Yu. A. CHIKIN. Catalogue of traits of Vipera lebetina (Reptilia: Viperidae). 

A catalogue of the traits of coloration, pattern and morphological structure of Vipera lebetina L., 1758, a species with vast range, was compiled to identify the range of its variability, systematization of data and unification of methods of finding, describing and coding. The material was - >1000 of the collected species in the museums of Europe and CIS (53 sites of the species range); 213 sculls of different ages from 7 sites of its range. The work was conducted by using a phenetic approach, the basis of which was the principle of revealing and inventorying discrete variations (phenes and groups of phenes) - markers of population groupings. The work provides description, codes and illustration of over 100 variations of morphological traits of pholidosis (groups "meristic" and "alternative") and 122 variations of non-metric traits of 17 scull bones. The catalogue is by no means exhaustive and should be considered only as a scheme, using which the researchers can expand it in the following directions: description of variability of the other structures; inclusion of new traits and variations; identification of known traits and variations for representatives of the other population and taxonomic groups. This work is important for studying the geographic variability, identification of the population structure of this species, and revealing questions of phylogenesis, as well as planning and realization of nature conserving activities. 

Institute of Zoology Uzbek Academy of Sciences. Niyazov Street 1, Tashkent 700095, Uzbekistan. E-mail: chikinwwf@ishonch.uz




L. V. KULANGIEVA, V. V. GALTSOVA. Data base of signs of freeliving nematodes as basis of the software for their identification. 

During several years we are working at the development of the object-oriented program, which should help to the specialists in the field of the taxonomy of freeliving nematodes. The identification of species accessory is based, mainly, on morphometrical the signs. The study of each specimen of nematodes requires to do of set of measurements and calculation of different ratios and indexes. In our opinion, the friend tool for such operation should be the computer program, with help of which one can do measuring on the digital images of nematodes, and also automatically calculate indexes and other relative magnitudes. First step in this direction was the development of data base of the nematodes signs which is organised as hierarchic list of the signs, where the unique alphanumeric code is assigned to each feature. The signs including in data base, are clustered in such way that each group represents or natural system of organs (for example, "The Nervous system and sense organs"), or number of organs and patterns, combined uniform genesis ("Cuticle and its derivatives"), or exterior morphological constitution of nematodes ("Sizes, proportion and form of body"). The nematodes signs are esteemed as variable, the significance which one can be as numeric (measuring or meristic), and descriptive. In the latter case significance of the signs also are esteemed as numeric. These values estimate a position of object in n-measuring space of descriptions. The order of regularity of space of descriptions is defined by number of variables. At developing of data base of signs we have tried to take into account the greatest possible number of the signs visible in a light microscope, namely more than 150. Depending on diagnostic value of the sign, definite coefficient of a significance (significant factor) is given to this sign. And significant factors are given not hardly, they can be resized during the work, as for each taxon the set of the signs ranked on significant factors, is individual. One of indisputable dignities of data base of signs we consider a foreseen possibility of attachment of the new signs in any of groups due to the redundancy of the alphanumeric code. On the basis of data base of signs (with the help of the qualified programmers) two versions of object-oriented software intended for operation with the images of nematodes were developed: "Sabatieria" (Galtsova et al., 1995) and "Nematologist" (Galtsova, Kulangieva, 1999). 

Zoological Institute RAS, St.Petersburg 199034, Russia. Tel. 7 812 3281212, Fax 7 812 3282941, e-mail: meio@zin.ru





J. MENA-PORTALES1, G. ALMAGRO-CALVIZO1 & R. PICO2. The software "Claves" and its applications: Computarized keys for identification of a plant pathogenic fungi in Cuba. 

The software "Claves" was designed starting from development of an original mathematical algorithm that allows construction of computarized keys for identification of different organisms. Their operation is demonstrated by means of the initial application in the identification of species present in Cuba belonging plant pathogenic fungi complex Bipolaris-Curvularia-Drechslera-Exserohilum. To date, the software has four computarized keys (Genera, Bipolaris,Curvularia and Exserohilum), which allows the taxa location in the corresponding generic and specific level, besides descriptions and illustrations of the species that help the user to confirm the definitive identification. The software "Claves" is a very interactive system of easy handling, designed for Windows 95 or later versions, which can be used on 486 or later computers. 

1Institute of Ecology and Systematic, Environmental Agency, Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment, A. P. 8029, Ciudad de La Habana 10800, Cuba. Phone (53-7) 57-8010, 57-8266, Fax (53-7) 57-8088, 57-8266, email: ecologia@ceniai.inf.cu  ecologia@unepnet.inf.cu

 2Institute of Cybernetics, Mathematics and Phyisics, Science and Technology Agency, Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment. Phone (53-7) 32-5026, 32-2688, Fax (53-7) 33-3373, email: rpico@cidet.icmf.inf.cu





Lynn MEIJERMAN & Sandrine A. ULENBERG. Computer assisted tools for the species recognition of economically important insects and mites. 

