Questions -- Species Interactions Australian Database

Species Interactions of Australia Database


Draft (2011-09-20) list of species interaction questions that we will address:
  1. What insect species (sp. or spp.) feed on plant X?
  2. What plants does insect species (genus, taxon) feed on?
    • a) What stage of the plant/animal are they feeding on? (seedling, egg, larva, life stage)
    • b) What part of the plant/animal are they feeding on? (leaf, stem, gut)
    • c) What stage of animal is feeding on the plant? (larva, adult)
  3. Where is the interaction found? (Geographic location)
  4. What type of interaction (endoparasite, ectoparasite...) is it?
  5. What source of info is the interaction coming from?
  6. Is it based on specimen, photo, observation, or literature?
  7. Where are the hosts of taxon X? (Geographic and anatomical)
  8. Where are the parasites of host X? (Geographic and anatomical)
  9. What are the attributes (life history, agricultural pests, ecology,...) of taxon X?
    [This isn't interaction data, it's a general question using the taxa returned by an interaction query. You might equally ask where the type specimens are. Need a way to export taxon selections for use in queries to other databases. -- M.S. 20110907]
  10. Phenology? When is the interaction? And where?
  11. Alternative hosts? Alternate hosts? (aphids, fish parasites, snail schisto...)
  12. Obligate vs. facultative
  13. Pathogenic, mutualistic, predation? (See question 10)
    [Think not - a taxon may be parasitic as a larva but free-living as an adult - needs to be part of the relation. -- M.S. 20110907]
  14. Habitat? Biome -> Microhabitat?
  15. Climate?
    [What about it? That's an attribute of the geography. Weather is an attribute of the collection dataset or subset. -- M.S. 20110907]

    [Yes. Climate, weather, soil type and other abiotic factors are attributes of geography, but they can mitigate species interactions. If we ask 'when' and 'where' questions, I see no reason to exclude 'attribute' questions. How much rainfall is required for fungus X to have an outbreak in insect population Y? In short, should we consider linking in weather, phase of lunar cycle, etc? -- J. P. 20110907]

  16. Phylogeny - Classication - Alternative specified by user following may be the same or subsets of above
  17. What species does X host?
  18. What species does X pollinate (list of plants)
  19. What pollinates plant Y (list of bees, birds, bats)?
  20. What part of plant does herbivore X feed on?
  21. Is herbivore X an internal, cased or exposed feeder?
  22. Oviposition strategies in Tachinidae (insert egg, scatter eggs, live birth, etc.)
  23. Do we include checklists of species that may have weak interactions?
    • Sympatric -- Do we consider species at a specific location interacting? A moth resting on a specific leaf or type of bark? Industrial mellanism: selection for forms of Biston betularia on polluted and unpolleted substrate.
    • Sympatric in time and space -- Are moths of different species flying around a light at night interacting? Their aggregation attracts frogs and other predators.
  24. Mimicry complexes? Associate model and mimics (or look alikes). What mimics species X? What looks like species X?

A few complex interactions:

Other thoughts, terms, etc.

Please send feedback and additional questions to:

John Pickering -- -- USA-706-254-7446 (cell) or 706-542-1115 (office)