CUIC type database

Our type database was developed initially from 1989-1993 with the support of funding from the Biological Research Resources Program of the National Science Foundation (DEB-8911903). Originating in 1915, all type records in the CUIC have been accessioned using a paper  datasheet-based system developed by curators J. Chester Bradley and C.R. Crosby. Each taxon is assigned a unique and generally sequential type number, with early records adding a decimal subnumber for types beyond the holotype. The accessioning of types varied by Order, with types in groups such as Hymenoptera and Coleoptera well curated in a separate type collection due to assiduous activities of Bradley and Henry Dietrich. Conversely, W.T.M. Forbes was much more relaxed about accessioning types, resulting in most lepidopteran types being first segregated in our type room during an NSF-funded project that focused on improvement of the Lepidoptera holdings (BSR-8414253).  All types bear colored labels indicating their CUIC type number.

Initial type database entry was overseen by Dr. Claudia Szumik during her tenure in Ithaca. Subsequently, additional type accessions including types in the personal collection of Prof. John G. Franclemont were recorded by Dr. James E. Hayden. Support for maintaining and augmenting the type database subsequent to the initial NSF award has come from the J.C. Bradley Fund for the Advancement of Insect Taxonomy.

Instructions for interpreting type database fields

The original data for each accession has been recorded on a data card as shown below.

When a single taxonomic search term is entered into the green Search type collection window, a list of taxa is returned, with that list showing the taxonomic fields Order, Family, Genus, Species, and number of types. Clicking on a species name will  unveil the specimen details. Fields in that window include:

Author: this field may give the describer's name with trailing initials, or just the describer's surname.

Reference: Volume: Page: Year: these four fields comprise the publication information associated with the species description. Only the first page of the description is listed under Page.

Remarks: this field was routinely used in early accessions, but given the lengthy entries in many instances, and difficult-to-decipher handwriting in some instances, we have transcribed only the briefest and clearest remarks. We will be happy to provide any information in this field upon request.

From collection: this field was used when a series of types were all accessioned in association with donation of a particular personal collection.

Type description: the single letter code here denotes the manner of type in the record: A = allotype, C = cotype, H = holotype, L = lectotype, M = metatype (an obsolete class of type not recognized by the current Code; a specimen compared with the type and believed to agree with its features, see Blackwelder, 1967, Taxonomy, John Wiley & Sons), N = neotype, P = paratype, S = syntype. During electronic data capture, we simply transcribed the type designation of the accessioning curator; therefore the redundant codens C and S.

Sex: gender of the type specimen; rarely noted.

Number of specimens: as each manner of type for a taxon receives its own line entry in the database, a species name may include a holotype record, wherein the number of specimens is 1, and also a paratype record where the number of specimens may vary.

Preservation: the manner in which the specimen is preserved: P = pinned, S = slide mount, A = alcohol preserved, E = envelope.

Notes: these are notes associated with the type field. For example, if a specimen started as a pinned insect and the genitalia were subsequently preserved on a slide, that act will likely be recorded in the notes field.