Guide to adding taxa and changing taxon statuses
Last edited 4 months ago — Added 4 months ago

This is a guide to incorporating various kinds of taxonomic changes into AntCat using the article by Cristiano et al., 2020 as an example (see https://www.antcat.org/references/143788 and the nested reference https://www.antcat.org/references/143789 where the taxonomic changes attributed to Cristiano, Cardoso & Sandoval-Gómez are made (pp. 647-674)).

Adding a new genus

The first taxonomic aspect dealt with in the paper is the addition of a new genus, Amoimyrmex. This new genus must first be created in AntCat before other changes are made.

  • In the description of the new genus, p. 647 onwards, one notices that the new genus falls within the tribe Attini. The new genus therefore needs to be created in AntCat under the tribe Attini.

  • On the Attini taxon page, under the “More” tab (towards the top right of the page), select “Add genus”. Attini is set as the parent and the rest of the fields on the add taxon form are blank.

  • The name of the new genus can now be entered as Amoimyrmex and its status set as “valid”.

  • Since the genus is new, a new protonym needs to be created (further down the same form as above). The name of the new protonym will be the same as the genus and its authorship set using the reference identification number 143789 (found in the URL of the reference: https://www.antcat.org/references/143789) by copying and pasting the number into the “Authorship” field and clicking on the name of the reference that pops up. The pagination is then entered following the instructions in the tooltip (blue dot with ?), i.e. 647, figs. 1-23.

  • If the gender of the new genus is specified (which is not the case in this example), it should be entered using the drop-down list under “Gender” in the box at the top right of the add taxon form.

  • If there is any information in the description about the etymology of the new taxon, it should be entered in the “Etymology” field.

  • Click save at the bottom of the page and you will be redirected to the new genus page.

These were the first basic steps to create the new genus and its new protonym. There is however still more information that needs to be captured.

First, more information about the protonym needs to be entered. To do this, click on “Edit protonym” in the blue protonym box on the right side of the genus page. You will then be redirected to the protonym editing form.

  • At the beginning of the genus description, Atta striata Roger, 1863 (see protonym here: https://www.antcat.org/protonyms/156114) is listed as the type species for the new genus. This needs to be entered in the “Type name” box at the top right of the protonym editing form. In AntCat, original combinations of taxa are used so the type species will be listed as Amoimyrmex striatus. Copy and paste the taxon identifier number (511076) from the URL and paste it into the “Taxon” field and click on the species name that pops up. Fixation method should be selected as “by original designation” from the drop-down list for this example.

  • Click save at the bottom the the page and you will be redirected to the protonym form.

The final step is to add a reference section to the new genus and enter any relevant information there.

  • On the Amoimyrmex genus page, click on the “Edit” button towards the top right of the page. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the page to find the “Reference sections” box and click on the “Add” button.

  • Enter the title, which should be “Genus Amoimyrmex references”. There is no subtitle in this case.

  • Enter a relevant reference, which in this case would be “Key to species: Cristiano et al., 2020: 657”.

  • Click save at the bottom of the page and you will be redirected to the Amoimyrmex editing page.

The new genus and protonym are now successfully added.

Creating a new combination

Following the description of the new genus, Cristiano, Cardoso & Sandoval-Gómez create three new combinations within this new genus. Only one will be dealt with here as an example.

In the paper, they combine Acromyrmex striatus in the new genus and also provide a redescription of the species (p. 667 onwards).

  • First, the new combination, Amoimyrmex striatus needs to be created. To do this, start at the taxon page for the new genus that has just been created (https://www.antcat.org/catalog/511071).

  • On the Amoimyrmex taxon page, under the “More” tab (toward the top right of the page), select “Add species”. Amoimyrmex is set as the parent.

  • In the “Name” field, type in striatus after Amoimyrmex and leave the status set as “valid”. The protonym now needs to be linked.

  • Search for the species being combined in the new genus, Acromyrmex striatus, and click on the protonym to get to the protonym form of Atta striata. Copy the protonym identifier number (156114) from the URL and paste it into the “Protonym” field on the “Add species” form you are using to add the new combination, Amoimyrmex striatus. Click on the name of the protonym that pops up to select it.

  • Click save at the bottom of the page and you will be redirected to the new species page.

Now that the new combination has been created, the status of the species that used to be the valid species, Acromyrmex striatus, needs to be changed as well as any obsolete combinations of it.

  • On the Acromyrmex striatus taxon page, click on the “Edit” button near the top right of the page.

  • In the “Status” field, change the status to “obsolete combination” and in the “Current taxon” field, paste the species identifier number from the URL of the new combination you have just created (511076).

  • Click on “Save” just below these fields and you will be redirected to the taxon page for Acromyrmex striatus.

