Commons talk:WikiProject Tree of Life

From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository
Jump to: navigation, search


2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 (broken up into several subpages due to length), 2010, 2011, 2012


Fossil categories[edit]

For some reason the convention for images of fossils have become for example "fossil Dilophosaurus"[1], instead of simply "Dilophosaurus fossils". I'm not sure what the rationale for this is, I think the latter is more well formed, and it is also much easier to replace categories with hotcat, because you don't have to write a lot of stuff before a category turns up. Any thoughts? FunkMonk (talk) 14:04, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Same problem with for example "unidentified fossils of Reptilia", instead of simply "unidentified Reptilia fossils" or some such. FunkMonk (talk) 14:06, 24 September 2012 (UTC)
I agree, conceptually taxa or organisms can't be fossils. The rationale question is resolved by the taphonomy: Fossils are the preserved remains or traces of extinct organisms, while taxa are categories for the classification of all organisms (living and extinct), and organisms are living beings (now or in the past). Specialists often use "fossil taxon", but it is a conceptual impropriety. The extinct taxa or organisms of the past may not be fossils, they are not its own remains or traces. In other words, fossil is not a state that follows the extinction or death; making an analogy, we dont' talk about "the corpse Walt Disney" because he is dead, we talk about "the late Walt Disney". Then, for pictures of fossils should use "Dilophosaurus fossils" (as remains of Dilophosaurus) no "fossil Dilophosaurus" (as Dilophosaurus that are fossils). (Only exception may be ichnotaxa) --PePeEfe (talk) 10:53, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
I suspect the creator of the original fossil categories did not have English as his first language. Luckily, Abyssal has begun moving categories. FunkMonk (talk) 11:11, 15 February 2015 (UTC)
Not necessarily, in Spanish I have the same problem, many scholars mixed concepts of fossil and taxon. Thanks to Abyssal, which will have a huge work. Regards, --PePeEfe (talk) 11:34, 15 February 2015 (UTC)

{{Category redirect}} improvments[edit]

Hello my friends,
I added a new parameter |reason= to {{Category redirect}}
This to allow contributors to explain/justify the redirect.

If you look at {{Category redirect}} you will see that I created 3 templates that uses {{Category redirect}} but provide an automatic and translated reason for the 3 main cases in biology:

The last one can be complemented by a {{Single}} on the destination page.
Of course, all these template take usual biology parameters: source, source2, ref, accessdate.
Cheers Liné1 (talk) 11:08, 17 October 2012 (UTC)


We could use help of knowledgeable people at Commons:Bots/Work_requests#Move_images_to_specific_scientific_category_from_Category:Photos_by_Jason_Hollinger_.28uncategorized.29 --Jarekt (talk) 15:42, 11 February 2013 (UTC)

Collaboration with Project Noah?[edit]

Hi, I've quite often stumbled over "Project Noah" (, and always asked myself, why there is no collaboration between Wikipedia and Project Noah. Since they are trying to document/photograph as many life-forms as possible, and Wikipedia is basically doing the same, only more in written form, it seems only logical to share information. So I wrote an email to project Noah and indeed they would in general be interested to collaborate:

 Hi Simon,
 we would be excited to collaborate with Wikipedia & are happy to share data
 & photographs from Project Noah on the basis that both the photographer and are attributed.
 If you are involved with Wiki & could broker an introduction for us that
 would be appreciated.
 Kind regards
 Karen Loughrey

My question now is, if Wikipedia indeed is interested in such a collaboration (and if it's possible under the terms that Karen stated?) or is it just me thinking that's a good idea? And who would actually be the decision maker for such things here in Wikipedia? Cheers --Rockwurm (talk) 08:03, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Hi, we are here in Commons, not Wikipedia, and policies are rather different :) Commons just uploads images and their associated metadata, and it is fairly liberal in what it is willing to import. Project noah images seem nice - though it would be even better if you could get higher-resolution versions that those publically available.
I am not sure about the license though. The suggested terms of use are pretty much in line with commonly used licenses like Cc-by-3.0, but those license are irrevocable, and photographer will no longer have the right to delete their images. U am not sure Noah is in position to accept that without the written content of its users. At least, that does not really seem to fit with its terms of use: "By contributing to the site, you are granting us a non-exclusive license to use your content. Your content will always remain yours and you can delete it at any time. Back-up copies may remain in our databases for quite some time, but will not be accessible to the public." If you can see about that, we can then work out the technical details and request a batch upload. --Zolo (talk) 08:59, 8 April 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the quick answer :)

I wrote Project Noah with the new info in mind, asking if it would be possible for them to let their users decide whether or not they want to publish their pictures under commons. Let's wait and see...--Rockwurm (talk) 14:54, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

Yes if their images were distributed under compatible license than we could copy them here. At the same time, they can copy any of the images from here to there, as long as they retain proper license, attribution and linking (we can help there). --Jarekt (talk) 15:29, 8 April 2013 (UTC)

