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World catalogue of cockroaches now online

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A comprehensive world catalogue of cockroaches called the Blattodea Species File (BSF) is now available on the Web – see http://blattodea.speciesfile.org/HomePage.aspx . The catalogue contains approximately 6,420 scientific names and of these about 4,560 represent valid cockroach species. For more information about the BSF and what data it contains please see http://blattodea.speciesfile.org/Database.aspx .

If you notice any errors or taxa which are missing from the BSF then please inform me (blaberus1@ntlworld.com). In addition, if you happen to be a taxonomist and describe any cockroach taxa in the future then please send me a copy of your publication (as a pdf file if possible) so that I can keep the BSF up-to-date.

Examples of some searches you can perform:-

To find a species or genus name:- Go to http://blattodea.speciesfile.org/HomePage.aspx then click on "Search" at the top of the page. Then type in (or copy and paste) the name of the species (e.g. "rothi") into the "Name of taxon" search box. Then click the "Submit" button, and you will either go straight to the species record or have to select (and click on) the species name in the results list. Click "Search" at the top of the page to do another search.

To list all the taxa described by a particular author:- Click on "Search" at the top of the page. Then click "Complex search" and type the name of the author (e.g. "Bohn") into the "Author" field and click the "Submit" button. A list of the taxa which the author described will then be listed and you can click on taxon to go to its full record.

To Generate a list of the types in an institution:- Click on "Search" at the top of the page. Then click "Complex search" and type "BMNH" into the "Depository" field and click submit. A list of the taxa with types in the BM(NH) will be shown and you can click on a taxon in the list to go to its full record. [Note that only the types in the BM(NH), the UMO Oxford, and a few other institutions, are currently in the database.]

To see what images are currently in the database:- Click on "Search" at the top of the page. Then click on the "Image" box and click "Submit". A list of the species which have images will be shown and you can click on one of these to see the pictures (click on the thumbnails to enlarge).

To browse through the taxa in the database:- Click on "Taxa" at the top of the page and then click a family name. A list of all the valid genera will be shown and you can then click a genus to list the species it contains. Click a species name to view the full record for that taxon.

One of the main long-term goals of the BSF project is to make available photographs of all cockroach primary types, plus images of living cockroaches, photographs of genitalia etc. Having a comprehensive set of photographs of world cockroach species available on the Web would, we believe, be of great benefit to everyone who is interested in cockroaches. Please note that if you have any images which you would like to include in the BSF, then please send them to me on CD/DVD or by e-mail. JPEGs are preferred and image files should ideally be no larger than 1MB. If you do not hold the copyright of an image then please ensure that you have the permission of the copyright holder to publish the image on the Web. If you own the copyright then that will be stated in the BSF.

George Beccaloni

(Curator of cockroaches etc, The Natural History Museum, London, UK

and Deputy Editor of Cockroach Studies - http://www.blattodea-culture-group.org)

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