Proposed achievements of the Butterfly Taxome Project
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Achievement proposed % completion in 5 yrs
1 Complete species catalogue & visual information (synonymy, subspecies, authors, photos, diagrams, etc.) 99% 

(e.g. many existing lists, including the Lamas, Mielke, Robbins, & Callaghan lists for Neotropical species, about ½ worlds' total; Brian Pitkin and Paul Jenkins (BMNH) hav already produced a provisional synonymic list of genera for all Lepidoptera).

2 Make all this information available on WWW 
- see database fields below

(of information gathered)

3 Fund key revisions for poorly-known groups need data!!


4 Rejuvenate taxonomy in key world-class European museums ??
5 Molecular data for phylogeny 
- for 2000 genera
COI-COII - 2000 bp
EF1-alpha - 1260 bp
wingless - 370 bp
6Pgd or other? 
(need: fairly rapidly evolving,
coding for alignability,
sex-linked to avoid cloning)
approx. 1000 key genera will be covered (50% genera), 
some at species level

(95% of species).

e.g. Naomi Pierce's group and Niklas Wahlberg already have approx. 230 taxa (approx. genera) done for COI/COII, wingless, and EF-1-alpha. Significant inroads into Pieridae and Papilionidae also exist (Ward Watt, Felix Sperling, Japanese workers?)

6 Phylogenetic hypotheses and data genera 100%

(if lacking molec. data,
morphology usually
indicates sister relationships.)

species 50%

7 Life history information and pictures 50%

e.g. George Beccaloni's database, just published

8 Distribution data
Links to mapping projects as available


Fields of proposed web database

Family - author - reference
Subfamily - author - reference
Tribe - author - reference
Subtribe - author - reference
Genus - author - reference
Species - author - reference
Subspecies - author - reference
(Synonyms - author - reference for all of above)


Type specimens if possible
Need new pictures of many of these, for homogeneity - Expensive!
Necessary for Democratization
Distribution data
(ultimately, full data for each specimen recorded??!!, sex, whether a type and so on, linked to picture data if available; many groups are already engaged in such international cross-museum specimen database collaborations)
Life histories
Photographs, drawings
Host plants - e.g. Beccaloni at NHM
Photos of preparations?
Figures reproduced from publications where available
Publications and web links - taxonomy
List for each species
Facsimile original descriptions
Morphological data
Aligned character matrices for phylogeny (collab. with Treebase?)
DNA sequences
Genbank references?
Aligned data (collab. with Treebase?)
Collaborate with Tree of Life, recently rejuvenated with Java?
See above for aligned data
Distribution data
(ultimately, each specimen recorded??!!)
Concerns about data quality and curation

Communications and shared resources -- need multiple copies of websites?
Put sequence information in Genbank (see above)
Put morphological phylogeny information in TreeBase (see above)
Vouchers and/or wings/photos for each DNA/genitalic sample
    Use Niklas Wahlberg leg sampling strategy to preserve body?

Need coherent sampling strategy for DNA work

Choice of taxa
Choice of genes (see above)
Avoid redundancy between laboratories
DNA curation concerns
Freezers with backups in major museums?

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