I received answer from Project Noah. They decided that they would not be able to provide a platform for uploads to Wikimedia. BUT they would very much like to recommend to their users to also upload their pictures on Wikimedia. And for this they are asking for a "short list of what a Project Noah user would need to do in order to submit their photo to Wikipedia and we can share that with our users. In fact, it would make for a great feature for the Project Noah blog." So my question is, is there a step-by-step guidance for uploading files to Wikimedia that I can forward to Project Noah?! Cheers,--Rockwurm (talk) 03:56, 15 April 2013 (UTC)

I think the current version of the Upload wizard is the clearest thing we have, and is the default import page for English users for some reason, it does not seem to be the case in German). Commons:Commonist may also be of use for those who wish to import many files at once, but I think new users should have a first try with the Upload wizard first.
The main pitfall is copyright issues. That should be a major problem for self-made natural life photos, but if there are questions, they can always ask at the Village Pump. --Zolo (talk) 06:22, 16 April 2013 (UTC)


Category:Asclepiadaceae has been reclassified as subfamily of Apocynaceae---[edit]

...please fix the subcats out. See en:Asclepiadoideae for info. --Pitke (talk) 20:14, 25 April 2013 (UTC)


There are four tomato-related categories which I suspect could be consolidated into two categories:

Am I right in concluding that Solanum lycopersicum var. lycopersicum and Tomatoes of the United States should be converted into redirects? 01:02, 23 November 2013 (UTC)

Yes, merge the first two, under the first name. Pics of harvested fruit (I see there are some in the cat.) should be moved to Category:Tomatoes or subcats thereof. - MPF (talk) 19:30, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
The second two should remain separate, with plants in Category:Solanum lycopersicum in the United States, and harvested fruit in Category:Tomatoes of the United States; they should be categorised under Category:Solanum lycopersicum by country and Category:Tomatoes, respectively. Borderline cases: foliage and fruit together -> Category:Solanum lycopersicum in the United States, fruit on stems but without leaves -> Category:Tomatoes of the United States. Hope this helps! - MPF (talk) 19:30, 2 December 2013 (UTC)
Done - MPF (talk) 20:34, 2 December 2013 (UTC)

11,000 unsorted biology images at Category:Uploaded by Amada44 (unsorted)[edit]

There is a treasure trove (11,000+) of unsorted but well labeled images at Category:Uploaded by Amada44 (unsorted), which appears dominated by photos of insects, plants, and vertebrates. I've been chipping away at it using Cat-a-lot, (moving images out of the unsorted category and into a genus or species category) and any additional help would be welcome. Due to the shear number of files, perhaps a bot-assisted move could be implemented, since species names are in many cases present in the file name, but I'm less knowledgeable about bot-requests. Cheers! Animalparty (talk) 18:56, 12 March 2015 (UTC)

Need for an "ID please" page for unidentified organisms[edit]

Hi all, I think we need a page for identifying unidentified organisms, including plants and fungi. It seems currently this project is not very active in Commons. So what I do usually is to post at relevant English Wikipedia (not my home wiki; but the only language I can write well other than Malayalam) projects like Wikipedia:WikiProject Plants. It works in most cases; but I hope many other language wikis like German and French wikis also have such projects. Unfortunately I can't participate there due to the language barriers. I wonder why we can't handle such requests here as we host most media here. We can make a community of all experts around the world here than in various language wikis.

Note that we decline a lot of images in COM:QI and COM:FP because they are not sufficiently identified. So currently people depend off-wiki forums like Facebook and Flickr groups and other sites. This is somehow drastically affect the smooth flow of images to Commons/wikis too.

I would like to hear you opinion. Pinging a few people I already know: @Shyamal, Invertzoo, Sminthopsis84: @CorinneSD, Bugboy52.40, AshLin: @Notafly, Dyanega, Dysmachus: @MPF, Archaeodontosaurus, Wsiegmund:... I would like to bring the attention of some crats like 99of9 and Odder too to know how this can be worked out with more community support. Jee 13:38, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