  • Now go to the protonym, Atta striata, to check what other taxa may be linked to it. Under “Taxa belonging to this protonym” another obsolete combination, Atta striata, is listed. It too needs to be edited in similar fashion to Acromyrmex striatus.

Check on the protonym form again to make sure that the statuses of all taxa are correct and that there is only one current valid taxon.

Note: If the authors had described a new species in the new genus, the steps earlier for creating a new combination would have been followed, but with the new specific epithet. A new protonym would have to be created in similar fashion to the earlier example (for the new genus), but caste, biogeographic region and locality information would also be added.

Now that the new combination has been created, some further information needs to be added.

  • On p. 667, the authors provide some type information that should be added to the Atta striata protonym form. Go to the form (https://www.antcat.org/protonyms/156114), click on the “Edit” button near the top right of the page and then enter the information in the type fields near the bottom of the page following the relevant instructions (see https://www.antcat.org/wiki_pages/13).

  • Two taxonomic history items also need to be added to the protonym, Atta striata, pertaining to the new combination, Amoimyrmex striatus. History items can be added/edited either in the “Protonym history items” box at the bottom of the protonym editing form or by clicking on the “Edit” button near the top right of the relevant taxon page and scrolling down to the “Protonym history items” box.

  • The first taxonomic history item that needs to be added pertains to the combination in the new genus, Amoimyrmex. A new history item should be added: “Combination in Amoimyrmex: Cristiano et al., 2020: 667” (see https://www.antcat.org/history_items/292233) and placed following the previous “Combination in” history item in the list of taxonomic history items.

  • Second, the “Status as species” history item needs to be edited to include the confirmation of species rank and the redescription. At the end of this history item, “Cristiano et al., 2020: 667 (redescription)” needs to be added (see https://www.antcat.org/history_items/243593).

Elevating a subspecies to the rank of species

In the publication, Cristiano, Cardoso & Sandoval-Gómez also elevate a subspecies (Acromyrmex silvestrii bruchi) to the rank of species (Amoimyrmex bruchi) in the new genus, Amoimyrmex. The procedure is exactly the same as for the previous section, but the new obsolete combination being created happens to be a subspecies.

Creating a new synonymy

The last kind of taxonomic change that was made by Cristiano, Cardoso & Sandoval-Gómez was creating a new synonymy.

Acromyrmex mesopotamicus was initially a junior synonym of Acromyrmex silvestrii, which was combined in the current publication as Amoimyrmex silvestrii.

In the current publication Acromyrmex mesopotamicus was made a junior synonym of the new combination, Amoimyrmex bruchi, changing Acromyrmex mesopotamicus to Amoimyrmex mesopotamicus (automatic combination in the new genus, Amoimyrmex).

The first thing that needs to happen is to create the new combination, Amoimyrmex mesopotamicus, following the same steps as earlier but to set its status as “synonym of” and its “current taxon” as Amoimyrmex bruchi (taxon identifier number 511073).

The status of Acromyrmex mesopotamicus then needs to be changed to an obsolete combination of Amoimyrmex mesopotamicus following the same steps as earlier.

A taxonomic history item also needs to be added to the protonym of Amoimyrmex mesopotamicus, Acromyrmex (Moellerius) mesopotamicus, following the same steps as earlier. The history item needs to indicate: “Junior synonym of Amoimyrmex bruchi: Cristiano et al., 2020: 658” (see https://www.antcat.org/history_items/292228). The taxonomic history item should be placed at the end of the list of history items.

Once the new junior synonym has been created, all places in AntCat that reference the obsolete combination, Acromyrmex mesopotamicus, need to be identified and changed to indicate the new current combination. The easiest way to do this is to use the ”What links here” function. To do this, go to the Acromyrmex mesopotamicus taxon page and click on the “What links here” button near the top right of the page. This will bring up a list of items in AntCat that link to the taxon.

For the current example, a taxonomic history item needs to be added to the senior synonym, Amoimyrmex bruchi, saying: “Senior synonym of Amoimyrmex mesopotamicus: Cristiano et al., 2020: 658”. Senior synonym taxonomic history items are placed after the “Status as” history item and are arranged alphabetically according to species name.

Further information

For a full list of taxonomic changes made by and information obtained from Cristiano, Cardoso & Sandoval-Gómez, see https://www.antcat.org/references/143789/what_links_here. This type of information can be obtained for any reference by clicking on the “What links here” button at the top of the reference page.

Final note

In order to see the taxt format used to link authors and taxa in various items explained above, either see the page here: https://www.antcat.org/markdown_formatting_help or alternatively click on the “Quick edit” or “Edit” button that pops up next to each item to see the source information (example see: https://www.antcat.org/history_items/292229/edit?redirect_back_url=%2Ftaxa%2F511073%2Fedit).