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      Insights into 260 years of taxonomic research gained from the Catalogue of Afrotropical Bees

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      African Invertebrates

      Pensoft Publishers

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          Abstract

          We analysed country-scale distribution records of solitary bees (i.e. excluding Apis mellifera) in countries in the Afrotropical Region, excluding the southern Arabian Peninsula and Socotra. Although different country estimates of bee species numbers can be explained by differences in climate, vegetation or topography, we concluded that the observed differences are mainly due to differences in sampling effort or taxonomic research intensity in different countries. We characterised three eras of bee taxonomy. The highest rate of species description per annum occurred during the first half of the 20th Century, before generic revisions were prevalent, and when the focus was on consolidating knowledge and developing identification keys. We also researched the locations of type specimens, which included all primary types and syntypes. Most types are housed in western Europe. We describe the Catalogue of Afrotropical Bees (CAB), a biodiversity information system and related GBIF checklist that is the system’s standardised, published output. In the revised CAB, all Afrotropical bee genera have been given common names, many of which are new.

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          Most cited references 7

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          Biogeography of the Bees

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            Semantics in Support of Biodiversity Knowledge Discovery: An Introduction to the Biological Collections Ontology and Related Ontologies

            The study of biodiversity spans many disciplines and includes data pertaining to species distributions and abundances, genetic sequences, trait measurements, and ecological niches, complemented by information on collection and measurement protocols. A review of the current landscape of metadata standards and ontologies in biodiversity science suggests that existing standards such as the Darwin Core terminology are inadequate for describing biodiversity data in a semantically meaningful and computationally useful way. Existing ontologies, such as the Gene Ontology and others in the Open Biological and Biomedical Ontologies (OBO) Foundry library, provide a semantic structure but lack many of the necessary terms to describe biodiversity data in all its dimensions. In this paper, we describe the motivation for and ongoing development of a new Biological Collections Ontology, the Environment Ontology, and the Population and Community Ontology. These ontologies share the aim of improving data aggregation and integration across the biodiversity domain and can be used to describe physical samples and sampling processes (for example, collection, extraction, and preservation techniques), as well as biodiversity observations that involve no physical sampling. Together they encompass studies of: 1) individual organisms, including voucher specimens from ecological studies and museum specimens, 2) bulk or environmental samples (e.g., gut contents, soil, water) that include DNA, other molecules, and potentially many organisms, especially microbes, and 3) survey-based ecological observations. We discuss how these ontologies can be applied to biodiversity use cases that span genetic, organismal, and ecosystem levels of organization. We argue that if adopted as a standard and rigorously applied and enriched by the biodiversity community, these ontologies would significantly reduce barriers to data discovery, integration, and exchange among biodiversity resources and researchers.
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              Heinrich Friese (1860–1948): Names proposed and notes on a pioneer melittologist (Hymenoptera, Anthophila)

              Heinrich Friedrich August Karl Ludwig Friese (1860–1948) was an important pioneer bee biologist (melittologist). Between 1883 and 1939 he described 1,989 new species and 564 new varieties or subspecies of insects, of which over 99% were bees. His research was global, including description of new taxa from all biogeographical regions where bees occur, belonging to all seven extant bee families and 124 genera, including Megachile (with 262 species-group taxa proposed), Bombus (232), and Halictus (153). The present catalog provides a complete list of the taxa proposed by Friese, including a bibliography of his 270 entomological publications. The catalog lists all valid names proposed by Friese and details on the nomenclature, sex, and region of origin of each. The current combination and subgeneric placement are cited for taxa now regarded as valid species. A brief biography is followed by a discussion of how to locate and treat Friese types, a notoriously complicated issue due to Friese’s confusing labeling practices and the broad dispersion of his specimens.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                African Invertebrates
                AI
                Pensoft Publishers
                2305-2562
                1681-5556
                December 04 2019
                December 04 2019
                : 60
                : 2
                : 291-318
                Article
                10.3897/afrinvertebr.60.37752
                © 2019

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