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Name of an orchidEdit

Hi Plantdrew.

Wondering if you can help me (but I realise you're busy). I was planning on creating an article for Neobenthamia gracilis. This is the accepted name in quite a few place. But WCSP is a notable departure. It has N. gracilis as a synonym of Polystachya neobenthamia. Wikispecies has followed this lead.

I don't need you to try and figure it out for me ... just wanted your opinion. Should an article be named P. neobenthamia, or Neobenthamia gracilis? Prime Lemur (talk) 14:55, 18 December 2018 (UTC)


the new year is treating you well - having suffered from kangaroo ticks at various parts of the anatomy at different times (not a pleasant experience) I am curious on your take of the south american slant of categorising of, is that just lazy pick a country any country as the plotting on seismic processing I did all those years ago, in your knowledge - or simply lack of adding the oz material? cheers JarrahTree 08:27, 1 January 2019 (UTC)

think I have answered my own question by observation - laziness... it was JarrahTree 08:35, 1 January 2019 (UTC)

Kermesia immaculataEdit

The broken link on CoL should point to The database is not particularly user friendly — you have to enter the scientific name and wait for it to offer a target — and it doesn't show the link to the result in the address bar (I had to guess it using the CoL link).   Jts1882 | talk  08:03, 10 January 2019 (UTC)

@Jts1882:, did you mean this message to go to somebody else? I haven't had anything to do with any Kermesia, so I'm not sure what you're trying to show me (unless it pertains to instability of CoL IDs that I mentioned at Template talk:Taxonbar). Plantdrew (talk) 19:18, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
There is a exasperated comment on your main user page about it. I don't know from when.   Jts1882 | talk  20:22, 10 January 2019 (UTC)
Oh, right. I wasn't turning up anything on here on for it. I know I have something on my page about some decent bot articles, but had no memory of what those specific articles were. Plantdrew (talk) 20:36, 10 January 2019 (UTC)

Blue squirrel (animal) listed at Redirects for discussionEdit

An editor has asked for a discussion to address the redirect Blue squirrel (animal). Since you had some involvement with the Blue squirrel (animal) redirect, you might want to participate in the redirect discussion if you have not already done so. -- Tavix (talk) 14:12, 14 January 2019 (UTC)


I thought at first you were wrong; IPNI has Nerine masonorum (but Gladiolus masoniorum). Practices seem to have changed with names ending in "n", but the ICNafp at 60C.1.b actually has the example "mason-iorum for Mason, father and daughter", so you were right, it should be Nerine masoniorum, since this seems to be a correctable wrong ending. Only "er" ending can now have the "i" omitted. I'll e-mail the IPNI. Peter coxhead (talk) 14:37, 16 January 2019 (UTC)

Well, you were the one that moved it to the current title in the first place, so you're second-guessing your own judgement if anything. Good that IPNI got it fixed. Plantdrew (talk) 18:13, 16 January 2019 (UTC)
Sigh... I'd forgotten that I had moved it; not sure why I didn't approach IPNI then. Anyway, Kanchi Gandhi, as usual, acted very swiftly! Peter coxhead (talk) 18:16, 16 January 2019 (UTC)

family moveEdit

your turn to demonstrate what should happens with the taxobox system, sorry, how does it play out when a higher taxon no longer needs the redirect from a commoner's name? cygnis insignis 16:52, 23 January 2019 (UTC)

@Cygnis insignis: Is this regarding Vespertilionidae? I already took care of that in this diff; it just needed to have the |link= use the scientific name directly rather than piping to the vernacular name. I also edited Template:Taxonomy/Vespertilionoidea (took me two edits because I screwed up the first one; the monotypic superfamily needs a piped link to the family, but it should be the scientific name rather than vernacular after the move). All the subordinate taxonomy templates (and the taxoboxes in articles) will eventually update the link, but it may take a few days (the update can be forced immediately via null edits to each genus taxonomy template, but I don't think that's worth the effort). I plan to check back in a few days and see what links to vesper bat remain. Plantdrew (talk) 17:15, 23 January 2019 (UTC)
Plantdrew, cheers, there is a lag then, and I looked for the template and kept landing at the nav box, probably missed the correct title in the links out. Getting the parent to link down is something I now know where to look for an example. Some, but not all, of the autoboxen will be refreshed as I edit them, I'll add a fact instead of null edits. Cheers again, cygnis insignis 17:25, 23 January 2019 (UTC)
Yeah, there were a bunch of navboxes (e.g. {{Vespertilionidae}}) that needed updating as well (and which may continue produce "What links here" results at "vesper bat" for a couple days). Plantdrew (talk) 18:00, 23 January 2019 (UTC)
And continue to include links to every other article in every article listed and categorised within, as I am so fond of pointing oot, and that will be out of date tomorrow. cygnis insignis 18:12, 23 January 2019 (UTC)

Your opinionEdit

Hi, would you be able to have a look at Dorotheantheae when you've got a bit of time? I'm not sure of what else to add as it's a hardly discussed tribe from what I can find (do you know of any tribe GAs or B-class articles that I could look at?). Also, it'd be great if you could verify whether I've used the correct botanical terms throughout. Cheers, Anarchyte (talk | work) 10:52, 31 January 2019 (UTC)

@Anarchyte: I'll look over Dorotheantheae. Tribes in general aren't very much discussed, you've chosen a rather challenging subject to write about (although you do at least have one really good reference). Most articles with high quality ratings are species, and there are very few above genus. Gilliesieae is the only tribe rated B or better, and Grevilleoideae is the only subfamily (although Allioideae is probably more deserving of a B than Grevilleoideae). There are a bunch of well developed articles for minor ranks (subgenus, series) in the genus Banksia; e.g. Banksia subg. Isostylis. Plantdrew (talk) 17:21, 31 January 2019 (UTC)

Automatic taxobox parametersEdit

Could you please just check Wikipedia talk:Automated taxobox system/Archive 1#Default taxobox name, if you haven't seen it.

