Template talk:Taxobox/Archive 8

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Edit: Conservation status[edit]

Please change to:

|PE|pe=[[Image:Status_iucn3.1_CR.svg|200px]]<br>[[Critically endangered]], possibly extinct{{{category|[[Category:Critically endangered species]]}}}

Maybe the 3.1 tag needs to be added as with other categories, but "PE" is not formalized by the IUCN (yet); it is fairly likely to be adopted in the 4.0 criteria but probably not earlier.

Result: it should display the status image; check for example in Eskimo Curlew ("PE" is a subcategory of "CR").

Yes, PE is a subcategory of CR. No, the CR image does not fit, as it gives no indication that the species may be "possibly extinct". (see above) —Pengo talk · contribs 23:59, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Conservation status categorisation[edit]

I've been reorganising the conservation status categories over at Category:Species by IUCN Red List category. Previously, most species were not categorised by their conservation status unless they were endangered. I've created a couple of categories for Near Threatened and Low Risk so that we can categorise pretty much every species in this way. I tried changing this template so that if an species were designated Near Threatened then the Near Threatened category would be added to the article automatically but this didn't seem to work. Could someone familiar with the template help? --Oldak Quill 04:03, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Type species[edit]

Is there a reason why the type species appears under "Type Species" (i.e. both words capitalised), rather than "Type species", which would be more consistent with the other headings ("Scientific classification", "Binomial name", "Conservation status", etc.)? If not, I'll change it. --Stemonitis 12:08, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Looks like a typo. I'll fix. - UtherSRG (talk) 15:04, 9 January 2007 (UTC)

Mystery Character[edit]

This template appears to have an '!' in the header bar. It looked like vandalism/test stuff, but I can't fix it. On the other hand, it looks like noone else could have broken it. Does this character have a use? If not, could someone remove it? --Mdwyer 18:47, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

It is intentional. It is a link to "How to read a taxobox". See Wikipedia_talk:WikiProject_Tree_of_Life#Information_link. - UtherSRG (talk) 18:54, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
Oh. So it is. Well, I feel a little dumb. :) Thank you! --Mdwyer 21:20, 12 January 2007 (UTC)
...umm.. the 'i' was really just a temporary measure until we came up with something better. hmm..... —Pengo talk · contribs 02:36, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
How about this tiny blue Info icon: Information-silk.png --Mdwyer 05:56, 13 January 2007 (UTC)
There is no way (I know) to make that image a link to the explanation page instead of the image description page at Image:Information-silk.png. Eugène van der Pijll 18:18, 13 January 2007 (UTC)

But there is now: see mw:Extension:ImageMap. I can't get the positioning right yet, but it looks good anyway (see right). -- Eugène van der Pijll 09:38, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia:How to read a taxoboxInformation-silk.png


Ok, done. I've done it with a simple redirect instead of this stylesheet tomfoolery. —Pengo talk · contribs 12:43, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
I didn't know you could do that! Cool! Eugène van der Pijll 12:53, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Me neither :) —Pengo talk · contribs 13:28, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
This is a great trick! --Eleassar my talk 14:16, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Nice work! KP Botany 18:13, 14 January 2007 (UTC)

Related suggested change?[edit]

Instead of using a redirect and whatnot, why not use {{click}}? {{click|image=Information-silk.png|link=Wikipedia:How to read a taxobox|height=16px|width=16px}} gives Wikipedia:How to read a taxobox. And seeing that it may not work in all browsers, the redirect image could be utilized still, just as a backup.—Ryūlóng () 07:49, 19 January 2007 (UTC)

Oh, {{click}} does not seem to work in the talk space.—Ryūlóng () 07:50, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
"It may not work as expected for all browsers." Oh, you said that. But if the redirect works, why should we then also use {{click}}? -- Eugène van der Pijll 08:18, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Forget it. Bad idea when I was playing around with the template myself.—Ryūlóng () 08:28, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
Using it was my original thought, but fortunately I couldn't remember the name of the template :) —Pengo talk · contribs 13:05, 19 January 2007 (UTC)


I really think it would be better off to have this link performed using Imagemap; doing it with an image redirect can't be good practice. Rawling4851 21:51, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Well, I think this is preferable indeed, as it allows selecting the link also to those users that can't click the image (e.g. screen readers and some cell phones). --Eleassar my talk 10:03, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Minor avoid redirect thing[edit]

