Search tips for ANSP Malacology database
The ANSP mollusk collection has material from all but nine of the world's countries, and has representatives of perhaps as many as half of all known mollusk species, so it is likely that there is something here that will interest you.
A few things to keep in mind:
This field-searchable interface gives a much better level of access that the previous search site. If there are items you found through the previous interface that you cannot find now, please let us know (the previous interface is still online, here).
Many of the database records are derived directly from the hand-written ledgers, and so do not have current identifications. The ongoing inventory of the collection should have updated all of the identifications by the middle of next year.
To see our classification and geographic hierarchy, use the browse link.
Specific localities and coordinates for endangered species are screened; if this occurs, the record contains a note to that effect. The locality data will be made available to researchers on appropriate request.
Conventions and quirks of various fields are described below.
If you do not find something you think we might have, or have suggestions for improving the interface, contact Gary Rosenberg, Paul Callomon, or Amanda Lawless (last name at ansp dot org).
Information about fields
Scientific name: Use this for an "includes" search of all taxonomy related fields, regardless of rank. For example, "pulchell" (without the quotation marks) searches for *pulchell* and find names including pulchella, pulchellum and pulchellus.
Higher Taxon: searches all fields from family to class level.
Family: Family names generally follow Bouchet & Rocroi.
Genus/Subgenus: The collection uses subgenera sparingly, so try the genus field first. For stylommatophorans classification generally follows Schileyko.
Species/subspecies: The collection uses subspecies sparingly; they are often treated as synonyms of the nominate species.
Author: In records coming from the handwritten ledger, authors' names are often abbreviated. Pilsbry might be "Pils.", Pease might be "Pse". We are gradually fixing this.
Year: Often blank, so don't rely on it.
Catalog Number: can be the dry or alcohol catalogue number. Greater than and less than searches work for the dry numbers.
Exclude unidentified: Excludes records with no identification at any level. Something identified only to the family-level would not be excluded.
Exclude non-types: the collection has about 15,000 type lots, but only about 8000 are currently flagged as such in the database. We are gradually fixing this too.
Only with image: currently about 150 records have images are attached to the database. More will be coming soon.
Habitat: Habitat coding is done at the genus level through the taxonomic dictionary. If members of a genus occur in more than one habitat (e.g. Truncatella can be marine or terrestrial), some of the species records returned in a found set might not occur in the selected habitat.
Location: searches all locality fields simultaneously with an "includes" search.
Country: This field includes islands groups, particularly when the parent country is in a different geographic region. Use the browse link to see the geographic hierarchy used in the database.
1st Div. (primary division): state or province, or region within a country larger than state or province (e.g., Honshu, which includes several Japanese perfectures).
2nd Div. (secondary division): for example, county or parish within the United States.
Locality: all locality information below the level of secondary division. Latitude and longitude are shown on the details screen, if available, but are not yet searchable.
Expedition: for named expeditions or projects.
Vessel: name of the ship or submersible that collected the sample.
Station: the station number recorded with the sample, including field numbers of collectors.
Collector: the person, people or organization who collected a sample.
Collect Year: the year in which (or by which) a sample was collected. Month and day can be seen on the details screen.
Exclude undated: omits items for which year collected is not known.
Collection: the name of a collection that the sample was in before coming to ANSP.
Donor/Source: the person or organization from whom a sample was obtained.