There just aren't as many morphology "experts" on Commons as on for example English Wiki. Most people here are into the taxonomy/categorisation end of biology. It would probably be most successful to have such a section on Wik projects at Wikipedia. I suggested such at the bird project a while back:[2] FunkMonk (talk) 13:53, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks FunkMonk for your opinion. But if there are some experts in some wikis, why not we can bring them to Commons? It may be difficult for a French speaking person to post at EN wiki and vice versa. Jee 15:54, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
Well, what will make them come to Commons? People usually notice such ID requests because they have a certain talk page on their watchlist. If the users don't visit Commons often, they'll not see edits here. I'm not against an ID page, but what would make it different from all the Category:Unidentified organisms categories? FunkMonk (talk) 16:02, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
I think there is a difference. When people add an image to a relevant unidentified category, they only expect the ID at some point of time, perhaps, after a long time. But when someone made a request in a talk page of a project, they expect the ID soon. It is something like posting a reminder in EN FPC talk. It expects an immediate attention. Jee 16:14, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
I think you can go ahead and make such a page (the idea is good, even if it doesn't get used), but remember to make it visible on the project page, and perhaps from the unidentified organisms parent categories... FunkMonk (talk) 16:19, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Just a comment that I don't think alerting specialists that an immediate identification is needed would get an enthusiastic response. Many photos are simply unidentifiable, and it is often not possible in general to identify the individual species within a genus. It is overwhelming to see that category Unidentified plants‎ has 24 C, 1 P, 2597 F. I, for one, don't have sufficient energy to take on such a task. I do sometimes check a smallish category of plants that I know well, but then sometimes get into arguments with the original uploader ... Sorry. It is actually quite irritating that too many photographers in botanical gardens just photograph the plants and discard the identification information; it is particularly difficult to identify plants from a collection of rare plants, such as one finds in botanical gardens. The "taxonomic impediment" is large when it comes to random photos. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 17:25, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

Even worse, when (as happens far too often!) no location is given at all . . . MPF (talk) 23:05, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
If the photos were organized in a different way, I think it could help a lot. An identification like "Unidentified Agathis" is really quite good, and I think it unlikely that anyone would ever get around to looking to see if they could figure out which species such a photo belongs to. There are a number of photos that probably belong in "unidentifiable" rather than "unidentified" categories (e.g., this). If I looked at category:Unidentified organisms and saw a subcat "algae unidentified to family", or "chlorophyta unidentified to genus", I would be more likely to look than if I knew that many would already have been identified as well as could be expected. Sminthopsis84 (talk) 17:43, 24 July 2015 (UTC)
It seems a good suggestion. I'll try to create "unidentified <genus>" for photographs identified to genus level. Jee 02:02, 25 July 2015 (UTC)

One thing that would be very useful is a mechanism to sort category contents by date of addition to the category, so one can look at recent additions separate from the unidentifiable ones that have been there for years - that, more than anything, stops me looking through Category:Unidentified plants‎, searching through the 2597 files for the new ones you've not looked at before. - MPF (talk) 23:05, 24 July 2015 (UTC)