I have a working version of {{Automatic taxobox}} in Lua. It ignores the "width" parameters. It also ignores |binomial2= to |binomial4=, because the parameter report shows they aren't used. Were they ever, as far as you know? What would they be used for? (The four range maps are used, with the caption parameters used to label them.) Peter coxhead (talk) 14:26, 1 February 2019 (UTC)

I'm still thinking about |name=, and will comment on it.
I want to say there was at one point a whale article using an automatic taxobox with |binomial2= that I converted back to a manual taxobox, but neither of the 2 whales now using binomial2 seem to have ever had an automatic taxobox. Maybe I'm misremembering, or maybe somebody else removed binomial2 from a 3rd whale sometime after I'd edited it.
|binomial2= is used for (in manual taxoboxes) articles covering two very closely related species (which may have recently been split from a single species). I don't think having a single article covering multiple species like that is a very good practice. But it might be appropriate in some cases. I don't know if you're aware of the ongoing mess with osprey (western osprey) and eastern osprey; it was recently split into two species on molecular evidence, but the (western) osprey article continues to include material about ospreys in Australia (which would be the other species). I think it will be difficult to find sources that use Pandion haliaetus in the new strict sense, so it will be quite difficult to write an article that's truly about western ospreys. |binomial2= might be a good way to deal with this for the time being (until there are more sources acknowledging the split and which are specifically about western ospreys). However, cases where binomial2 is appropriate will be very rare, and I think it's not worth supporting that parameter in automatic taxoboxes; where binomial2 is necessary, manual taxoboxes can be used.
I'm not very happy with the |range_map3= and |range_map4=. They're barely used, and make taxoboxes occupy a lot of screen real estate. It might be better to have multiple range maps in a gallery, or associated with sections discussing a particular subspecies. Multiple range maps aren't being used consistently right now anyway. Why does Alnus incana have range maps for 3 of the 6 subspecies mentioned in the article and a global map that recognizes 4 subspecies? Why does rock ptarmigan have close-up range maps for North America and Europe, but not for Asia? Eurasian three-toed woodpecker has a global map representing a different species circumscription, a Eurasian "close-up" (which doesn't really offer more detail than the global map), and a European close-up, and the 3 maps force the taxobox to vertically lengthen the article at the resolution I'm using. And why are we supporting more than 2 range maps, but not more than 2 images? I could see 3 images being useful for an overall picture of a tree, a close-up of a flower, and a close-up of a fruit (but then again, the 3rd image can just go into the article outside of the taxobox). Plantdrew (talk) 17:35, 1 February 2019 (UTC)
Bryde's whale also uses |binomial2=. Here the common name applies to several species, but not all the species in the genus.
I think the purpose of |range_map2=, |range_map3= and |range_map4= was to position a map under |binomial2=, |binomial3= and |binomial4=. It wasn't intended for people to add addition maps, although a second one can be useful. So I think support for |binomial2= and |range_map2= has utility. As the osprey example shows, it's sometimes difficult to dissect out the information relevant to a new species when split off from an existing one. A few cat species article splits might have been better handled if people had waited for new information. I also suspect in the early days of Wikipedia it was more common to have a genus article covering several species as well, rather than an article for each species, making the additional sections useful. If people want extra maps they can always add them after the taxobox like any other image.   Jts1882 | talk  18:09, 1 February 2019 (UTC)
I think you're right about multiple maps being intended for multiple binomials. Taxobox does position each map under each binomial when binomial2/range_map2 are present. I'd wondered why synonyms appear after range maps, but I guess that is a consequence of the decision to associate a range map with a binomial. Plantdrew (talk) 18:31, 1 February 2019 (UTC)
|type_species= and |type_strain= are displayed between the first binomial and the first map. I don't think that is desirable, as it dissociates the first map from the first binomial and the second binomial/map from the "Binomial name" section header. In practice though, there aren't any taxoboxes with the combination of parameters that would make this a problem. Plantdrew (talk) 18:36, 1 February 2019 (UTC)
Agreed, there is an issue there. The position of the subdivision can also be questioned as that might also be something to be associated with customised binomial/range maps. I assume the binomial/rangemaps and type sections were developed independently. They both work, but not together.   Jts1882 | talk  19:59, 1 February 2019 (UTC)
This issue is symptomatic of the situation with automated taxobox templates (and indeed the manual taxobox template) generally. What started off as a planned and coherent system has had bits tacked on and fixes applied resulting a muddle – code that is difficult to understand and maintain, and parameters with unclear uses. I see sorting it out as involving two stages:
  1. Convert the automated taxobox templates (and then {{Taxobox}}) to Lua, revising the parameters passed on to {{Taxobox/core}} at each step.
  2. When it's clear what makes up the complete set of parameters needed for all types of taxobox, convert {{Taxobox/core}} to Lua. At that stage the layout within taxoboxes can be discussed and changed if thought desirable.
Currently I'm working on (1). As noted above, this has thrown up two issues so far: handling the default for the name parameter, and whether the multiple binomial parameters are needed.
  • Since posting above, I've realized that the new {{Virusbox}} template uses the target taxon name as the default, not the page name. The underlying reason is that it was revived by Bob the Wikipedian from old code, and this was originally the default for all automated taxoboxes. It makes sense to me to leave it this way for viruses, because there are virus taxoboxes on pages about diseases caused by the virus, and because there are few if any non-ICTV (i.e. "common") names for viruses, so the articles are almost always at taxon names. On the other hand, for non-viruses, particularly groups like birds and mammals, many articles are at the English name, and this is used as the taxobox name, so using the page name as the default makes more sense.
  • The arguments for restricting range maps to two, as with images, seem sound to me. So if this is implemented, then before the Lua version of {{Automatic taxobox}} is made live, we need to fix the articles with more than two.
  • Whatever was originally intended, the extra binomial parameters are not actually used in association with range maps, so I remain in favour of removing them.
At some point, we need to try to have a wider discussion, but there seem few other editors interested at present. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:40, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