Hey, regarding the little image that when clicked leads to Wikipedia:How to read a taxobox, would it be more effective to use the {{click}} template for this job, instead of having the image be a redirect page? (Or, failing that, some like this, if it ever gets off the ground...) 20:09, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

Heh, that's an interesting workaround. As I understand it, {{click}} is somewhat controversial, since it tends to interfere with some web browsers (usually we mention text-only browsers, but other options include things like BlackBerries and Sidekicks, and other more "basic" browsers). I'm not entirely opposed to the change, but do bear that in mind; if there's some discussion, first, I'd be more open to it. Either way, a good suggestion made in good faith, and I always appreciate those. Luna Santin 20:21, 24 January 2007 (UTC)
I mention it only because I noticed it (as a matter of fact, I didn't know you could actually do that with uploaded images, that is, have them be redirect pages). I think another concern about the click template was that it would be difficult to actually have a link to the image file, which in this case doesn't matter, since it's a redirect anyway. Oh well. Just pointing it out so you all can discuss it. 03:54, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
I think ImageMap is more usable than redirect in this case. As I've said above, if you can't click the image (e.g. I can't do that with my cell phone and I'm sure there are other cases as well), this icon means nothing. --Eleassar my talk 10:19, 25 January 2007 (UTC)
While the 'image redirect' method was actually fairly good I went ahead and converted this to use 'imagemap'. Clicking the icon will now go directly to the 'How to read' page rather than through a redirect. --CBD 22:18, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
(A just for fun side note) Oh man. I was just fiddling with the flag templates and took a quick look at the job queue. It was over shocking 30,000. Then I asked myself: what the heck did I do... Then I looked into recent template changes and found your taxobox change and everything became clear :-). I wonder when we will get a decent tool to inspect the job queue. --Ligulem 23:42, 26 January 2007 (UTC)
Heh. Sorry for giving you a fright. Amazing how much such a tiny change can touch. --CBD 01:16, 27 January 2007 (UTC)

Sounds and videos[edit]

Maybe you read the news about a site with 50000 sound and video recording of animals.

I think we should add this to the taxobox. The site often has multiple listings for a single anmial so I don't think we could link direct to the recording, but maybe we could link to the search page. We would have a row called 'Media'. What do you think? Ariel. 14:42, 8 February 2007 (UTC)

We've generally kept to the notion of not having external links in the taxobox, as it is primarily informational and navigational. Put media links in an external links section. - UtherSRG (talk) 15:27, 8 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't have a problem in theory with using having external links in the taxobox (although there are none so far), but I agree with UtherSRG that this resource would be better in the external links. Also the audio files on the site are in a very proprietary format (RealPlayer) which shouldn't be encouraged. —Pengo 01:52, 9 February 2007 (UTC)

Taxonomist's Name[edit]

I think the taxonomist's name should appear in the abbreviated form, common in the scientific literature, and without parentheses, which should only include the year of description. The abbreviated format should link to the article regarding the specific taxonomist. Reasoning:

  1. Such a format, together with the binomial name, gives the complete and exact scientific format, to designate a species. The template is the best place to expose the readers to this standard way of writing, common among all scientists and scientific literature. This way there is also a match between the format in the article and in scientific articles.
  2. Readers who will be confused by the abbreviations, can clarify the matter immediately by clicking on the abbreviation and reaching the article regarding the taxonomist.

Gidip 12:29, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

The current format is how the authority appears in scientific literature. No change is needed. Is there a specific taxobox you have an issue with? - UtherSRG (talk) 14:23, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

What is "the current format"? Is it the abbreviated form or the full family name? There is an incosistency among different articles. See, for example, lion (full name), Magnolia grandiflora (abbreviated). I suggest a common format for all articles - the abbreviated name, linked to the taxonomist's article. Gidip 20:45, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Botanists use abbreviations and zoologists full name plus date. Find two organisms in the same kingdom, not different ones as an example, because the kindgsoms are covered under different codes. It is utterly common in the scientific literature to find plant names with authorities abbreviated. KP Botany 20:57, 18 February 2007 (UTC)
Oh thanks, now it makes sense to me. Gidip 21:52, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Chromosome number[edit]

More genomic information should be in this template. Specifically, I would like to see the number chromosomes (monoploid number and euploid number). The only discussions I see on this page regarding genomes and chromosomes is brief mention at #Links to NCBI Taxonomy browser. Comments? − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 07:52, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