I think it works if we specify dates while adding that category into files. Jee 02:15, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
I added date as sort key here and here. They came first at [3] and [4]. There may be better logic exists; hope Bawolff or Rillke can help. Jee 02:40, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
i wanted to add a category sort by date after zhcollation landed, but that never happened... we have support for sorting by date in the backend, but no interface for it. You can get date ordered category members from the api. Bawolff (talk) 13:42, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Sminthopsis84 and MPF for your comments. When I'm requesting an ID I do not meant a species level ID is must. Recently Dysmachus identified most of my robber flies to genus level which is the maximum possibility from photographs.
But one limitation of out category system is that when I add a genus to my photograph, some people remove it and add it back to "unidentified <order>'" which contains thousands of unidentified organisms.
I agree with both of you about the lack of information in photographs. I came to know that photographs of leaves are useful along with flowers to identify a plant. Similarly focus on some parts like anal appendages is necessary to identify odonata. Geolocation is important to identify the habitat. If experts can prepare a guideline about the requirements, I think it will be very helpful to the photographers. Jee 01:23, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Pictogram voting info.svg Info See here for help in french. Very useful and quick answers by scientists.--Jebulon (talk) 08:21, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Jebulon. And another reason for me to learn French. :) Jee 08:28, 25 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Thank you to Jee who always asks good questions. This is very complex. Because the interests of each other are not converging. It is a absolutely certain that we store in COMMONS large quantities of unusable image, which for most will never be useful. If we make an effort, it is in a pedagogical sense that it would be most useful. If we give the identification he will knew the caption and will forget immediately. There must have a minimum of effort on the part of the author of the photograph. In the seeking for himself he will glimpse the complexity of the taxonomy. And maybe he will be more interested in what he has photographed; and how he has to make images that are meaningful and useful. It is better to train a small number of photographer that sort thousands of photographs. --Archaeodontosaurus (talk) 08:06, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
It should be noted that there is quite a difference between identifying pictures taken in nature, and pictures taken at zoos, museums, gardens, etc. In the former category, it is almost impossible for non-experts to identify to species level, but in the latter, the photos can be cross-checked with other photos from the same institutions, or with inventory lists. I've done that myself with dozens of unlabelled fossil photos, many of which proved to show very unique specimens. FunkMonk (talk) 08:10, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Actually, the reverse is normally the case. With organisms in the wild, if one has location data, it is usually easy to restrict the possible alternatives to just the one or at most very few similar species that occur there. Conversely, a picture from a zoo or garden is effectively the same as a picture with no location data, as the organism involved can be imported to the site from anywhere. Additionally, an alarmingly high proportion of such inmates are misidentified or wrongly labelled, or are of unknown or even hybrid origin. Most professional taxonomists will point out that captive plants or animals (and therefore also photos of them) are pretty much worthless, unless they are very well documented as to their wild source. - MPF (talk) 09:45, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
With the increasing use of DNA analysis on zoo animals, that concern is steadily diminishing, see for example the photos I added to West African crocodile[5], of specimens formerly identified as nile crocodiles. FunkMonk (talk) 10:16, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Though it'll be a very long time till that process is complete, the more so with plants ;-) MPF (talk) 13:06, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes; I had experienced several times how experts filter out species based on the location of natural habitat. Jee 13:50, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
I know it is being done to other captive animal populations at least, for example, there's currently a project that aims to identify captive chimpanzee populations to subspecies to prevent future cross-breeding (and identify hybrids). I think we'll see a lot more of this being done in zoos at least. FunkMonk (talk) 14:05, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
It is good if the zoo authorities can maintain data and photographers take time to collect it from them. It will be easier than simply adding photos here and our experts need to identify them based on photographs if a better resource already available. But as MPF commented, location data may not be very useful for zoo animals as the zoo is not their natural habitat. But there may be some other uses for the photographs from zoos. (Personally I'm not a fan of zoo photography; but I agree, there are other people like it.) Jee 14:14, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
(Edit conflict) Thanks Archaeodontosaurus. So what we can do now? I think it will be useful, if can prepare a guideline on how to photograph, name, categorize, describe, etc. while uploading photographs or organisms. For example, an artistic view of an organism may not be the best view for educational use. If we can setup a team of amateurs under the guideline of experts (per your comments above), we may speed up sorting out the big queue of unidentified organisms. More thoughts?
FunkMonk, it may be difficult. But in my experience (I'm not an expert), I can solve some cases from my geo location. Jee 08:23, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
In the collective approach one thing seems to me quite easy to do this is to ask newcomers to care for their captions. If we had good location many things would be easier to identify. Otherwise it is difficult. All who have spoken here are dedicated people, and no one ever refused an identification request made to him. It is useful for a newcomer, to identify an "old" and go to him for questioning. Those who made this approach became good contributors. If the newcomer remains passive putting in a category photograph and what awaits is identified, there is little chance he progresses. Our true richness is not, photograph, but the photographer.--Archaeodontosaurus (talk) 17:04, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
The problem is that most individual uploaders just do "drive by uploads" of many images, and are never seen again afterwards. And most of these don't read the policies and guidelines hidden away on various pages before they upload, so such outreach will have little effect. FunkMonk (talk) 20:34, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
... or add loads of pics from Flickr which are equally lacking in useful data ;-) MPF (talk) 22:55, 26 July 2015 (UTC)
"Our true richness is not, photograph, but the photographer." Archaeodontosaurus, this is a great, wonderful, and appreciative thought compared to some people's attitude in Commons who only care photographs; not the people behind them.
I agree with FunkMonk and MPF that some people don't care our policies and advises. But it is not true at least for the COM:QIC participants. I experienced that most people there are willing to learn. The only thing lacking here is that they are not well guided. And they need to post in their local Wikipedia or external sites to get their subjects identified. It is stopping block for many photographers who are not subject experts. Jee 02:25, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
  • As well for the VN template maybe we can make a template for the all the categories and galleries, that relate to the living world (plants, animals...), with a text that says something like that :
    "Thank you for visiting this page, if your intention is to upload images for this category thank you to indicate in the file description the most accurate possible information on the location where the photo was taken, even the geolocation if possible. This is so that experts can identify species or subspecies represented. This information may also be useful for people trying to illustrate an article about the flora and fauna of a specific locations.".
    A kindly sentence in uploading tools like the Upload Wizard just above the description field could help too. -- Christian Ferrer 11:46, 27 July 2015 (UTC)
Just to add to the discussion, I think just adding identifications is not enough - in many cases it helps if the method of identification is indicated - when I get images identified on specialist forums, I include a link to the discussion and indicate the person responsible for the determination - it makes an enormous difference to other researchers who need to establish confidence in the identification. In some cases the species may be determined from a specimen and based on dissections but the image itself may not have the features needed for the identifications and in some other cases one may identify on the basis of one field-guide or key and that determination may be in conflict with what another key might have to say. So an ideal a good-practice could be to indicate 1) determined by [Self|Expert name|Discussion link] based on [photograph|specimen|in field observation|accompanying expert|identification per specimen label] - in the case of [self] - based on [personal knowledge|name of book|published key]. When specimens are identified from photograph to genus level or family level, it often means that it cannot be identified any further without access to the specimen and the value of marking it in category:unidentified genusX is questionable - perhaps unidentifiable_genusX would be more accurate. Shyamal (talk) 04:57, 28 July 2015 (UTC)
Thanks Shyamal for your wise comment. I made an attempt here. Jee 05:49, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Hi, Jee if you were good enough in German language, I would recommend de:Wikipedia:Redaktion Biologie/Bestimmung as they are good in such cases, but for Commons it is much more difficult as here are simply not enough people who do this kind of work.

