Institute for Biodiversity Science and Sustainability

CAS Diatom Collection Hanna Database

Inputs Results Field Definitions

Three different query forms, accessible via the tabs above, enable records to be retrieved from their corresponding data sources. Enter one or more search criteria using the inputs described below, and press the "Search" button at the bottom of the form. Records matching all search criteria will be retrieved. Searches are not case sensitive.

Input Types On The Form

Text Box

a text box
A simple text box accepts a string of alpha-numeric characters and compares it against values in the database. If the field in the database contains only numbers (e.g., "Publication Year" or "Accession Number"), only exact matches will be retrieved -- wildcards and ranges cannot be used. If the field is for text, a "sub-string search" will be performed. Searching for "stella" in the species field would match "stella" as well as "constellatus" and "castellatum", among others.
Single-Select List Box

a single-select
list box
A single-select list box displays all the values that occur in the database, but allows only one value to be used in a given query. The default value, [any] causes the field to be ignored.
Multi-Select List Box

a multi-select
list box
A multi-select list box displays all the values that occur in the database and allows multiple values to be used in a given query. Use Ctrl-Click to toggle individual selections on and off; i.e., hold the Control key down (PC), or the Command key (Mac) when you click on a value. Note, clicking a value without holding down the control key (i.e., a simple click) clears all other selections in the list box and leaves the most recently clicked value as the only selection. Note also that some browsers "remember" selected values between queries even though the selected values are not visible (i.e., have scrolled off) the list box. Press the Clear button to clear the form.
Radio Button

a pair of radio buttons
A radio button must have one and only one selection chosen out of two or more choices.


Query feedback. The query parameters entered on the form are summarized in query language at the top of every result page. Read the query statement to be sure that the query being processed is what you intended. Some browsers have a tendency to "remember" parameters from previous queries. Press the Clear button between queries to clear previously used parameters.

Number of records. The number of records retrieved by every query is reported immediately after the query feedback (near the top of the page) as the results are being formatted. If the number returned is much larger than you expected or want to wait for, press the "STOP" button on your browser to cancel the query. You can create a more restrictive query by entering additional search criteria on the form.

Retrieval Limit. The number of records retrieved is limited to 1000 to prevent "excessive resource consumption" by a single user and to prevent browser crashes; large result sets can cause some computers to lock up. Note that 1000 taxonomic records amounts to more than a megabyte of data. If you need a result set larger than 1000 records please contact Sarah Spaulding or Jean DeMouthe.

Output format. We hope the content and structure of retrieved records will be self explanatory, but some of the field definitions below may provide additional insight. At present the only type of output is HTML. We hope to provide structured text and XML in the future.


Field Definitions

A number given to each unique sample received by the Diatom Collection of the California Academy of Sciences. Each locality record has a unique accession number
Author of the species group name. If the species has been placed in a different genus by another author, the author of the original name (basionym) will be enclosed in parentheses before the author of the new combination. In "(Ehrenberg) Cleve", for example, Ehrenberg is the basionym author.
Name of city or town from which sample was taken. Used only if the sample was collected within the boundaries of the city or town.
The name(s) of collector(s). Personal names are typically in the form of last name, followed by initials; e.g.,
If the species is now classified under a different genus than the one where it was originally described, the combination author is the person who first used the current genus-species combination. The basionym author is enclosed in parentheses and followed by the author of the new combination. In "(Ehrenberg) Cleve", for example, "Cleve" is the combination author. In some cases, the first initials precede the last name. For example, "Sims" or "P.A. Sims".
The name of the continent, ocean, or sea where the sample was collected. The multi-select list box can be used to select zero, one, or several entries from the list (see "Input Types", above).
The name of the country (if any) where the sample was collected. Some countries are abbreviated (for example, USSR and USA). Some countries may have changed names or geopolitical boundaries since time of collection. The multi-select list box can be used to select zero, one, or several entries from the list (see "Input Types", above).
County, shire, or district. Do not use abbreviations.
Page Style - Multiple Pages/Single Page
Choose Multiple Pages if you would like the results displayed 20 per page, one page at a time. If you would like all the results displayed on one page, choose Single Page.
Record Style - Brief Records/Full Records
Brief Records will display only a few fields of data for each record. Full Records will display all of the data for each record. Be warned that choosing Single Page and Full Records can take a long time to download if there are a large number of records.
Select from a list of general types of aquatic habitat where the sample was collected, such as "marine", "freshwater", "brackish".
Select from a list of geological terms. Note that epochs are assigned by the collector, and may be based on varying standards and methods of dating.
The name of the genus as proposed in original description. Orthographic variants (alternate spellings) will include the first mentioned spelling of a name. Subgenera are not included.
Name of the individual who made the taxonomic determination.
Name of island only. For example, "Bahamas" but not "Bahamas Islands".
Source of the publication, including books, journals, serials. For example, this field may contain "Bacillaria", "Diatom Research" and "Microgeologie".
Name and description of the site from which the sample was taken. The field is a long text field, and often includes township and range, type of sampled collected, stratigraphic level within a sedimentary bed.
A six digit number given to each publication by the Diatom Collection of the California Academy of Sciences. The publication numbers are also the same as published in: Fourtanier, E. & Kociolek, J.P. Catalogue of the diatom genera. Diatom Research, 14: 1-190.
Year of publication, usually as given on the publication itself. The actual date/year of publication, if known or suspected to be different, is listed in comments.
A unique number given to each microscopic glass slide in the Diatom Collection of the California Academy of Sciences. There may be one to many (in some cases, 100's) of slides that were made from material of a single collection, or accession number.
Name of species used by the identifier of the specimen. It is not necessary to enter a genus name to make this search.
Full names of states, provinces, and regions may be entered. Do not use abbreviations.
Normally consists of the full title (no abbreviations) of the original title, in the language as written.
Select type status from a list.
Name of variety used by the identifier of the specimen. It is suggested that genus and species are searched before searching for variety. Further, more records may be returned if the fields for "genus" and "species" are left blank.
Name of the body of water, such as "Pilot Knob Bog", "Lake Tahoe". If the desired site is not returned, also try under the field, Locality Description.
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