Missing taxon parameter in Automatic taxoboxesEdit

By the way, to avoid duplicate effort, I've been though the January list of articles with missing taxon parameter and fixed them. Any update to {{Automatic taxobox}} will have a tracking category for articles relying on the page name. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:16, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

@Peter coxhead:, I hate to break it to you, but you only did the first of 31 pages of missing taxon. The report shows 100 results per page, first sorted by article creation date, then sorted alphabetically (when template data error reports started up, it was strictly sorted alphabetically, so it would've been more obvious that there were additional pages when the first page didn't get past the As; I don't know why the sort order was changed). Most of the automatic taxoboxes that had an image_width were also missing a taxon parameter; I'd guess I added about 1000 taxon parameters in January while working through image_width. To avoid further duplicate effort, we should wait for the February report to come out and split the work up by page (e.g. you start with page 1, I start with page 10). Or we could see if somebody who uses AWB (i.e. Tom.Reding) will do it. Plantdrew (talk) 16:24, 2 February 2019 (UTC)
Ah, I was surprised there were so few! Sigh... Maybe it's better to wait until there's a tracking category, which will keep up-to-date better. Peter coxhead (talk) 18:31, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

Category:Automatic taxoboxes relying on page title is now live, and slowly filling up. Peter coxhead (talk) 15:31, 4 February 2019 (UTC)

Are these errors that need fixing? Trochozoa was the first example of an entirely parameterless automatic taxobox I have seen.   Jts1882 | talk  16:22, 4 February 2019 (UTC)
Yes and no. Yes, because relying on the page title isn't a good idea – it doesn't always work; it breaks if the page is moved; it's not self-documenting; it makes consistency and error checks more difficult; it offers bad examples to less experienced editors. A classic problem that arises is:
  • A less experienced editor converts a page with a title other than the taxon, e.g. the English name, to an automated taxobox, or creates a new page at such a title, copying the style of a taxobox without |taxon= from another article.
  • The message they get says the taxonomy template is missing, so they create it – at the page title, which is wrong.
There were many such taxonomy templates at one time.
Another issue is that sometimes the editor thinks they've specified the taxon, but have used the wrong parameter (e.g. |genus=) or used |Taxon= and they haven't realized it's been ignored in favour of the page name.
No, because it does work, so it's not urgent, but personally I'd like to get rid of such taxoboxes. We've done it for Speciesbox. Peter coxhead (talk) 18:52, 4 February 2019 (UTC)

Macrotermes natalensisEdit

Thanks for already doing a cleanup on this page. I had done some work before you but the page creator then came along and removed all the references and placed in some pretty poorly worded text. I've gone through and tidied up his/her most recent efforts but need someone with more expertise to check my wording for accuracy. Would you mind? (or know anyone else who could help me out). Cheers and Regards. Hughesdarren (talk) 23:13, 2 February 2019 (UTC)

Happened to see this, so I made a few edits. Peter coxhead (talk) 10:49, 3 February 2019 (UTC)
Cheers Hughesdarren (talk) 12:06, 3 February 2019 (UTC)

Higher plant classificationEdit

I've been bothered for some time about the imposition of the "eukaryote phylogeny" classification on plants, and your comment spurred me into action. I have now set up a consistent separate hierarchy using the "/Plantae" qualifier. See e.g. the taxobox at Pteridospermatophyta and the underlying taxonomy templates. I think we do need to make more use of variant taxonomy templates. Any taxon treated as a division should be placed in a kingdom – at least that's my view. Peter coxhead (talk) 21:43, 8 February 2019 (UTC)

Thanks Peter, looks good. I'm still puzzled by why we need/have four different taxonomy templates for embryophytes. Template:Taxonomy/Embryophyta and Template:Taxonomy/Embryophytes appear redundant to each other to me. Plantdrew (talk) 22:02, 8 February 2019 (UTC)
Yes, you're right; partly my changes of mind. I'll try to clean it up tomorrow. Part of the issue was the confusion I had/have over whether the title of the taxobox and the link value should match, i.e. should "Template:Taxonomy/Embryophyta" have |link=Embryophyte|Embryophytes or not. Peter coxhead (talk) 22:21, 8 February 2019 (UTC)


Hi. The Gorilla title is still italicized. How do you change it. LittleJerry (talk) 16:30, 10 February 2019 (UTC)

@LittleJerry:, you deleted "italic_title = no" from the taxobox when you changed the image there. Plantdrew (talk) 17:17, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
Oh, I didn't realize. I copy-pasted the taxbox. LittleJerry (talk) 19:08, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
Always good to have confirmation that |italic_title=no works, after my changes to {{Automatic taxobox}}.
Am I alone in finding the reference in the taxobox name odd? What is it supposed to reference? Peter coxhead (talk) 19:57, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
There are a fair number of mammal species articles that have an MSW reference with |name=. I think that is an excellent practice; the vernacular name should be referenced, and it's probably better to have the reference in the taxobox rather than right after the title of the page in the lead. I've come across a handful of mammal species articles that have an MSW reference associated with {{para|binomial}, which I've moved to |name= while converting to a speciesbox. However, an MSW reference of this sort on a genus article isn't really appropriate, as MSW doesn't assign vernacular names to genera. Plantdrew (talk) 20:38, 10 February 2019 (UTC)
Ah, right, I see now that it's supposed to reference the English name; I do strongly agree that English names should be referenced, as you know. But it shouldn't be on the genus article, we can agree. Peter coxhead (talk) 21:10, 10 February 2019 (UTC)

I have unreviewed a page you curatedEdit

Hi, I'm Boleyn. I wanted to let you know that I saw the page you reviewed, Saurauia latibractea, and have marked it as unpatrolled. If you have any questions, please ask them on my talk page. Thank you.

Message delivered via the Page Curation tool, on behalf of the reviewer.

