Database Holes - Using CoL

Not sure if anyone will really be interested in holes within the CoL database which therefore manifest themselves in iSpot. I guess people will already know that using CoL as the global database results in gaps.
see here for an example of a whole family of missing beetles - Passalidae:
Passalidae | Observation | Global | iSpot (
You will see from the links I have in comments that the South African community do not use CoL and therefore passalidae is available there. It is listed in GBIF (including a very good species key) and iNaturalist.
Does anyone know if CoL is likely to be kept updated or will it just get worse and worse?

I didn’t realise until recently that it was because Global used Col 2008 version that there were gaps. The newer Col dictionary probably has fewer gaps.

Elsewhere there is this comment on Global dictionary update : Chris Valentine (iSpot Coder) is trying hard to Code in the new version but has run into several pretty serious hurdles.

I certainly don’t know the answer to that!

There’s been a discussion about strategy in relation to missing taxons, though probably none on such a scale as the entire missing family you cite. That was focused on what 's best meantime, while awaiting some update to that partially problematic dictionary. Miked responded, I’ll look for the item in the forum, see quote from JoC.

For some of my global obs, I’ve just added the nearest (where that’s reasonable) and stated the likely species ID in the ID panel. Sometimes I add an invalid panel with the species ID (which might automatically change on dictionary update?? that did happen with UK and I dictionary i think) then enter a valid ID with the nearest taxon, but that’s not likely to be useful with such a significant gap as you mention.

That discussion is the most recent part of Dictionary & Browser Issues - #187 by dejayM

Thanks for both replies - 2008 is a long time in taxonomy, I suspect. The invalid ID panel is a useful suggestion but I guess it depends on the likelihood of a code fix. Global observations only get a fraction of the attention that U.K. observations get so it might take a while to fix - if ever.

see this from Derek on that thread, gives link to more up to date COL dictionary




the new Global Dictionary is here
And this is the entry for the darter
Sympetrum striolatum (Charpentier, 1840) | COL
and for the Lizard
Podarcis cretensis (Wettstein, 1952) | COL
iSpot currently uses this Catalogue of Life : 2008 Annual Checklist : Search
neither are in that one, nor are any seaweeds and that’s not the least of it!
Chris Valentine (iSpot Coder) is trying hard to Code in the new version but has run into several pretty serious hurdles.
There are still no seaweed Species in the New CoL (Global Dictionary)
COL | The Catalogue of Life

That bit’s not a quote, not sure how it’ll come up. Hopefully that beetle family gets a mention!

Edited - yes they do get a mention.

Me again:

Nearest taxon without the taxon I want typed in an ID:

Invalid ID panel added, followed by valid ID with different level taxon:

But both had a genus dictionary entry to hand.

I think it’s all rather difficult. Especially when many experts don’t agree.
I avoid anything that iNat offers when, although there are some really reliable experts, there are many agreements that one needs to double check - so what’s the use?
A case in point is the ZA orchid

Holothrix villosa var. condensata

I found this via JSTOR but requires a log -in or lots of searching.
My latest post
Holothrix condensata, Silvermine - Dec. 2003 | Observation | Southern Africa | iSpot Nature.
EOL link
Holothrix condensata Sond. - Encyclopedia of Life
Sadly Nicola van Berkel (Nicky vB) followed Tony’s lead and migrated to iNat - a great loss to iSpot

On the ispot version of CoL, it is actually from about 2013 (it was updated from the 2008 version). We are trying to update to current version.

On wider issues GBIF and CoL are hoping to merge taxonomy later this year so there will only be one going forward I think.

Trying to create and update global species dictionaries for all taxa is an enourmous task given how many taxa there are in total and how many groups of people in how many countries deal with each sub group of the taxonomy.
The new taxonomies may start to include DNA sequences and similar which will make them even more complex. It was hoped, a few years ago, that DNA might bring stability and sort out some groups of organisms such as fungi but it is showing that there are still vast numbers of “organisms” to be described and placed in the tree of life.

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They are very close together already.
Note that the iNat version of the CoL is truly magnificent with the Facility for Curators to amend it.

I commented on a post of Seaweed

where some problems have arisen….