21 March 2008
The FLYTREE project has become a group within the EDIT (European Distributed Institute for Taxonomy) Diptera Exemplar, taking advantage of EDIT's aim at unifying revisionary taxonomy on the web. FLYTREE collaborator, Irina Brake, with EDIT at the Natural History Museum, London, is coordinating both the Diptera and Insect exemplars. Much of the content from F. Christian Thompson's pioneering Diptera.org has now moved to form the core of The (New) Diptera Site. Image galleries feature stunning photos by Steve Marshall as well as photos of BMNH dipterists in 1974. Registered users from the Diptera community can add to or modify existing content, import a bibliography, start a conversation about taxonomic concepts in the forum, create an image gallery, and disseminate knowledge about their favorite groups of Diptera. Guests can browse contributed content and read fly-related RSS news feeds aggregated from uBio.
This collaborative environment for "getting biodiversity on the web" is called a Scratchpad. It has a sandbox or trial area for experimenting while you learn the system, as well as helpful training videos illustrating features of this Drupal-based content management system.
17 March 2008
There's something about the leggy, gangly crane fly (Diptera: Tipulidae) that inspires the Japanese poetry art form, the haiku. North Carolina State Insect Museum's Andy Deans contributes whimsical haikus on this family of flies for the contest that closes with the arrival of spring in the northern hemisphere.