Boleyn (talk) 21:50, 12 February 2019 (UTC)


to improve assessment in the Austraian biota project - it would be really great if you when add further material (and thank you for your effort when you do), that in WP:AGF you might find the few seconds to add a simple few extra parts to the talk page - an example being what I have just done with - so we are trying to encourage fellow biota adders to move beyond the solitary and very lonely biota=y, and actually progress to add the companion and the default to add the part biota-importance=low - which really helps - thanks for your understanding and help in this.. cheers JarrahTree 12:35, 15 February 2019 (UTC)

@JarrahTree:, I almost always include importance. I would like to say I always do, but you've found a case where I didn't. I must have copy-pasted the banners from somewhere else in that example, because I always type out {{WikiProject Australia}} rather than {{WP Australia}} if I'm doing the typing.
You asked about other regional biota projects a little while ago. I mentioned the one for Great Britain and Ireland. There's also Wikipedia:WikiProject Japan/Flora and fauna task force (and Wikipedia:WikiProject Pakistani biota which seems to have never gotten off the ground). Plantdrew (talk) 17:30, 15 February 2019 (UTC)
Thank you for your response - acknowledgement of the issue regardless of the response always helps! Yup you copied the shorthand free of assessment more than once... all the best and thanks for the intelligence on the other projects - cheers JarrahTree 23:27, 15 February 2019 (UTC)

LIst of the orchids of the Philippines listed at Redirects for discussionEdit

An editor has asked for a discussion to address the redirect LIst of the orchids of the Philippines. Since you had some involvement with the LIst of the orchids of the Philippines redirect, you might want to participate in the redirect discussion if you wish to do so. UnitedStatesian (talk) 13:34, 21 February 2019 (UTC)

LIst of bird species described in the 2000s listed at Redirects for discussionEdit

An editor has asked for a discussion to address the redirect LIst of bird species described in the 2000s. Since you had some involvement with the LIst of bird species described in the 2000s redirect, you might want to participate in the redirect discussion if you wish to do so. UnitedStatesian (talk) 13:36, 21 February 2019 (UTC)


I assume that this version is in error, and the link was supposed to match the title of template, i.e. Vaccinium sect. Myrtillus? I've changed it to this in the current version.

(I'm not sure whether you've seen it, but I've implemented checks on whether the taxon in the title of the taxonomy template 'matches' the link text. Cases that don't go into Category:Taxonomy templates with name and link text not matching. At first there were many false cases in the category, since 'matches' is tricky to program, because of qualifiers on the taxon name, disambiguating terms, italics added manually, double-quotes and "(?)" to show doubtful, etc. I've managed to prevent these appearing now, I think. There were the usual crop of straightforward errors, particularly typos, that meant the taxoboxes in the relevant articles were wrong – in some cases for years. Once I would have said "a surprising number of straightforward errors", but what we've learnt recently is that whenever checks are added to the automated taxobox system code, many error cases are revealed.) Peter coxhead (talk) 09:55, 23 February 2019 (UTC)

Yeah, some kind of mistake on my part there. I know the italics are automated now and had noticed you removing them. Previously, when italics were manually specified you were abbreviating the genus in plant section/subgenus templates. Apparently you're leaving the genus written out now? Is that due to the check for matching the title to the link text? My reason for writing out the genus was that I didn't think it should display an abbreviation in any article on the sections/subgenera themselves. I have no objection to showing an abbreviation in articles on species, but the system couldn't abbreviate in some instances, but not in others. Plantdrew (talk) 17:55, 23 February 2019 (UTC)
The match code handles abbreviated genera in taxonomy templates – Template:Taxonomy/Levenhookia sect. Coleostylis isn't put in the tracking category for example. However, I favour leaving the genus in full in the taxonomy template because it helps to check errors that I've seen such as where a series, say, has as the parent a section in another genus. What should happen is that the abbreviation should be done automatically in the taxobox, as happens for a species. The code that italicizes also handles abbreviation:
{{Taxon italics|Acacia sect. Acacia|abbreviated=yes}} → A. sect. Acacia
so it's just a matter of updating the taxobox code. I got rather bogged down and bored with coding the matching and then fixing the errors revealed in taxonomy templates, so I'm having a break from automated taxoboxes and have been working on actual articles, as I used to. :-) (Even then you now have to fix Wikidata to make the taxonbar work properly – it used to be simpler!) I'll fix the abbreviating soon. Peter coxhead (talk) 20:02, 23 February 2019 (UTC)


I've been moving species in Polygonoideae as per PoWO, not because it's necessarily right, but because for genera such as Reynoutria and Koenigia it does seem to be up-to-date with pretty solid molecular phylogeny – well, as solid as that ever is! I see that in some cases I'm moving articles back to where they were and where you'd fixed them for a previous move. Sigh... Peter coxhead (talk) 12:06, 1 March 2019 (UTC)

There are 11 articles in Polygonaceae still using manual taxoboxes. Most of them probably need to be moved to a currently accepted name (moving articles is not part of workflow when converting to automatic taxoboxes). Plantdrew (talk) 20:12, 1 March 2019 (UTC)

Advice soughtEdit

When sorting out some of the Polygonoideae species, I've quite often found homonyms – so many species were in Polygonum at one time that it's not surprising that they use most of the obvious epithets! An example is:

There was a redirect at Persicaria mitis to Persicaria maculosa, obviously referring to Persicaria mitis Delarbre. I replaced this with an article on Persicaria mitis (Schrank) Assenov (which may be an illegitimate name – see the article). We don't (ever?) have redirects at name+authority, so I'm not sure of the best way of managing plain "Persicaria mitis". Just a hatnote? A dab? An SIA? What do you think? (There are other examples ex Polygonum.) Peter coxhead (talk) 20:41, 1 March 2019 (UTC)

