Template:Automatic taxobox/doc/new

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Are you trying to set up an automatic taxobox for a species, subspecies or variety?

If this is your first time making an automatic taxobox, you'll probably find this guide indispensable. There's definitely a learning curve involved, but once you get the hang of it, you'll be able to figure out even the weirdest problems. This guide should walk you through a typical automatic taxobox setup.

Many automatic taxoboxes are very quick to set up; others require much more work. However, the advantage to all the work pays off when a taxonomy gets revised down the road – rather than updating thousands of taxoboxes, only one or at most a few templates must be altered in order to fix the whole thing.

Every automatic taxobox should contain the following general layout, often with many additional parameters:

For zoological taxa:

{{automatic taxobox
|taxon=Canis
|authority=[[Carl Linnaeus|Linnaeus]], 1758
}}

For botanical[1] taxa:

{{automatic taxobox
|taxon=Nepenthes
|authority=[[Carl Linnaeus|L.]]
}}

The taxon is the scientific name for whatever the article is about. If you've never entered an authority, you can get help with that from the relevant WikiProject (see a directory at WP:TOL#Scope and descendant projects.

Never save the page until you've checked for and resolved all issues with the automatic taxobox first!!!

Hit "preview". If it looks correct, you're done. Save your changes.

Chances are, though, it's not perfect. The table of contents below should answer many of your questions on what to do next. As you follow instructions in this guide, you may be instructed to add a parameter to the template. To do this, just move the closing braces to a new line, and stick the parameter somewhere before the closing braces.

At the end of this guide is a list of all parameters available as well as definitions for all the parameters introduced by the {{automatic taxobox}}. Most parameters from the manual {{taxobox}} are valid in the {{automatic taxobox}}, and for descriptions of those parameters, see the documentation for that template.

Creating and manipulating[edit]

"Taxonomy not available for..."[edit]

No, you didn't mess up. This error is actually normal. There are two reasons this error might show up. Firstly, it's rare the taxon you're addressing has already been entered into the taxon template database. Secondly, the Wikipedia cache lags a little bit.

If you're seeing the red error, here is a simple dichotomous key to help you figure out what to do about it:

1. Is the page you're working on an article page?

1A. Yes, it's an article page (2)

1B. No, it's a Template:Taxonomy/ page (3)

2. Create the taxon template for the taxon. Is there an error on that template's page when you're finished?

2A. Yes (3)

2B. No. Click the blue link next to "Category listings out of date?" to refresh the cache for the page, and you're finished.

3. One red error or two?

3A. One, and it's the current taxon. Click the blue link next to "Category listings out of date?" to refresh the cache for the page, and you're finished.

3B. One, and it's the parent taxon. Repeat #2 with respect to the parent taxon of the one you just worked on.

3C. Two. Repeat #2 with respect to the parent taxon of the one you just worked on. When finished, be sure to click the blue link next to "Category listings out of date?" on each template page you've worked on to refresh the caches for those pages.

Creating the taxonomy template[edit]

To begin resolving this ugly red error, right-click the "create" link and open that link in either a new tab or a new window. On the landing page, you should be editing a template corresponding to whatever taxon is at the end of the page's title.

First, fill in the rank parameter. Use the Latin name. Your options are pretty vast here (see Wikipedia:TX#Complete blank template for an extensive list of supported ranks). Some examples are as follows:

  • regnum
  • phylum
  • classis
  • ordo
  • familia
  • tribus
  • genus
  • clade
  • unranked

If what you need is something extremely atypical, you can actually just type it there instead of one of the supported ranks. It might break the taxobox, but that's what Template talk:Automatic taxobox is for.

You'll see |link= is already filled in for you with

{{subst:#titleparts:{{subst:PAGENAME}}|2|2}}

which happens to be wikisyntax for "the part of the title of the page that comes after "Template:Taxonomy/". In other words, it will be the name of the taxon. Using the table below, you should be able to figure out what to enter:

Taxon name The article for this taxon can be found at The text that should display in the taxobox What to type
Elephantidae Elephantidae Elephantidae
{{subst:#titleparts:{{subst:PAGENAME}}|2|2}}
Spheniscidae Penguin Spheniscidae
Penguin|{{subst:#titleparts:{{subst:PAGENAME}}|2|2}}

(If there's a pattern missing here, either add it or explain the issue on the talk page.)

Next, we have the |parent= parameter. All that you need to type here is the name of the immediate parent taxon, beginning with a capital letter. Use the |refs= parameter to cite a source which says that the taxon belongs in that parent taxon – in case someone challenges it later. (The only case in which you might consider omitting this parameter is if you're using a WikiProject approved taxonomy, e.g. APG III for flowering plants.)