The taxobox is not meant to be the repository of everyone favorite information about the taxa. It is intended as a quick reference and navigation aid on taxonomy, picture and range. Anything else should be placed only within the text of the article. - UtherSRG (talk) 12:04, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
The problem is that many species do not have this information in the article (for example, neither Gorilla nor any of the species and subspecies include this information), and in many cases it would be difficult to implement such information into an article. It may not be easy to find an appropriate place in an article to state "Gorilla gorilla has 24 pairs of chromosomes"—where would you put it? Classification? The lead section? It would be even more difficult to go through the thousands of species on Wikipedia and to smoothly include a sentence for all of them. Having two simple fields in the taxobox is a quick and sensible way to display the information, and doing this would be a much easier task. − Twas Now ( talkcontribse-mail ) 21:45, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I don't think it's a terrible idea. Chromosome number is a short, clear, defined piece of information (unlike diet or behavioural things that have made their way into other language taxoboxes), and has a relationship to taxonomy (although it's far from a barcode). A number by itself is not really enough though. You need n=24 (or 2n=24), as well as how the sex chromosomes work (XY, XO, WZ). And then what about the number of base pairs...? A full section (like ==Genetics==) would be preferred, but I assume there's a lot of species where the number of chromosomes is known but not much else. So, if it were to go into the taxobox, where would it fit in? And how many species would be able to use it? —Pengo 22:17, 16 February 2007 (UTC)
I'm not sure it's of interest at the species level, as I don't believe that most species are determined from chromosome number. Genera, on the other hand, may be a different story. I know that the gibbon genera were split from Hylobates on the basis of chromosome number. That information is not best handled by a small notation in the taxobox of the genera, and certainly not on the species level. It's best handled and meaningful in prose in the article body. - UtherSRG (talk) 01:04, 17 February 2007 (UTC)
There are numerous species where there are multiple chromosomal forms within the species. Examples are pocket gophers, mouse-like hamsters, and blind mole rats. Also, in many instances the number of functional is more important than 2N. These things vary widely be species and should really be addressed in the text. --Aranae 07:42, 17 February 2007 (UTC)

Is the chromosome number even known for many species (aside from extinct forms)? If the chromosome number is significant, or even mildly interesting, it should be discussed in the text. -- Donald Albury 11:50, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Also, you're only considering animals. Do we even know how sex is determined in, say, the gametophytes of mosses? Do we know the chromosome numbers of dinoflagellates? Also, many organisms (fungi, bryophytes) have a dominant haploid life cycle. Like animals reserve haploidy for sexual reproduction, so these organisms reserve diploidy for sexual reproduction. Werothegreat 13:42, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

Not appropriate to be added to the taxobox, as the taxoboxes are somewhat problematic, and need to contain a finite amount of information--but I'm not real set on this. However, an article on chromosome number would be good. There's a poorly done list (common names mostly, except Drosophila melanogaster, the one model organism commonly called by its common name by budding biologists the world over, although known as Drosophila melanogaster in the literature, of course) that strangely doesn't include a chromosome number for Arabidopsis thaliana, one of the few plant chromosome numbers that folks actually know and pay attention to. I think that chromosome number should be included in the articles where it is known, particularly where it is interesting (Equisetum). I'm beginning to think the taxobox template itself is too limiting. KP Botany 19:47, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

And then there is polyploidy. -- Donald Albury 00:44, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Damn plants and horticulturists. It's that pesky man again, I just know it, he must have something to do with this. KP Botany 00:56, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Conservation one more time![edit]

Question: can fungi/plants/everything else be endangered? Is there a conservation program for slime molds? Werothegreat 17:19, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Good God Almighty, do you think slimemolds need conserving? Yes, any type of organism can be endangered, but I've never seen a fungi category, nor a protists category, on federal or state lists. There is a Wikiproject Fungi, somewhere, they probably are the ones to ask, or post on the Slime mould discussion page. Let me know what you find out. 20:26, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Yes, there are several species of the fungal genus Hygrocybe which are deemed to be endangered. Problem is, we know so littel about fungi. cheers Cas Liber 23:18, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Many many plants are endangered. Outside of plants and animals, there's not a lot of research done into imperilment. There are 3 species endangered fungi species listed by the IUCN. There is only one protista (Vanvoorstia bennettiana) [1] which is listed, but it is extinct, rather than endangered, but in theory others could be considered endangered. No bacteria or viruses are listed by the IUCN, and many countries' own lists explicitly exclude them from consideration. —Pengo 23:33, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
A related red alga (protista) is "probably critically endangered": Vanvoorstia incipiens (mentioned with the Vanvoorstia bennettiana listing) —Pengo 23:46, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Hm. Actually it wouldn't be wrong to call those "protista" plants, even if they're listed as "protista" by the IUCN —Pengo 23:53, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
Concerning fungi, some European states did more: In Czech Republic (and others) some fungi species are protected by conservation programs - see this list of protected species which includes e.g. some species of Amanita, Boletus, Geastrum. There are also Red Lists of endangered fungi in several states, e.g. Switzerland, Sachsen (Germany), Steiermark (Austria). --Franz Xaver 00:06, 23 February 2007 (UTC)


