Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Just Gimme the Current Name!

As a graduate student who collected a bunch of names to be stuffed into an Appendix, it was not a trivial task to ensure the names I used were the currently recognized nomenclature. One of the first things a reviewer of any publication containing an Appendix of names will do is check that the names are all correct. In spider circles, that means several dozen trips to Norm Platnick's World Spider Catalog. It would be so much easier for everyone involved if Norm had one big text box in which people could paste all the names and have every name be cross-checked with what is in the Catalog.

Coincidentally, it appears that many people who visit the Nearctic Spider Database use its search box to just get the full name string. I wonder how many searches on Google are the same! So, I made one. Sure, there are programmtic issues. But, I can catch those names that might potentially be ambiguous and tell you about them. I can also tell you if you misspelled a name or if a name you searched on isn't in The Nearctic Spider Database...remember that the database is regionally centric...and someone (me!) has to keep on top of potential species introductions, treatments, etc. because any checklist or database will never be complete.

So, give it a shot:

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