@Peter coxhead:, I don't know. I'm pretty sure we have examples of all of those (including name+authority). It's really only going to be an issue in the rare cases when an illegitimate homonym eclipses a legitimate name in visibility, right? Persicaria mitis was one of Joseph Laferriere's creations, and while he did a lot of good work, he didn't pay any attention to illeg. status before creating redirects. Plantdrew (talk) 03:15, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for your response.
(The status of the two Polygonum mite names was changed by conservation, as I've been told by Rafaël Govaerts, who seems to be the person to contact about the database that underlies PoWO. Unlike WCSP and IPNI, which update immediately, it seems that the web view of PoWO is separate from the underlying database, and only changes when an update is run. As of now the correct status of P. mite isn't in IPNI, although I have e-mailed them. So the illeg. status is the other way round to what I initially thought – or to be precise the originally legit. name is a nom. rej.)
I think it's an issue whenever a name that is technically illegitimate has actually been much more widely used than the legitimate one – and sometimes still is – and has not been conserved. This is not so uncommon with American species, in my experience, perhaps because of the historical use of "American rules".
On reflection, I'm inclined to go for a hatnote in future. Peter coxhead (talk) 08:58, 5 March 2019 (UTC)


Thanks Plantdrew, for responding to my page....Pvmoutside (talk) 03:02, 4 March 2019 (UTC)

Microbiology taxoboxesEdit

Hi Plantdrew, in your recent tidying up of Apicomplexan parasite taxoboxes, I see that you have been removing the "display parents" field that was included in order to show the domain. Without this, the highest rank shown is SAR (a taxa unknown to many), and not a major taxonomic rank. Most of the manual taxoboxes that I replaced also had the domain displayed as well. Could you pause for a bit and tell me your rationale here? 'Cheers, Loopy30 (talk) 03:57, 4 March 2019 (UTC)

There are a couple of interesting issues here (well, interesting to me!):
  • Why does Template:Taxonomy/SAR have |always_display=yes? I don't think it should have.
  • What we really want, I think, is that if (and only if) there's no kingdom/regnum rank in the taxonomic hierarchy, then the domain should be shown automatically. (I don't want to add "Domain: Eukaryota" to every animal, plant and fungus taxobox.)
The first point is fixable; the second is more tricky, but could be programmed if wanted. Peter coxhead (talk) 13:00, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
I agree that Eukaryota is not needed for animals, plants and fungi, but I think it should be shown for other groups. Are there any other Eukaryotic kingdoms used apart from those three? If not then the heirarchy search could just stop at kingdom.
I'm inclined to support the always display on SAR as it is one of the major supergroups. What needs fixing is the splitting of this group between SAR and Harosa (Cavalier-Smith's name for it) as at the moment we have the heterokonts under the latter (within Chromista) and the alveotates and rhizaria under SAR. We should use one or the other, not both with the subgroups split between them. But this brings us back to the discussion for the primary Eukaryote taxonomy reference.   Jts1882 | talk  14:31, 4 March 2019 (UTC)
Further, the heterokonts themselves are split. The Ocrophyta are under Heterokonta (in SAR), while the pseudofungi are under Heterokontophyta (under Chromalveolata and Bikonta) and others use manual taxoboxes (presumably because of the confusion).   Jts1882 | talk  14:39, 4 March 2019 (UTC)

Yes, I think that it is appropriate that "Domain: Eukaryota" should be added to the articles within the SAR supergroup. If this could be programmed to display automatically without having to use the "display parents"" field and showing all the intermediary ranks, then that would be great. I also agree that the SAR supergroup should continue to always be displayed in the taxobox. As far as the SAR/Harosa split mentioned above, it needs to be discussed further, but that discussion should probably take place at WT:WikiProject Microbiology, where the current state of eukaryotic microbe taxonomy has been described as a place where "anarchy reigns". Loopy30 (talk) 01:28, 5 March 2019 (UTC)

@Loopy30:, I'd be happy to have Eukaryota display for SAR articles (and all other non fungus/plant/animal eukaryotes), I just think having |display_parents= values of 10, 11, or 12 is a poor way to do that. I'm inclined to think that Diaphoretickes should not be displayed, but there's no way to skip it if the current template arrangement is kept and display_parents is used to get to Eukaryota. Another drawback of display_parents is that additional templates can be inserted into the middle of the current template tree, leaving the display_parents value insufficient to display the intended parent (or the template tree could be reduced, and then a given display_parents value overshoots). The solution with the current state of affairs is to use some combination of |always_display= and variant taxonomy templates (e.g. Template:Taxonomy/Archaeplastida/displayed) to get the important ranks/clades showing in different branches of the tree of life. I've pondered whether it might be possible to make the automatic taxobox system display all minor ranks up to the next major ranks automatically (so that it "knows" to display subtribe, tribe, subfamily on a genus article without needing to specify display_parents at all). Plantdrew (talk) 02:30, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
Yes, using display parents = 10 is a brute force method that could be improved with a more a elegant solution if the code could be amended as Peter Coxhead suggested above. Loopy30 (talk) 03:09, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
The underlying problem, it seems to me, is that the whole idea of showing a summary classification in a taxobox really only works well for Linnaean ranks, where there are clear principal (major) and non-principal (minor) ranks. Then |always_display= and |display_parents= are needed only for the odd exceptions. There was originally some code in the pre-Lua version that was supposed to show minor ranks in more-or-less the way that Plantdrew suggests above, but it never worked properly, partly because in most of the deep taxonomic hierarchies encoded in taxonomy templates, most taxa are clades, partly because some minor 'ranks', like series or section, are used so inconsistently across the tree of life (compare Template:Taxonomy/Quercus ser. Virentes with Template:Taxonomy/Erechthiinae), and partly because it wasn't coded correctly. At first I tried to reproduce it in the Lua version, but eventually I gave up.
The question is whether what we want, i.e. an intelligent summary of the classification, can be reduced to an algorithm, bearing in mind that it has to work for all the huge variety of taxonomy templates across the tree of life. (Just matching the link text to the taxon in the title of a taxonomy template took me days because of this variety.) Peter coxhead (talk) 09:33, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
@Jts1882: re the rank of kingdom, see this search. The issue is also that if you program it this way, as soon as anyone adds a taxonomy template to the hierarchy with |rank=regnum, it will stop further processing, which has knock-on effects (e.g. on determining taxobox colour).
How about simply making Animals, Plants and Fungi hard-coded exceptions which don't show any higher taxa, with the rest of the Eukaryotes showing the domain. It's unsatifactory from a systematic approach but accurately reflects the special status those three traditional kingdoms hold in biology. Alternatively, or is this the same, stop at a taxon that provides a colour for the taxobox.   Jts1882 | talk  12:53, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
My experiences lately have made me even more cautious than before about changing the underlying logic of the automated taxobox system, and using your invaluable system to look at some of the taxonomic hierarchies encoded in the system shows that some are even more tangled than I thought possible. Peter coxhead (talk) 09:41, 5 March 2019 (UTC)
Incidentally, I've been exploring some of these tangled hierarchies. The one that stands out is Angiosperms, which follows AGP IV strictly, at least down to order. I think I can guess why.   Jts1882 | talk  12:53, 5 March 2019 (UTC)

