This weekend saw the release of new interesting, and I believe useful resource called 'BioNames'.

Rod Page, the creator of 'BioNames' defines this resource as 'a database of animal (and other ICZN) names linked,wherever possible, to either a digital identifier for the publication that described it, or (even better) the full text from BioStor and other digital archives.'

The web site is here:

The FAO publication on “Commercially Important Sea Cucumber of the World” has just been released.

The guidebook gives identifying features and photos for both the live and dried specimens, in addition to information on biology, ecology, fisheries and distribution. The is intended for fishery officers and managers, customs officers and researchers.

To receive a copy please contact Mr Alessandro Lovatelli (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by providing your full name, position, name of your institute, full mailing address and contact details (including your email address).

The book is to be cited as follows: Purcell, S.W., Samyn, Y. & Conand, C. 2012. Commercially important sea cucumbers of the world. FAO Species Catalogue for Fishery Purposes. No. 6. Rome, FAO. 150 pp., 30 colour plates.

A pdf of the book is posted on the FAO website here.

The HTML version can be seen here

A zipped version is to be downloaded here

Together with Olivier De Clerck from the University of Ghent in Belgium, a short position paper on the importance of having scientific names for detected taxa was published in the new European Journal of Taxonomy. The paper is entitled 'No Name, No Game'. It was as much fun writing it as it was to put our name on it. If interested, discover it on the site of the EJT or get the pdf pdf here.

Jennifer Olbers and Yves Samyn have recently published a paper on the Ophiocoma species that live in the shallow-waters of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa.

This study raises the number of Ophiocoma species recorded in South Africa from four to eight. All species are briefly discussed in terms of taxonomy, geographic distribution and ecology. In addition, the juvenile of O. brevipes, found on the underside of adult Ophiocoma brevipes specimens, is described in detail. A neotype is designated for O. scolopendrina.

The paper can be read here.


Claude together with a Mexico-based Belgian colleague just released a new paper on the deep-water sea cucumbers off the Pacific coast of Mexico. Perhaps we should start counting the number of new species described per nationality of descriptor? Surely, Belgium shall rank with the Big Five;-)

You can read the paper here.