I would add the template, which tells, what we want to know, to the unidentified species categories. (Category:Unidentified organisms and subcategories) and I think that it is a good idea to have room in the template to ask for other relevant information too. Geolocation is always interesting, as it is possible to look which species a zoo has, which specimens a museum has and which species live wild or as invasicve species there. Old scientific names are always interesting too, as I can find the actual name with Google in scientific texts in the web. Other information is specific for some taxonomic groups as for example the wing venation is relevant in many insects. --Kersti (talk) 15:56, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

Thanks Kersti for the suggestion and link. But unfortunately, I can't type German or French even though read with the help of a translator. I don't think typing in English (which is also not my native language but I can live with it) in those wikis are appreciated. But in Commons, as this is a multilingual project, we can use any language. This is an additional advantage of Commons. Jee 03:10, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

<== Just a few thoughts/observations: I strongly support the installation of a "Please Identify" place on commons (as opposed to on the various wikis), but imho it should be organized as such that it functions only as an index to the images to be identified and the actual identification-discussion should always be on the talk page for the image itself (or on the first/main image of a series), not in any "identification" topic. Also, we could/should invite the other "please identify" projects on the various wikis to handle things this way from now on. They can keep their topics as an index to which images are being requested for ID, but move the answers/discussion to the talk pages with the images as this simply is where the discussion should always be. It is utterly silly to have images here with an interesting ID-discussion elsewhere that no one will even find again, especially as these discussions will later be moved around to archives etc etc. Let's try to persuade all projects to have their discussions (in whatever language they prefer!!) on the talk pages with the actual images as this is the only way that image and discussion will be held together for future reference!

As suggested by someone above, and in many discussions on various talk pages (mine, for one) before, commons needs to put a system for "trusted identification" in place. I have had discussions when suggesting a name change on an image, saying that I should prove my case, whereas the name provided by the uploader is not challenged in any way. That is downright silly. You either believe/trust anyone (and get poor ID quality - as is the case now) or you put a system in place that indicates who did the ID and how. Thought might be given to applying "trust levels" to certain experts, but I'm not a great fan of that because it would trigger endless discussions like "why don't you trust me same as mrs. X, boohoo"

I think the best way to go about it might be something like this: Treat images of life forms the same way you would treat specimen in a collection. Meaning:

1: Every image should carry a "collection data" tag that indicates standard things such as: Location; Date; Collector (=photographer/author); and probably some more Special circumstances. Technically this could be a template that should be treated as required input when uploading life form images. This should be made mandatory through various upload templates.

2: Name "tags" should be used to provide identifications and old name tags should be kept for historic reference. The first such name tag would be the preliminary ID provided by the uploader at the time of upload - also a mandatory template to fill in at upload time. There should be no restrictions on the level of ID and it may well boil down to "unidentified animal" or whatever. Crucial is that it contains the suggested ID, name of the identifier (autocompleted as uploader/user) and technique used for identification etc. Subsequent ID-(sugestion)s should be added in the form of additional name tags (most recent name tag first on page), also containing (best possible) ID, name of identifier, method/reason etc. The top level name tag should normally be the most adequate. Each name tag should also contain an indicator of "trustworthiness" according to the person providing the name tag. Trustworthiness is further regulated by people putting their name (or nick) to shame with wrong or overly "precise" IDs or some such.

When discussion arises this should be taken to the talk page, which of course is easily found with the image itself. Not somewhere else. Procedure something like: X adds a new name tag. Y comes along and disagrees (which is different from "improving preciseness"). If Y is really sure he/she just adds a new name tag (if not a question is posted on the talk page with the image and X is notified of this and invited to answer the question there). If Y has added a new name tag and X disagrees, X does not add a new tag with the previous ID (or remove the tag provided by Y) but now X starts a discussion on the talk page and invites Y to explain/defend. If they come to a mutual agreement the name tag corresponding to this is moved to top or a new one is created if called for. If disagreement persists it would be advisable to seek advice from a more renowned expert or if both X and Y are leading experts for the group a special "Identification disputed" template is put above the last name tags by X and Y (I strongly doubt that this situation would ever occur with true experts).

Links to external discussions providing the ID should be okay as an "ID mechanism" but as much info/detail from the original discussion as (legally) possible should be copied from the original source (to the talk page for example) as original sources tend to disappear over time (same as discussions on other wikipedia projects).