This 'How to read a taxobox' guide needs to be updated now that the conservation statuses are below the image. I was just going to put a new version of the same species used (Colorado Potato Beetle) but that doesn't use the conservation image at all. So a better example would probably be needed, i think it might as well be a well known species and was thinking orca, or a cetacean one would be good. The only thing is that some of those have size comparisons as the second image and i am not sure if that would be a good thing (ie to show off that some pages have this) or not (ie too much info on guide page). What do you think? Chris_huhtalk 21:02, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

No shame in editing a taxobox down to size and using it for the example. E.g. remove the second image and screenshot the preview. By the way, the vast majority of cetaceans have not been reassessed by the IUCN for some time and still use the 1994 categories (which includes LR/cd). It's not really a problem though. —Pengo 22:35, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

Support for variety rank[edit]

I've just written an article on Banksia armata var. armata, and discovered that the taxobox doesn't support the rank of variety. I can't for the life of me think why not. I propose to edit the taxobox template to support this rank. I would already have done so by now, but for a bright red header shouting at me to make sure I am following the "protected page guidelines". Are there any objections to this? (If someone with extensive experience with this template wants to handle this, that's just fine with me). Hesperian 12:25, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

Yes, by all means, allow someone with extensive experience to handle it. The issue is that there are thousands of taxoboxes on Wikipedia, and every edit affects every one of these, so there are some specific rules about it--so I've heard. But it sounds like an invitation for someone with experience to be required to do the work.
I think this was just an omission when taxoboxes were created (you, of all people, know the animal bias), leaving out variety as a rank, that is. KP Botany 04:16, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
I would ask for User:AzaToth's assistance, he is one of the people who understands templates the best. JoshuaZ 04:29, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks guys. I know how to fix it, it's not difficult, but am reluctant to be too bold in this case. I'll ask AzaToth, and wait a few days to see if he or anyone else is willing to take responsibility for it.
While we're on the subject, it kind of annoys me that autonyms like the above for which the full name is "Banksia armata (R.Br.) A.R.Mast & K.R.Thiele var. armata" are effectively presented in the taxobox as "Banksia armata var. armata (R.Br.) A.R.Mast & K.R.Thiele". But I don't expect anyone else to care about this, and I don't fight battles I can't win. :-(
Hesperian 04:38, 10 March 2007 (UTC)
This irritates the heck out of me, too. We've done original research on botanical nomenclature, shades of .... KP Botany 03:43, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Sadly I cannot edit the template, as I'm not an admin, but, it would be a rather simple edit, just add following code somewhere in the template at an appropriate place:
{{!}} Variety
{{!}} {{{variety}}}

AzaToth 16:30, 10 March 2007 (UTC)

 Done I've added the following:

{{!}} Variety:
{{!}} <span style="white-space: nowrap">{{{variety}}}</span>}}

I added it after subspecies since the rank is below species but not above or below subspecies. Is there need for subvariety as well? And authority? Quarl (talk) 2007-03-10 23:40Z

I'm not aware of any subvarieties. Yes, there should be a "variety_authority" argument. Hesperian 01:27, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Done. Hesperian 01:37, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. Quarl (talk) 2007-03-11 02:41Z
  • I asked because of Subvariety. There's also Form (botany), the level below subvariety. You're probably right though; if there's no article on a specific subvariety then we don't need it in the Taxobox template. Quarl (talk) 2007-03-11 02:41Z
    • I agree that we should defer worrying about subvariety and form until someone writes an article that calls for it. On a related note, when I get around to writing an article on Banksia dallaneyi subsp. dallaneyi var. mellicula (and I will eventually), we'll need to look at whether the current choice between "binomial name" and "trinomial name" is sustainable - is there such a thing as a "quadrinomial name", or should these two headings be merged into "full name"? Hesperian 03:10, 11 March 2007 (UTC)
      • There is also a subforma. They can wait. KP Botany 03:43, 11 March 2007 (UTC)