Reyesia draftEdit

Hello Plantdrew. Hope you're keeping well. Thank you for your recent additions to the page that I created for subfamily Cestroideae.

Could I ask you the favour of reviewing my recently-created page on the Solanaceous genus Reyesia ? I foolishly left it unreferenced for a couple of hours, only to find, on my return, that it had been banished to 'Drafts' by the slightly overzealous user Discospinster, before I had a chance to add the references I had ready and waiting. I understand drafts can languish in limbo for 8 weeks or more, before being reviewed, and the page is now, I think, just as serviceable as others of mine that you've kindly given the 'OK' to in the past.

In case you're too busy, I'm going to ask the similarly kindly-disposed Peter coxhead the same favour - happy if either of you were kind enough to oblige.

kind regards


  Done - as "clothes make the man", "refs make the article"! 'Cheers Loopy30 (talk) 15:51, 8 March 2019 (UTC)


try another one mate - you could have that for most of wikipedia (there is no emoji for irony on wikipedia - so this is of course in agf etc etc in the hope that no small sentient beings are hurt in the process etc etc)JarrahTree 23:43, 10 March 2019 (UTC)

not only that most of the 500k edits + creative editors (ie million edits or getting close) have never been near a talk page to put project tag or assessment of any sorts on in their entire editing life, how do you expect anything to be maintained? JarrahTree 23:57, 10 March 2019 (UTC)
Peter C - in all agf - please dont bother to reply on this lot, thanks. JarrahTree 00:03, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
Portal:Trees/Selected article has 9 articles (only two of which are better than C-class), and hasn't been edited since 2012. That is pathetic. Portal:Trees/Did you know hasn't had substantial edits since 2014. Portal:Trees/News has 6 items, and hasn't had any substantial edits since 2011 (except the addition of a now broken external link), and none of the news items are more recent than 2009. Wikinews:Girl killed by falling tree??? Sheesh, there have been hundreds of people killed by falling trees since 2005; why is the barely news-worthy item worth highlighting 14 years later? (Answer:Wikinews is moribund and may not have any more recent articles on deaths caused by trees). Portals should present interesting, actively curated content. It is a disservice to readers to have this outdated, boring, garbage portal spammed all over the place. Yes, there are many poorly maintained articles; editors efforts would be better spent maintaining articles, not portals forking content. If the exact same content in the portal were hosted anywhere other than Wikipedia, and presented as an External link in a random article on a tree species, would you even bat an eye if I removed it as an inapproriate external link? Plantdrew (talk) 00:59, 11 March 2019 (UTC)
Ta I understand now - very well explained and I understand from the explanation - thanks for answering - anything similar to that I would strongly endorse - go for it! JarrahTree 10:00, 11 March 2019 (UTC)

A toast sandwich for you!Edit

  Because you're pretty fresh BluePankow 20:58, 14 March 2019 (UTC)

Obsolete taxonEdit

Hi Plantdrew, would you see any objection to boldly merging the single sentence article Tetractinomorpha into the article Demosponge? Loopy30 (talk) 20:09, 21 March 2019 (UTC)

I wouldn't object to merging it somewhere. From a cursory skim through WoRMS, it looks like everything in Tetractinomorpha is now included in Heteroscleromorpha. I'm not familiar with sponge taxonomy at all, and am likely missing something, but it seems to me that Heteroscleromorpha might be a better target. Plantdrew (talk) 21:10, 21 March 2019 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply, I asked because you had edited the article previously and had noted then that it was a disused taxon. I agree that Heteroscleromorpha is perhaps a better target for the redirect. I was considering Demosponge as it mentioned Tetractinomorpha in its discussion of former classifications. 'Cheers, Loopy30 (talk) 12:14, 22 March 2019 (UTC)

Echinops (genus)Edit

A small, matter, but I moved the disambig link from Echinops (genus) to Echinops (tenrec). The main article of Echinops (without the genus tag) still goes to the plant genus. Now that Echinops (genus) has been moved, should that go away and be deleted, link to the plant article, or become a disambig page?. It now links to Echinops (tenrec) as that was where the page previously linked to... nothing really links to it now since the tenrec is monotypic....i'll leave it up to you to decide the best spot. I can't delete it if that is the best choice since i'm not an admin...…Pvmoutside (talk) 14:28, 29 March 2019 (UTC)

I think deletion would be the best outcome, but I'm not sure if that would happen. I'm going to redirect it to the plant for now and nominate for deletion. Plantdrew (talk) 17:55, 29 March 2019 (UTC)
Looks like Echinops (genus) will stay. I had another question about the title pages i'd ask you first before I started a larger discussion. I looked at pageviews for the plant and the animal. The animal has roughly 10 more looks per day than the plant (averaging 40 on the plant genus, 50 for the mammal. Should Echinops then become a disambig page for Echinops (plant) and Echinops (mammal) or Echinops (tenrec) since the pageviews are close in number?.....Pvmoutside (talk) 18:19, 30 March 2019 (UTC)
I'm OK with saying that there is (almost) never a primary topic when there are valid/accepted animal/plant genera that share a name. However, the plant does have some ornamental cultivars, so I think Echinops is more likely to be a search term used by gardeners looking for the plant than anybody searching for the animal by it's genus name (the first several pages of Google rsults are exclusively the plant). Plantdrew (talk) 20:47, 30 March 2019 (UTC)
Yes, the number of views of the page doesn't show the number of uses of different search terms. Peter coxhead (talk) 21:07, 30 March 2019 (UTC)
Thanks guys... I'll leave it linked to the plant....Pvmoutside (talk) 12:35, 31 March 2019 (UTC)

Mandragora questionEdit

I’m not quite sure how this works...I just created an account to ask one question.