Well, something along those lines anyway. Crucial main idea: always keep all discussion-history about the ID bound to the image either by having it on the page (history) or on the talk page (history). My 2ct. for now Pudding4brains (talk) 22:28, 28 July 2015 (UTC)

I like the idea of keeping discussion on file talk. We can also link ID discussions at talk or description if discussion is carried out off Commons (in another wiki or an external site). Jee 03:10, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Yes, I'm not too wiki-savvy but I was also wondering if it would be possible to have the discussion "physically" on the image talk page, but then bring it back in some "embedded" way to the old discussion pages on the wikis? Cheers, Pudding4brains (talk) 07:54, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I'm not sure whether I understand your question properly. It is possible to continue the discussion either in file talk or in another place and link them for future reference. Jee 08:06, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
That would be my "less than perfect" 2nd choice option. I would have prefered to have the explanation on the talk page with the image and a mere invitation to explain there on your talk page. In the past I have not applied this myself neither, but thinking about it now, that should clearly be the way to go.
The page we create for "ID please" or "ID-discussion" or whatever, imho should be a page that is entirely built of embedded image talk pages or some such of the relevant image pages. See my remark below in response to Kersti. Pudding4brains (talk) 11:33, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

I would solve this problem in the following way:

  1. make up a page Commons:Identification of organims
  2. make up a guideline that every ID-diskussion concerning an organism schould be transferred to its own subpage of Commons:Identification of organims, like Commons:Identification of organims/File:xxx.png (It is possible to include the subpage like a template whereever you wish, like this [[:Commons:Identification of organims/File:xxx.png]])
  3. add a template Template:Identification of organims, which categorice the subpages in a category Category:Identification of organims and links them to the guideline.
  4. notify at relevant places (diskussion pages, file talk, Commons:Identification of organims) via template, that and where the diskussion takes place

--Kersti (talk) 08:41, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

Good idea and I will support it. We can add a button like this so that people can create a page with file name easily. But we need to ensure guaranteed support/participation of subject experts who are not so active in Commons now. We need to bring them from various wikis. Jee 10:35, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I would very much prefer to have the subpages/embedding work in such a way that the discussion is physically on a subpage of the image page (such as the talk page) and that this content is embedded as an template on whatever discussion page or rather maybe "index to discussions" page that we choose to create. I will try to create a clumsy example for this for discussion shortly, but as stated I'm not very adequate with templating and other wiki-coding stuff. Cheers Pudding4brains (talk) 11:33, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Make a try, please. When we can agree on a format, I think it is not much difficult to ask for help from the code experts. Jee 12:15, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

<== Very Q&D and obviously this should be templated as opposed to repeat hardcoding, designed differently (lay out) and coded such that empty talk pages are handled better etc. etc. I'll refine some of that later (tonight?). This is just to show how a general "ID-discussion" page might be created, while keeping all discussion on the image talk page itself and thus permanently bound to the image. So have a first look here: ID-requests_Tst-1, Cheers, Pudding4brains (talk) 12:44, 29 July 2015 (UTC)