The University of Amsterdam, the Expert Centre for Taxonomic Identification, Amsterdam and the Natural History Museum, London, UK, are collaborating in a project aiming to provide both specialists and non-specialists with easy to use and apply tools for the species recognition of insects and mites that cause economic damage in agriculture, horticulture and forestry, and their natural enemies.The end product is a series of interactive CD-ROMs based on ETI's 'Linnaeus II' software for biodiversity documentation and species identification. Each CD-ROM contains up-to-date taxonomic (biodiversity) information on economically important species and related non-pest species, and a computer assisted identification key. A cross-reference system for the major host plants, an illustrated glossary for technical terms and a section on methodology are also included. Already published in the series 'Arthropods of Economic Importance' are 'Eurasian Tortricidae' and 'Interactive Tutorial for the Preparation of Genitalia in Microlepidoptera'. In progress are 'Tortricidae of the World, 'Agromyzidae of the World' and 'Diaspididae of the World'. The CD-ROM 'Eurasian Tortricidae of Economic Importance' will be demonstrated. 

Zoologisch Museum, Universiteit van Amsterdam, Plantage Middenlaan 64, 1018 DH Amsterdam, The Netherlands, Phone +31.20.525.6243, Fax +31.20.525.6528, E-mail meijerman@science.uva.nl





A.Y. RYSS. Databases of taxonomic characters and their use for identification and phylogeny modeling (with examples of the Nematoda taxa).

 Databases of characters - morphological, molecular and others may be reduced to the matrix with records (data on the species) and fields - characters. While using the matrix for the identification and phylogeny analysis it is necessary to take into account that the significance of taxonomic character may have at least three different aspects. 1) Diagnostic significance (value) - the importance for identification, capability to reach the final identification by the minimum number of steps. 2) Evolutionary significance, i.e. importance for the origin and evolution of the taxon. Characters are the rows of the states having the adaptive significance, the most important are those characters advanced states of which are typical for the majority of species. Similarities in the advanced states may not reflect the cognation but they may arise independently because of the adaptive expediency for the species selection (e.g., the gland lobe formation in oesophagus of the plant parasitic nematode taxa). 3). Phylogenetic significance is the predictive importance. Complex characters (such as the head or tail or lateral sensilla patterns in nematodes, combined with the shape of sensilla). The characters can be ordered or non-ordered in the evolutionary row, but with the minimal possibility of the controversial changes (reversions) and with the minimal variability within species (the taxa of the junior level). Unlike the diagnostic characters it is not recommended to split the complex characters to simple components. The value of character increases with its complexity, number of states, absence of the intraspecies variability and reversions, accordance of the tree based on the character with other trees constructed by the empirical taxonomists and trees based on other complicated characters and independent biological data (geographical distribution, life cycle type, taxonomic position of hosts). The work of taxonomist (namely, an outline of the group, its inner division, and the modeling of its origin and development) includes the character sorting using the above-mentioned criteria of significance - in the deliberate or concealed form. The use of the character databases for different purposes is demonstrated on the examples of nematodes. -

 Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Universitetskaya nab, 1, St. Petersburg 199034 Russia, email alexryss@ar4280.spb.edu, fax +7(812)3236955, tel. +7(812)3280611.



G.M. SKURIDIN and N.V. BAGINSKAYA. A new biometrical approach to detecting factorial correlation pleiades. 

Computer databases created now are capable of covering the information on numerous quantitative characters of biological species; however, their correlation analysis aiming at detection of most general patterns of correlation variability encounters the problem of correct uniting of diverse sampling observations. In the case of direct data uniting, correlatively structured groups of characters are detected. These groups are united by unaccounted summary effects of individual variation factors, namely genotype, environmental conditions, developmental stage, etc. Polyfactorial stipulation of phenotypic pleiades is the major cause of their statistical instability that decreases the predictive capacity of results of correlation analysis. In the case of independent variation factors (for example, genetic, ecological, and ontogenetic), formation of a quantitative character may be represented with a multidimensional unbalanced model with random factors. This model allows the genotypic, ecological, and dynamical correlation pleiades to be detected through introduction of the corresponding linear factorial corrections to each individual set. The efficiency of the method of factorial corrections for detecting correlation complexes significant for breeding was demonstrated using linear transformation and uniting of randomized data on 8 characteristics of fruit chemical composition of 194 sea-buckthorn genotypes under 57 ecological situations as an example. It was demonstrated that the approach proposed allows the additional and essential information to be extracted from unorganized data. It was shown that genotypic and ecological correlations mask one another in the phenotype. It was concluded that the factorial corrections approach is promising not only for breeding and genetic research, but also for many other fields of biometrical research-taxonomy, biosystematics, ecology, sociology, etc. 

 Institute of Cytology and Genetics SB RAS, prosp. Lavrentieva 10, Novosibirsk, 630090 Russia, email: skuridin@bionet.nsc.ru; tel. (3832) 302412





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