I’m curious if you know whether Mandragora turcomanica is self fertile, and if so, if it’s self pollinating.


Replied on your talk page. Plantdrew (talk) 23:24, 29 March 2019 (UTC)

Crenadactylus ocellatusEdit

Cygnus insignus and I are having another discussion on the use of Engish names. He's left a comment on my talk page, and I've responded. Can you and Peter add your two cents? It would be appreciated....Pvmoutside (talk) 16:34, 8 April 2019 (UTC)

Speciesbox problemEdit

Howdy, thought I'd shoot this question your way, since you know your way round the automatix taxobox system... I was attempting to provide Palmeria scandens with a speciesbox, but something went wrong when creating the template for the genus Template:Taxonomy/Palmeria. I can't actually tell what the problem is, unless it's the article link (which is correct) - but the upshot is that a speciesbox at Palmeria scandens comes out truncated/malformed now (using a bare-bones syntax of "taxon="). Can you identify what the issue is here? It's not the first time I've run into this, and I'd like to be able to avoid it. Cheers --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 21:30, 12 April 2019 (UTC)

@Elmidae: Two things in the taxonomy template: You had for |link=Palmeria (plant) and not "Palmeria (plant)|Palmeria", and then you had some errant ref tags.
Umm. Thanks NessieVL [1]. For some reason I was sure that these tags are part of the template, and didn't mess with them. No idea how I managed to insert them. Well, senior moment. Much obliged :) --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 21:53, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
Oh, while I'm at it: monospecific genus article -> speciesbox rather than automatic taxobox for genus w/ type species? (Lophopotamon) --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 21:41, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
@Elmidae: It looks like you accidentally clicked on a button that inserts a reference; the template had "<ref></ref>" at the beginning, which was messing it up. Also note that the link line should have "Palmeria (plant)|Palmeria" in order to not have the disambiguating term shown in a taxobox. However, there is already a template for this genus {{Taxonomy/Palmeria (plant)}}. If a genus is disambiguated, before creating a template, I will check the disambiguation page to see whether there is another genus by the same name. If there is, I include the disambiguator in the template name. If there isn't another genus, I give the template the base title. Plantdrew (talk) 21:53, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
Monospecific genus articles usually use speciesbox. For WikiProject Dinosaurs and WikiProject Palaeontology, usage is mixed; some monospecific genera have an automatic taxobox with type species, others have speciesbox. For modern taxa, monospecific genera use speciesbox. Plantdrew (talk) 21:53, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
Ah-ha. Thanks; getting there. Should Template:Taxonomy/Palmeria be CSD'd as a duplicate? --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 21:57, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
@Elmidae:, yes please. G7 will get it deleted the fastest, but you can mention that it's a duplicate as well. Plantdrew (talk) 22:04, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
NessieVL had done the tag cleanup, so G7 probably no longer works. Logged as T3 (duplication), even if that may take a while. - Nessie, I switched the genus template at Palmeria scandens to the pre-existing {{Taxonomy/Palmeria (plant)}} and copied your talk page tags over - hope that's all right. --Elmidae (talk · contribs) 22:15, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
@Elmidae: I can dig it. --Nessie (talk) 22:22, 12 April 2019 (UTC)

Removing WP:Biology tag from new gastropod articlesEdit

Hey, I noticed you removed some of my Wikiproject tags. I'm not upset about it, but I am wondering why you have removed them. Are individual taxa outside the scope of the Biology Project? They don't have a scope section on their page, really. I've been pretty inclusive with the WP:Biology tag so I'd like to hear your opinion on it. My thoughts are that most of the daughter project articles should probably make it into the biology tag, as well as many tree of life projects. Maybe we should request that WP:BIO come up with a scope statement? Prometheus720 (talk) 21:30, 12 April 2019 (UTC)

@Prometheus720: there really aren't any species with a WikiProject Biology tag (there are a few higher taxa like plant and animal that have it). WikiProject Biology banners, in my view, ought to either go on articles that are very broad and fundamental concepts in biology, or on articles that don't fit into any of the subprojects. I think there could be a role for Biology as a meta-project; a place to discuss article issues that cut across subdisciplines, but Biology doesn't have a very active talk page. WikiProject Tree of Life functions very much as a meta-project; discussion is active there. Tree of Life banners are mostly placed on articles about taxonomy as a discipline, not individual taxa (there are a handful Tree of Life tags on taxa that don't fit well into any other subproject). Taxon articles are usually tagged with one Tree of Life subproject banner (or occasionally two when the closest subproject is very narrow in scope or not very active). A spider species will have a banner for WikiProject Spiders, but not WikiProject Arthropods, WikiProject Animals, WikiProject Tree of Life or WikiProject Biology. Plantdrew (talk) 22:01, 12 April 2019 (UTC)
That's fair. I will be a little more considerate about using the WP:Biology banner in the future but I don't see a reason I should go back and remove it from anything but taxon articles. I really do think it would be a Good Thing if it worked as a meta-project. So I guess I'm in the hopes that I can help recruit some people to the project and get it moving again. Maybe I'm a dreamer. Prometheus720 (talk) 16:19, 13 April 2019 (UTC)

Bad movesEdit

Hi, you've cleaned up after at least one bad move. See Wikipedia:Requested moves/Technical requests#Contested technical requests. Best to leave until the moves are reversed. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:24, 14 April 2019 (UTC)

