Instructions on Searching for Species in the

Catalogue of Diatom Names


Table of Contents

  Input Types on Form
    Text BoxSingle-Select List BoxMulti-Select List Box, Radio Button
  Input Fields
    GenusSpeciesInfraspecific epithetAuthor of basionymAuthor of combination, Publication year, Publication number, Display options
    Query feedbackNumber of recordsRetrieval limitOutput format, Output fields: Scientific name, Authorship, Date of publication, Page and plates number(s), Name as originally published, Publication number, Published in, Basionym and replaced synonym, Status, Comments, Links to the INA database, Type information, Assessment of record accuracy, List of Nomenclatural synonyms

Three different query forms, accessible via the tabs labeled Genus, Species, and Publications, 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.

Input Fields

Name of genus. Exact match, or use wild card (%) e.g. "Azpeit%" will retrieve "Azpeitia" and "Azpeitiopsis".
Species epithet. Exact match or use wild card (%). Because of the variability in epithet endings, we recommend the use of the wild card, e.g. "hustedti%" will retrieve "hustedti" and "hustedtii", "marginat%" will retrieve "marginatus", "marginata", "marginatum".
Infraspecific epithet:
Third element of a trinomial. Taxa below the rank of species are treated as trinomial in accordance to Art. 24.1 of the ICBN, which states “The name of an infraspecific taxon is a combination of the name of a species and an infraspecific epithet. A connecting term is used to denote the rank”. Exact match or use wild card (%). Because of the variability in epithet endings, we recommend the use of the wild card.
Author of basionym
Searching for “Mann” will retrieve “Mann”, “A. Mann”, “D.G. Mann”, and “Janisch ex Mann” but not “Honigmann”. Wild card not available.
Author of combination
This field contains data only for new combinations (name of the combination author) e.g. “Mann” will retrieve “Mann”, “A. Mann”, “D.G. Mann”, and “Janisch ex Mann” but not “Honigmann”. Wild card not available.
Publication year
Exact match or use wild card (%), e.g. “191%” will retrieve names published between 1910 and 1919.
Publication number
A unique number assigned to a record in the publication table. This is the number of the publication where a given name was published. Exact match.
Display options
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.


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 500 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 500 taxonomic records amounts to more than a megabyte of data. If you need a result set larger than 500 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. Depending if choosing “Full Record” or “Brief Record”, each entry includes the following information:
Brief Record:
Scientific name (binomial or trinomial) with its author and date of publication.
Full Record:
Certain fields, if blank, are not displayed in the results. Therefore, some of the fields listed below may not appear in your search results.
Scientific name (binomial or trinomial)
Taxa below the rank of species are treated as trinomial in accordance to Art. 24.1 of the ICBN, which states “The name of an infraspecific taxon is a combination of the name of a species and an infraspecific epithet. A connecting term is used to denote the rank”.
The authorship is cited in accordance with ICBN Art. 46-50. When authorship of a name differs from authorship of the publication in which it was published, both are cited, connected by “in”. “Ex”, inserted between author A and author B indicates that the name only is attributed to author A, and the validating description is attributed to author B. For names of taxa assigned to a different genus than the genus in which it was originally described (new combinations), the authorship consists of the author of the original name (basionym) enclosed in parentheses before the author of the new combination. In "(Ehrenberg) Cleve", for example, Ehrenberg is the basionym author, Cleve is the combination author.
Date of publication
The date on which the publication became available (see ICBN Art. 29-31). We provide only the year of publication (to the best of our knowledge).
Page and plates number(s)
For names of new taxa, the page cited corresponds usually to the page where the validating description begins, and all the figures where the new taxon is illustrated. For some records, the pages given are that of the extent of the protologue, or of the extent of the description. For new combinations, and replaced names (nomina nova) citation of just the page(s) where the name is published would suffice, however, for most of the entries originally contributed by VLC (VanLandingham’s Catalogue) and ANSP (Academy of Natural Sciences Philadelphia, New species File), the pages given correspond to the citation of the taxon concerned, and include also references to illustrations. For those we did not change the format of the page citation and also included citation of the illustrations. Entries contributed by INA (Index Nominum Algarum) and CAS (California Academy of Sciences) only cite the page(s) where the conditions for valid publication are fulfilled.
Name as originally published
Name as originally published appears below the scientific name when it differs significantly from the scientific name.
Publication number
A unique number attached to each reference at the database at CAS.
Published in
Full citation of reference where the name was published.
Basionym and replaced synonym
In the case of a new combination, the basionym is the oldest name with the same epithet that applies to the same type. It is usually the oldest nomenclatural synonym, but not always. The basionym is cited with its author(s) and date of publication.
Example: Amphora ovalis (Kützing) Kützing 1844 has for its basionym Frustulia ovalis Kützing 1833, which is a new name for Navicula amphora Ehrenberg 1832.
In the case of a nomen novum (new name), the replaced synonym is cited as part of the comments. Unless the basionym or replaced synonym is also in the Abas-Bruniopsis section, its complete entry is not to be found in this volume.
We indicate for the record we have assessed, the nomenclatural status of the name (Valid/Invalid). Illegitimate names (e.g. late homonyms, superfluous names) are also indicated as such.
Remarks on the nomenclatural status of the name such as invalidity, and notes on illegitimate names are included. Our assessment may change as rules governing the status of names are subject to change. The rules applied here are those of the Saint-Louis Code (Greuter et al. 2000). The Vienna Code (McNeill et al., 2006) will be taken into consideration for any further work in this database.
Links to the INA database
Whenever possible we provide a link to the Index Nominum Algarum (INA) (see, a database of algae names (including at leat 40,000 diatom names) compiled by Paul Silva and maintained at the Herbarium of the University of California, Berkeley. The INA consist of a combination of cards (image cards) that can be viewed, when available by clicking “view INA card”, and keyboarded entries that can also be accessed by clicking at the designated place.
Type information
Information on type specimens, type locality, collector, etc. is included for a limited number of records.
This information, however, has been routinely included by Paul Silva in the INA. If a corresponding record exists in the INA, links to the INA database will show this information.
Assessment of record accuracy
We have personally verified 50% of the records. In addition, many records that we did not verify show no discrepancies between data sets (e.g. INA or ANSP). We are therefore confident that 70% of the records are accurate and we indicate those as “likely accurate”. We are actively working on verifying those 30% records labeled “uncertain/not verified”.
List of nomenclatural synonyms
All nomenclatural synonyms (=homotypic) for a given name should be listed. We are still improving the links between all nomenclatural synonyms of a given name, and some synonyms may be missing.