford University Herbaria and sharing some data about artistic depictions of plant species. We're also looking to share data about the type specimens that are in the Herberia; that a given species' type sample is in a given collection, with a given identifier and given link. It could be useful for botanists to be pointed to the type sample of a given species, but I haven't seen an existing way to express this. It seems like the sample could have its own item, with instance of (P31) the species, then collection (P195), inventory number (P217) and described at URL (P973). There could be another instance of (P31) to express that it is a type sample. That's my first attempt at a proposal. Are there better ways to express this, or existing practice that I've missed? MartinPoulter (talk) 16:17, 26 June 2018 (UTC)

Hi Martin, there is a current related discussion at Wikidata:Property proposal/CETAF specimen ID. About three? years ago there was a discussion at another (rejected) property proposal how to model a type specimen (Q51255340) that is intended to be used with taxonomic type (P427), but I can't find it. At the moment I would prefer if you would not create such items. But maybe you could give some links to specimens you have in mind. BTW: I had to merge some misspelled taxon names you created from entries at Sherardian Library of Plant Taxonomy (Q52556635). --Succu (talk) 18:20, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
@MartinPoulter: You can get an idea for some additional properties for such items at P01069419 (Q55196248). And while the data model is still being debated, that should not deter you from creating the items with the kind of properties shown, and those which you mention. Andy Mabbett (Pigsonthewing); Talk to Andy; Andy's edits 18:44, 26 June 2018 (UTC)
It's vice versa: Try to get a best practice consenus how the data you want to add here. Than act. --Succu (talk) 21:47, 28 June 2018 (UTC)

Buchneriya (genus)[edit]

Wikidata should have two different items for genus Buchneriya - see there and there. Do I understand correctly? Now there is only one item Buchneria (Q6548416). Best regards. --Renamerr (talk) 20:57, 28 June 2018 (UTC)

Yep: Buchneria (Q55240157). --Succu (talk) 21:33, 28 June 2018 (UTC)
@Succu: Please check my last edits for items Buchneria (Q6548416) (Buchneria cornuta (Q4289149) Buchneria sicula (Q6548122)) and Buchneria (Q55240157) (Buchneria dofleini (Q6579396) Buchneria sinuata (Q6579478) Buchneria fayalensis (Q6579488) Buchneria variabilis (Q13446374) Buchneria rhomboidalis (Q13446372) Buchneria teres (Q13446373)). Thank you. --Renamerr (talk) 13:01, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

Fossil taxon not a Wikidata property to identify taxa (or a subclass of it)?[edit]

See Odontomachus spinifer (Q14444356)'s AntWeb ID (P5299)'s "potential issues" message. Could fossil taxon (Q23038290) be made an instance of Wikidata property to identify taxa (Q42396390) (or a subclass of it)? I don't know how to properly do this, and fossil taxon (Q23038290)} is already a subclass of (P279) of taxon (Q16521), but that doesn't seem to be enough to satisfy the warning. Related items that may or may not share this problem are monotypic taxon (Q310890), ichnotaxon (Q2568288), & monotypic fossil taxon (Q47487597). —Tom.Reding (talk) 15:24, 1 July 2018 (UTC)

Halophila, genus of amphibians?[edit]

Hi. Can item Halophila (Q28058839) be deleted? Thanks. --Renamerr (talk) 16:43, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

No. I corrected the error at Halophila vitiensis (Q28058841). --Succu (talk) 16:59, 2 July 2018 (UTC)

Structured Data on Commons - community consultation on basic properties for media files[edit]

Achim Raschka (talk)
Brya (talk)
Dan Koehl (talk)
Daniel Mietchen (talk)
Delusion23 (talk)
FelixReimann (talk)
Infovarius (talk)
Joel Sachs
Josve05a (talk)
Klortho (talk)
Lymantria (talk)
Mellis (talk)
Michael Goodyear
Nis Jørgensen
Peter Coxhead
Andy Mabbett (talk)
Prot D
Rod Page
Soulkeeper (talk)
Strobilomyces (talk)
Tommy Kronkvist (talk)
Pictogram voting comment.svg Notified participants of WikiProject Taxonomy. Hello everyone! This month (July 2018), we are hosting a quite crucial community consultation on Wikimedia Commons: we are listing the Wikidata properties that media files on Commons will need (including ones that might not exist yet, and might need to be created for this purpose). The consultation runs at least till the end of July, maybe longer.

Please consider to take a look and give input. It would be very helpful to hear how you think media files (images, videos, sounds) of species can best be described in structured data on Commons. Thanks! SandraF (WMF) (talk) 13:07, 4 July 2018 (UTC)

Group and genus of birds[edit]

Hi. Can I swap enwiki articles "en:Sturnella" (on genus of birds) and "en:Meadowlark" (on group of birds) in Wikidata elements Meadowlark (Q48995566) and Sturnella (Q1431050)? See also "en:Leistes" (Leistes (Q48086620)). Thanks. --Renamerr (talk) 07:12, 12 July 2018 (UTC)

Sure, but then also change Q48995566 to become common name of Sturnella and Leistes and change the labels and descriptions. - Brya (talk) 10:56, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
I started, but I can not complete this task correctly. Please help to do this. Thank. --Renamerr (talk) 12:04, 12 July 2018 (UTC)
✓ Done - Brya (talk) 16:34, 12 July 2018 (UTC)