For some times, months ago, I spent a lot of time with Category:Unidentified plants. In many cases it is not too difficult to add a family or genus category. Moreover, adding a country category as "Category:Unidentified plants in XXX", in my opinion also is important, as such categories may attract people with special knowledge of the flora of a certain country. Anyway, a quick identification to species level, for my part is only possible for (Central) European plants. Other experts also will only be familiar with the plants or animals of "their" region, or with certain taxonomic groups. And for the rest of the world you have to consult some identification literature.
After some time, it ceased to be fun, as usually there is not much positive feedback, and the enormous amount of unidentified photos keeps growing. So, in my opinion, the most important reasons to have such an "ID please" page, are two: (1) To provide a focal point for everyone who is interested in the name of the organisms he had taken a photo. (2) Building a community of experts who are willing to contribute in identification work. For the second point, in my opinion, it is important to have the ID discussions at only one place, which easily can be added to a watchlist. (Or, maybe later, we may create subpages for important taxonomic groups or large regions, e.g. "North America" or "Tropical Asia".) If it will be organised as proposed by @Pudding4brains: and @Kersti Nebelsiek:, the discussions on certain images will be each at a separate (sub)page, and it is very likely that interested experts will not put all these pages to their watchlist and will miss (important) parts of the discussion. I expect, that this will result in a situation where activity will stay low. This is especially important here at Commons, as most of the experts will not have Commons as their home wiki. So, a casual visiting expert would miss most of the discussions, if these are dislocated at unwatched (sub)pages. My experience with putting comments on identification to a certain image talk page, is disappointing. Usually there is no reaction. If you put an image on your watchlist, you usually only receive notification of bot actions. On the other hand, of course it is necessary to have some link from the image to the respective talk. However, in my opinion, it is much better to put a link from the image talk page to the archived discussion. Moreover, often there is a series of photos of the same organism which have to be discussed together in one common talk. Even in a case like this photo it would work, if the ID discussions are archived somewhere. It was easy here to find the old ID discussion at by usage of the photo ad this place. That's not a solution I want to promote, however. I propose to have an central archive of ID talks and putting links from image talk pages to the respecitve section of the archive. I suppose, archiving and actualising these archive links can be done by bots. --Franz Xaver (talk) 13:56, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Hi @Franz Xaver:, did you look at the example page I created? Imagine the German page de:Wikipedia:WikiProjekt_Lebewesen/Bestimmung to be organized in a similar way. This would keep all those German discussions in one place, same as now, but the actual discussion/data is stored on the image talk pages and can always be easily found when you access the image (on it's talk page) - not just for people who know about the German "Bestimmung" page. This way there is no way of "forgetting" to link to the Bestimmung-discussion which will imho always happen when you have the discussion somewhere else. (Edit: And do remember that such discussions will be moved to archives, thereby invalidating the links that were added to the image talk page ah okay - I see the "File usage on other wikis" section on the image files has improved since a few years back :o).
So, yes I agree with some of your points, but if it is handled this way you can still create whatever regional or taxonomic subdiscussion that you wish for (such as having an "ID-please" page that only treats central European flora or some such), while at the same time keeping any actual discussion with the image(s) itself.
Yes I also think that if you wish to invite experts you would need to very quickly split things up from an general "ID-discussion" index into indexes for, say European mammals, Nearctic insects, etc etc. All these might well be linked from general pages such as "Unidentified Nearctic life forms" or "Unidentified Insects", but a true expert would probably much prefer to have a specific page such as "ID-discussion for European beetles" on his/her watchlist than any higher level (both regional and taxonomic). As suggested above by yourself, we might split this up as we go, and as stated by me local projects need not "suffer" but it would be very helpful if these would be organized technically (templates/embedding) in such a way that the discussions are stored with the images, not locally. Cheers Pudding4brains (talk) 14:22, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
@Franz Xaver: (again) in reaction to some of your other points: There is a difference between having "ID-discussion" pages/topics and just browsing through endless series of images uploaded by authors who are to lazy - or let's say "pressed for time" ;o) - to find a proper name themselves. Yes, the way you worked is not very satisfying. A total overload of very bad pictures with no "collection data" etc etc and hardly ever any response from the author or anyone else when you provide or correct an ID. But if someone takes the trouble of actively adding a request to an "ID-discussion" page there are quite a few things different: Now there is someone who is interested in the ID, be it the author or some wiki-editor who wishes to use the image. Chances are that now there will also be an effort to provide proper location and date or other info or even images upon request. Also, when a page like that lands on the watchlist of more experts it becomes more fun discussing the requested IDs with them (and learning from each other), which will hardly ever happen when putting effort into unrequested random pages. Just my thought on that though ... Pudding4brains (talk) 14:37, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
The problem with the way, how your example page is organised, in my opinion, is that putting it on your watchlist will only notify you that a new entry was added or another one removed. Following a certain discussion will require to put the respective image to the watchlist. Maybe this also will work, still being sceptical.
At beginning we should start only with one page with a general scope, and subdivide later. Some persons, me included, only will visit pages frequently, when there are freqent changes alerted by the watchlist. When we start from beginning with a lot of specialised pages, all of them will be low activity pages. Of course, specialists will feel comfortable in "their" group, but usually they can help also with rough identification of other groups. And, by the way, you learn a lot following discussions on taxa you are not so familiar. Better subdivide only later, when we recognise that there is overboarding activity in the general page. --Franz Xaver (talk) 14:50, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
I like both options. 1. If we start with a single page as Franz Xaver, we can link it to file talk when the discussion is closed and archived. 2. If we are creating separate pages (talk page of file) for individual files and transcluding in the main page there is no need for further linking. The disadvantage is experts need to watch individual pages they interested. But still there is an advantage. Experts can ignore updates in pages/photos they are not interested. So it is tough to decide which is better. :( Jee 15:06, 29 July 2015 (UTC)
Pudding4brains, what about starting a page as in your example? It seems this discussion is almost dead now. We can't expect more comments without any activity. Jee 03:11, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
The test page looks conclusive, a single page for begening but it may will be necesary to create sub pages (bird, Lepidoptera, Odonata) as I just looked there is out of 3,917 images (without the subcategories) in Category:Unidentified Lepidoptera. -- Christian Ferrer 05:03, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Somewhat caught up in some other stuff that requires more "immediate" attention (documenting too many rearing projects), but I'll see that I'll improve on the example somewhat and then create a start page and we can take it from there. Pudding4brains (talk) 19:32, 10 August 2015 (UTC)
Why not use the categories talk pages for that:
Category talk:Unidentified Lepidoptera will contains
{{Category:Unidentified Lycaenidae}} will contains File talks of the images of Unidentified Lycaenidae that have discussions of as you did in your exemple.
The advantage would be to have all discussions visible in each categories talk page, Category talk:Unidentified Lepidoptera will contains all File talks about Lepidoptera as all famillies category talks will be visible on it. -- Christian Ferrer 05:05, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
I don't think that this is a good idea. If a photo is recategorised, e.g. from Category:Unidentified Lepidoptera to Category:Unidentified Papilionidae, would the talk be relocated accordingly? --Franz Xaver (talk) 07:48, 11 August 2015 (UTC)
No; talk page will not relocated. I think Christian's suggestion is on the basis he think people can confirm the order at least in fist place. There are exceptions; sometimes we may end up in a different order too. So this suggestion seems complicated. Jee 08:03, 11 August 2015 (UTC)


