diagnostics for Cerambycoid families

Mike Dallwitz md at ENTO.CSIRO.AU
Thu Nov 30 03:20:52 CET 2000


- From: Doug Yanega

>> You can include an arbitrary set of taxa by using the menu 
>> options 'Settings > Include > Taxa'.
>
> This is not discussed in the owner's manual anywhere - nor are ANY of 
> the functions available (as this one is) only under "advanced mode".

The printed manual that comes with the beetles CD has sections 'Using 
Advanced Mode' and 'Further Hints on Using Intkey'. These sections are 
brief, but it is stated that:

    Full documentation is available in Intkey in Advanced Mode. The
    documentation is also included on the CD-ROM in the MS-Word file
    intkey.doc located in the root directory. A viewer for MS-Word
    files is in the directory \wordview.

In the current version of Intkey, the 'Include Taxa' function is 
available in Normal Mode.

>> Pressing the button labeled 'Restrict taxa to families' would 
>> include the [undivided family units]
>
> Right. But, for example, there are no features separating Vesperidae 
> from Cerambycidae when grouped this way.

All of the morphological characters of these families have overlapping 
values; for example
   Total length
      CERAMBYCIDAE
         2.4-200 mm
      VESPERIDAE
         8.5-50 mm
   Transverse occipital ridge or carina
      CERAMBYCIDAE
         absent; or present
      VESPERIDAE
         absent
By default, these overlapping values are not counted as differences. To 
find them, set the 'Match' parameter to 'Exact' (or 'Unknown 
Inapplicable', if you don't want unrecorded or inapplicable values 
counted as differences).

The 'Differences' button was supposed to temporarily set 'Match' to 
'Unknown Inapplicable', but was not doing so. (Thanks for drawing this 
bug to our attention; it has now been fixed.) You can work around the 
problem by setting 'Match' explicitly; or you can use the latest version 
of Intkey.

> This procedure you describe ... will STILL not allow me to take one 
> arbitrary grouping and compare it to another arbitrary grouping. There 
> are five "taxa" under Vesperidae, and four under Lepturinae. Nothing I 
> do seems to be able to compare the five Vesperid units *as a group* 
> against the four Lepturine units *as a group*. I get 9 comparisons, 
> not 2. What is really needed is a way to create user-defined "taxa", 
> stored in a file on the user's drive, that will appear in the lists 
> for comparative purposes, if only to accommodate people who don't 
> agree with the family boundaries on the CD and want, for example, to 
> always treat the Vesperids, Oxypeltids, and Disteniids as part of the 
> Cerambycidae.

You can create user-defined taxa by means of 'File > Output > Summary'. 
However, the combined taxon is in DELTA format, and you need the 
complete DELTA package to make it available in Intkey. (This is how the 
subdivided families were combined into single units.)

Although Intkey's capabilities are far ahead of any other interactive 
key program (see http://biodiversity.uno.edu/delta/www/comparison.htm), 
we are well aware of many ways in which it could be improved. 
Unfortunately, we have so far not been able to obtain funding for 
further development.

Mike Dallwitz
CSIRO Entomology, GPO Box 1700, Canberra ACT 2601, Australia
Phone: +61 2 6246 4075   Fax: +61 2 6246 4000
Email: md at ento.csiro.au  Internet: biodiversity.uno.edu/delta/



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