If it's an extinct taxon, fill in the |extinct= parameter with

true

or

yes

. If it's extant, or if you're not sure, leave it blank.

Save the taxonomy template page and close it. Go back to the automatic taxobox we were making. Press "preview" again.

The odds are good that you'll get to perform this step a second time, maybe a third, fourth, or even twentieth time, depending on how much of the taxonomy you're working on has already been filled in by other editors. Continue previewing and creating taxonomies for the ancestor taxa until the "taxonomy missing" errors cease.

Special instructions for species[edit]

Species articles should not normally use this template but should instead use Template:Speciesbox. See that page and its documentation.

The reason is that whenever {{Automatic taxobox}} is used with |taxon=taxon-name, a template named "Template:Taxonomy/taxon-name" must either exist or be created in order to specify the taxonomic position of taxon-name. However, for species this is not necessary, because the taxonomic position of the species can be found by extracting the genus name from the full binomial, and then looking for "Template:Taxonomy/genus-name". So using {{Speciesbox}} considerably reduces the number of taxonomy templates needed and avoids there being different taxonomies for different species in a genus.

Making the links bold[edit]

When a taxobox appears in an article, the taxon the article is about should have its name displayed in bold. For this to work, the |link= parameter in its taxonomy template must be right. Suppose the taxon in question has the name taxon-name and the article it appears in has the title article-title. Then in the template "Taxonomy/taxon-name":

  • if taxon-name and article-title are the same, you should see |link= taxon-name
  • if taxon-name and article-title are different, you should see |link= article-title|taxon-name.

Ensure the link is entered so that it points directly to the article on that taxon without being redirected first. If the page gets moved, the taxon template that links to that article will need to be updated in order to maintain the proper bolding.

Change the taxobox header[edit]

By default the header to the taxobox will be the value of the taxon parameter, and it will automatically be italicized if it's a genus (this template, {{automatic taxobox}}, shouldn't be used for species).

If you want a different header (e.g. the common name of the taxon), then specify |name=.

In the unlikely event that you want this different header to be italicized use |italic_name=. Do not use formatting markup to try to italicize the header, as this will cause errors.

Add an image[edit]

Use the |image= and |image_caption= parameters just like you would with the {{taxobox}}.

If you want a second image, add |image2= and |image2_caption=.

Synonyms[edit]

Here's an example of what to add to a taxobox where Genius and Geniosus happen to be synonyms of the named taxon:

|synonyms=
*''Genius'' <small>[[Baggins]] 1934</small>
*''Geniosus'' <small>[[Harvey]] 1734</small>

Forcing a taxon to display[edit]

If there's a particularly notable taxon of a minor rank, such as Theropoda (which contains all carnivorous dinosaurs) chances are that you'd like the taxon to display in every single taxobox that it could possibly be displayed in. Navigate to that taxon's taxonomy template. The link should be "Template:Taxonomy/" followed by the name of the taxon. In the case of Theropoda, the link would be "Template:Taxonomy/Theropoda". Add the code |always_display=true anywhere you'd like inside braces, and that should force the taxon to display all the time regardless of its rank.

Correcting a taxonomy[edit]

Every automatic taxobox has an edit link on the right end of the bar that says "Scientific classification". That link should give you access to a full listing of that taxon's taxonomy.

From there, you may edit a taxon by clicking "Edit" next to its name. Doing so allows you to access the corresponding Template:Taxonomy/ page, where you can assign a different parent, rank, display text, link, references, extinction status, or "display always" value. Any edits you make to one of these templates will affect all its descendent taxa, so keep that in mind while editing.

Available parameters and how to use them[edit]

Available parameters (note that all parameters are optional, although to produce the desired results, many may be required):

All parameters[edit]