Large hawk-cuckooEdit

Can you look at the species page.... It looks like the hider function for its nest hosts is interfering with the genus entry in the taxobox. Is there another way to fix it other than deleting the hider?.....Pvmoutside (talk) 11:56, 19 April 2019 (UTC)

@Pvmoutside:, {{Hider}} is poorly designed, was previously deleted, and was only used on 8 (now 7) pages. It should probably be deleted. I replaced it with {{Collapsible list}} for now which doesn't obscure any of the lines in the taxobox, but it still has the show button in the middle of the taxobox. I don't have time right now to mess around with it more, but I'd assume a different collapse template, or different settings with collapsible list would fix it. Plantdrew (talk) 14:20, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
Does the list need collapsing? It's not that long in in multiple columns wouldn't be oversized. Anyway, I've wrapped the collapsable list in a div set at 50%.   Jts1882 | talk  15:02, 19 April 2019 (UTC)
I agree that it should not be hidden; just set it in columns. See also MOS:DONTHIDE. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:52, 19 April 2019 (UTC)

Apricot speciesboxEdit

Could you add a speciesbox to the Apricot page, please? Thanks. --Zefr (talk) 14:12, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

@Zefr: I think the articles Prunus armeniaca (which is "the" apricot) and Apricot are confused/confusing. As currently written, Apricot doesn't correspond to any taxon, so how can it have a taxobox? Peter coxhead (talk) 15:52, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
Thanks, Peter. I don't know -- thought it would be best resolved by you or Plantdrew, if possible. --Zefr (talk) 15:57, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
Well, I'll leave it to Plantdrew to express a view, but I think there should be a single article about the edible fruit. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:10, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
I've avoided articles like these two, and ones like Mango / Mangifera indica / individual mango cultivars, because I find them too muddled even to begin sorting out. The hassle over the work I did on cultivated Musa was enough to put me off articles on edible fruit! Peter coxhead (talk) 16:38, 22 April 2019 (UTC)
I've got a list of a bunch of these. The others most in need of merging are: Starfruit/Averrhoa carambola, Passion fruit (fruit)/Passion fruit, Peach (fruit)/Peach. Sorting these out hasn't been a priority, but I am keeping them in mind to tackle someday. Plantdrew (talk) 03:16, 23 April 2019 (UTC)

A kitten for you!Edit

Keep up the good work User:Plantdrew. When you ask seashell stores if they have a seashell that you are looking for they go by the Latin name instead, since many seashells go by many different common names.

Catfurball (talk) 21:33, 22 April 2019 (UTC)

An issue with some WP Palaeontology articlesEdit

I'm not sure when you;re planning to run the next set of stats on automated taxobox usage, but I found over a thousand articles that have only the {{WikiProject Palaeontology}} talk template and not any of the taxon-specific wikiprojects. A big chunk of these ate Ediacaran biota that can not really be placed in a project other than {{WikiProject Tree of Life}} or maybe {{WikiProject Marine life}}, but most of them are synapsids, reptiles, or other organisms that could easily go in a WikiProject. I'm slogging through them, but just thought I'd loop you in. There's a similar issue with {{WikiProject Marine life}}. --Nessie (talk) 18:24, 23 April 2019 (UTC)

Hey, @Nessie, any time you find stuff like that feel free to send it my way as well. I'm just about done with the backlog of unassessed {{Wikiproject Biology}} articles and I really like this kind of work. I'm planning on doing a bit more sort of backend work like this until I feel a little more comfortable with making major article edits myself. So this stuff is right up my alley. I should be able to help with some of these in the near future! Prometheus720 (talk) 00:34, 24 April 2019 (UTC)
@Prometheus720: np. feel free to jump in. I did a similar backlog of pages with taxoboxes and no tree-of-life-related wikiprojects last year. Got it down to zero but it keeps popping up. I figure looping these into wikiprojects gets them tracked better and out of the cracks. --Nessie (talk) 02:15, 24 April 2019 (UTC)

Sorry, my internet is crap right now; will give more detail later. I'll run the stats again around July 1. I was aware there were articles with only a paleo tag. Some might be tricky stem group things (at what point is an amphibious "fish" clade Amphibia?). Some might lack a taxonomic category; double check that when tagging (IMO everything should have a "pure" taxonomic category, if there is a "Jurassic reptiles" cat there should also be a category more specific than reptiles with no time period).

Changes to Emydura victoriaeEdit

Heya Plantdrew,

I have recently been an author of a paper that changes the systematics and nomenclature of a number of turtles. I have summarised the changes to the species involved in the edits I have made on Wikispecies here. You will note there a number of diffs to assist. The paper in question is as follows:

  • Kehlmaier, C., Zhang, X., Georges, A., Campbell, P.D., Thomson, S., & Fritz, U. 2019. Mitogenomics of historical type specimens of Australasian turtles: clarification of taxonomic confusion and old mitochondrial introgression. Scientific Reports (2019) 9:5841 |

This paper is also relevant to a number of pages here on wikipedia however I am concerned about NPoV and OR so am wary of editing this all myself here as I was on Wikispecies where I brought attention to it in the Village Pump.

Several important changes include the separation of Emydura victoriae and Emydura australis a page you have edited in the past. Also the declaration of Chelodina oblonga as a nomen dubium. This required the resurrection of the younger name Chelodina rugosa. We also sank the subspecies Chelodina mccordi rotensis which is part of Chelodina mccordi this later I have already made some recent edits too. Including listing the above paper as a reference, as this was a less dramatic change I went ahead with this last one.

I personally do not think Emydura australis at this point warrants its own page, but it should be listed on the Emydura genus page as a valid taxon at least and separated out of the Emydura victoriae page.

Anyway the paper in question can be seen above from its DOI, it is open access, it can also be downloaded there as a pdf. Please let me know how you would prefer I proceed.

Cheers Scott Thomson (Faendalimas) talk 07:04, 24 April 2019 (UTC)

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