Help - general hints


Scaridium longicaudum MüllerTo get more specific help in any of the ‘Search Database’ sections, click on the help icon  next to the search box, or on the Quickinfo Icon  in any of the other pages.


Web browser recommendation 

The RWC is best browsed with Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome, and good results are also usually obtained with Apple Safari. If you use Microsoft Internet Explorer (v.10), you might notice that some graphics features don't display properly (August 2013).

The most up-to-date supported versions of recommended browsers can be downloaded via the links below. Please note that browser versions in beta release may not be fully supported.

Mozilla Firefox      Google Chrome

Searching the database

To query the database, type or paste free text into any of the search boxes. Case is not important. The text will then be autocompleted and you can select from a dropdown-list with full or partial matches.

Note that you can search for various information in the search boxes. For example, typing “myers” into the species search box not only retrieves taxa named after Myers (Itura myersi, Myersinella etc.) but also taxa described by Myers, Harring & Myers, etc. Similarly, any piece of text from bibliographic references can be filtered via the references search box, or all holotype specimens be listed by entering “holo” into the specimen search box.

Hyperlinks are included in all main pages to allow navigating back and forth between taxon names, bibliographic references, localities, specimen catalog numbers, etc. All will open in a new tab within the same window, so as not to lose track during searches. You can open as many tabs as you want.


Sorting and filtering data

You can sort and filter data in any of the lists retrieved from your searches. Click on   (sort data) or  (filter data) above the list.


Documentation of taxon records

To learn if and how a species record has been documented, and hence is potentially verifiable, click on the encoded number in the “Doc.”-field under “Observations”. A window will pop up and provide you with more detail about how a taxon has been presented in a publication, deposited in a collection, or if as yet unpublished images or specimen material are available for a record. On top of the window you'll be also told whether that is published information, or if it has been derived from collection material or unpublished field data.

To filter for species records by either taxonomical or geographical criteria, along with details on how they were documented, go to “Biogeography – Documented Records”.


Biogeography patterns

Distribution patterns throughout the six major zoogeographical regions are defined as follows:

N.B.: Western and Eastern hemispheres, as used in the RWC, differ from the strict geographical sense, by which portions of Europe and Africa west of the prime meridian (0° longitude) would belong to the Western hemisphere.

The addition of wide and global distribution patterns, as defined above, has been completed for all valid species. Occurrences in zoogeographical subregions are added locality by locality, and rely on verified records only. This is still work in progress.

To see a breakdown of major region records for single species into occurrences throughout subregions, as illustrated below, click on the 'Biogeography'-tab on the species page.

Zoogeographical regions after Wallace (1876)


IUI: Indicator of uncertainty of identification (e.g. 'cf.', 'aff.', '?', 'sp. near.', etc.)

Doc.: Documentation of species record

F, C, L: Field, Collection, Literature

- n.s. -: not (otherwise) specified

Collecting events - ORP: Oxidation-Reduction Potential (Redox), EC: Electrical Conductivity at 25°C, TDS: Total Dissolved Substances, Sal: Salinity

Repository acronyms: see here for full names of repositories

Biogeography sections: move cursor over abbreviations or checkmarks to get meaning for regions, distribution types, and documentation.


Technical terms

For the meaning of technical terms used in the RWC, such as related to nomenclatural status, nomenclatural availability criteria, and to type specimen material, we recommend consulting the Glossary contained in the ICZN.


Data sources

Sources for locality Information, environmental data, and occurrence records, are as follows:



Source Code


Published information



Specimen preparations, Museum collections


Collection, Literature

Specimen preparations and associated published information


CJ in litt.

Unpublished Information, in correspondence


CJ unpubl.

Unpublished Information, own observations (CJ)



EX_K43, K52, K55, Gletscherbäche





Expedition material

Central Alps (Austria)

Northeastern Limestone Alps (Austria)

Mongolia 2005, 2006

Hawaii 1997, 2001

Ethiopia 2004




Expedition, Literature

Expedition material and associated published information