{{automatic taxobox

|taxon=

|name=

|authority=

|display_parents=

|italic_name=

|edit_link=

|fossil_range=

|oldest_fossil=

|youngest_fossil=

|display_parents=

|parent_authority=

|grandparent_authority=

|greatgrandparent_authority=

|greatgreatgrandparent_authority=

|color=

|status=

|status_system=

|status_ref=

|status2=

|status2_system=

|status2_ref=

|image=

|image_width=

|image_alt=

|image_caption=

|image2=

|image2_width=

|image2_alt=

|image2_caption=

|classification_status=

|diversity=

|diversity_link=

|binomial=

|binomial_authority=

|trinomial=

|trinomial_authority=

|type_genus=

|type_genus_authority=

|type_species=

|type_species_authority=

|subdivision=

|subdivision_ranks=

|display_children=

|type_strain=

|range_map=

|range_map_width=

|range_map_alt=

|range_map_caption=

|binomial2=

|binomial2_authority=

|range_map2=

|range_map2_width=

|range_map2_alt=

|range_map2_caption=

|binomial3=

|binomial3_authority=

|range_map3=

|range_map3_width=

|range_map3_alt=

|range_map3_caption=

|binomial4=

|binomial4_authority=

|range_map4=

|range_map4_width=

|range_map4_alt=

|range_map4_caption=

|synonyms=

|synonyms_ref=

}}

Parameters unique to {{automatic taxobox}}[edit]

In the following sections, parameters used by {{taxobox}} will not be covered. Usage for those parameters has not changed.

Parameter |taxon=[edit]

Generally, this is the name of the taxon the article is about. In the resulting taxobox, this parameter is the one that is bolded. (To bold multiple taxa, see #Making the links bold.)

More accurately, if |taxon=TAXON, the system will expect there to be a page at "Template:Taxonomy/TAXON". In some circumstances, TAXON may not be the name of the taxon, e.g. if a plant and animal share the same genus name, there may be two taxonomy templates called "Template:Taxonomy/GENUS (plant)" and "Template:Taxonomy/GENUS (animal)". In such cases, something like the following is required:

{{Automatic taxobox
| taxon = GENUS (plant)

This ensures that the system links to the right taxonomy template.

If this parameter is omitted, as of December 2012 the system will attempt to infer what its value should be from the page name. Omitting the taxon parameter is strongly deprecated as it is more likely to lead to expansion depth errors and may not be supported in future.

Parameter |name=[edit]

If the title of the taxobox should be different from the value entered in the taxon parameter, enter it here. This is most commonly used for common names. If, for whatever reason, the title should be italicized, do not use |name=. Instead, use |italic_name=.

Parameter |italic_name=[edit]

This parameter duplicates the functionality of |name= except that it italicizes the title. This parameter should never be used in conjunction with |name=.

Parameter |authority=[edit]

This parameter is similar to the authority parameters in the {{taxobox}}. The only difference is that you don't have to specify the rank this authority matches up with-- it will pair it with the taxon listed in the |taxon= parameter.

Parameter |fossil_range=[edit]

The new features for the fossil range are currently under development. Please use it the same as you would with the {{taxobox}}.

Parameter |edit_link=[edit]

In most cases, there is no reason to use this parameter. If used, whatever is entered here will display in single brackets in place of the letter "e". This is the "edit taxonomy" link which allows readers to easily access the taxonomy for quick, universal edits.

Parameter |oldest_fossil=[edit]

This untested feature is currently being developed. Please do not use it yet.

Parameter |youngest_fossil=[edit]

This untested feature is currently being developed. Please do not use it yet.

Parameter |display_parents=[edit]

If you need to display a certain number of parent taxa, adding a number here will force that many parent taxa to appear.

Parameter |parent_authority=, etc.[edit]

Parameter |parent_authority=
Parameter |grandparent_authority=
Parameter |greatgrandparent_authority=
Parameter |greatgreatgrandparent_authority=

These function just like |authority=, except they match up with the parent taxon, grandparent taxon, etc.

Warning The "ancestor" taxon is the one defined by the taxonomy templates (i.e. the various "Template:Taxonomy/<taxon>" pages, where <taxon> is the name of a taxon). This "ancestor" taxon may not be the taxon you expect! Further, if someone later changes the taxonomic hierarchy defined in the taxonomy templates by adding or removing a taxon, the authority can become incorrect. For example, if you are setting up a taxobox for a genus and the parent taxon is currently the family, |parent_authority= shows the authority for the family in the taxobox. If someone later adds a subfamily between the genus and the family, |parent_authority= will now refer to the subfamily, and the authority will be displayed incorrectly. These parameters should only be used if really necessary.

Parameter |display_children=[edit]

This is a new feature that takes the place of the |subdivision= parameter. It displays a list of all the taxa whose taxonomy templates list the current taxon as the immediate parent. You may fill this in with 1, 2, 3, 2 collapse, or 3 collapse. The "collapse" causes daughters past the first generation to remain hidden unless the reader clicks "show" next to one of the daughter taxa.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Funguses and protists are classically treated as botanical subjects

I've surely omitted several frequently asked questions. If you need help with a specific part, please ask here or here or even here. Bob the Wikipedian (talkcontribs)