I'm currently processing files in Category:Files uploaded by Josve05a (cleanup), and is having a little bit of trouble finding out how I should categorize subspecies. Should i add them to the species category, or create a new category, and if so, under which name? Take File:Cynara baetica maroccana (9341545741).jpg as an example. It is a "Cynara baetica ssp. maroccana". Thanks for your help. And btw, regarding the topic above, The people at de:Wikipedia:Redaktion Biologie/Bestimmung are totally cool if you use English, just fyi. Josve05a (talk) 14:25, 4 August 2015 (UTC)

Usually images of subspecies are categorized in the species category. If there are a lot of images of one subspecies, you can create a new subcategory, like Category:Cynara baetica subsp. maroccana (for subspecies of animals without the word "subsp."). --Thiotrix (talk) 07:44, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
I'd urge some restraint in creating subspecies categories, and only create them if there are an excessive number of photographs in the main species category, and/or the subspecies ID is relatively certain. The more categories there are, the harder it is for a user to find any picture of, say, Cynara baetica; finer categorizing may be useful for taxonomists, but less helpful for general users. -Animalparty (talk) 21:46, 6 August 2015 (UTC)
This is a good example where subspecies looks very different to the species. Here Crocothemis servilia mariannae has no black dorsal stripe. Jee 03:57, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
A category for subspecies may be useful for those taxa that are treated as own species by several authors. --Thiotrix (talk) 06:25, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
Remember to add a taxonavigation when creating a new subspecies category! See e.g. Category:Larus canus brachyrhynchus. - MPF (talk) 17:09, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

Some ssp.'s uses the format Category:Genus species subspecies while other uses Category:Genus species ssp. subspecies. Which one of these are "more" correct? Josve05a (talk) 21:51, 6 August 2015 (UTC)

According to the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants, Art. 24, the rank "subsp." has to be included in the name. For animals, according to International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, art. 5.2, the scientific name of a subspecies is a combination of three names. --Thiotrix (talk) 06:25, 7 August 2015 (UTC)
Yep; in summary, Category:Genus species subspecies for animals, and Category:Genus species subsp. subspecies for plants - MPF (talk) 17:09, 10 August 2015 (UTC)

Templates news[edit]

Hello, just a quick message on the recent changes on our biology templates:

  • {{Taxonavigation}} has been rewritten in lua allowing:
    • to accept † with a taxon name (Like Familia|†Neopseustidae|)
    • to display disambiguation (Like Genus|Duvalia (Apocynaceae)|) with smaller font (Like Duvalia (Apocynaceae))
    • to suppress the limitation on parameter count
    • to allow automatic addition of categories like Category:Genera of Elachistidae
    • to allow clever changement of category/article title (Like for Duvalia)

  • {{SimpleTaxa}}, {{Taxa}}, {{Genera}}, {{Species}} have been rewritten in lua allowing:
    • to accept † with a taxon name (Like |†Neopseustidae|)
      • previous syntaxes are deprecated (Like |Neopseustidae|Neopseustidae=†)
    • to display disambiguation (Like |Duvalia (Apocynaceae)|) with smaller font (Like Duvalia (Apocynaceae))
      • |d50=(Apocynaceae)| is now a depredated syntax
    • to suppress the limitation on parameter count
    • to accept taxon notes (Like |Neopseustidae note:Family created in 2015| displayed , Neopseustidae (Family created in 2015),

I will keep you informed. Cheers Liné1 (talk) 19:33, 8 September 2015 (UTC)

Solution for disambiguation at family level?[edit]

Howdy, (side note: I did not forget, just swamped, will work on the pages/templates for unidentified XYZ images soon)

Just stumbled (again) on some species of Lygaeidae where the messy (non)implementation of the (not always supported) split in the Lygaeidae into new families based on former subfamilies is causing problems when trying to locate or categorize files.

I have now hacked a quick and dirty "fix" as per Category:Eremocoris and its children abietis & plebejus.

Please have a look an tell me what you think (yes I know the template is horrifyingly ugly :o) as in: Do you think double classification such as implemented here (with some sort of note to the effect) might be a viable solution for ambiguous classification systems being in use "out there" ?

Cheers, Pudding4brains (talk) 11:29, 9 September 2015 (UTC)