The Calypso Ichthyological Database

Calypso's ichthyological database has been designed to facilitate the international identification of all recorded  fish species throughout the world using a unique ' Species Number' for each recorded species which can then be used in all current and all future publications and reference works . Facilities exist to  cross-reference this system with all current systems that are both working in a limited sphere, or only partially working at present.. Most current systems have been designed exclusively for commercial fisheries  use. Our system is designed for total and general use. Where possible the data is entered in a simple-to-understand formulation reducing the users' necessity to be conversant with a vast range of technical terminology and nomenclature.

One has to start somewhere - we started in the Mediterranean simply because our knowledge of the species of this area exceeded our initial abilities in other areas. The database has now been expanded.  The information on the database is published in many forms and can also be modified to individual requirements if so wished.
Primarily we are publishing the information as booklets and guides as well as multilingual indexes and Taxonomic disks, for both the specialist and lay markets. When the technical problems of getting our full-colour photo-library onto CD have been overcome we shall also be publishing a series of colour illustrated C.D's



Although the numbering system in itself, is not primarily designed to carry retrievable information  some useful points can be gleaned from it if certain concepts of the system are known to the reader. It must clearly be emphasized however that the material extracted in this way is not  to be construed as totally accurate and is only intended as a rough guide.(The full database should always be checked in addition to the information extracted in this fashion).

The Ichthyological Database Code is divisible into two sets of three numbers and information may be extracted by examining the first set of three numbers which will always commence with the numbers 0 or 9.

Numbers commencing with 0 represent primarily marine species.
Numbers commencing with 9 represent primarily freshwater species.

The second of the three numbers will indicate the approximate geographic area from which the species originates. These numbers will give differing information depending on whether the first number was 0 or 9. If  a 0 then this will denote a sea area whereas if a 9 this will denote a continental area.

For Example;
For the first two numbers, areas are designated as follows:

01- , Primarily Mediterranean/Black Sea 
91-, Southern Europe
02- , Primarily European North Atlantic
92-, Europe
03-, Primarily North American/Canadian/Arctic
93-, North America
04-, Primarily East African/Red Sea / Persian Gulf
94-, Africa
05-, Primarily West African/Central Atlantic
95-, Middle-East **
06-, Primarily Caribbean/S.E. U.S.A. 
96-, Caribbean / S.E.  U.S.A.
07-, Primarily South American/S.W.Atlantic
97-, South America
08-, Primarily Australian/Southern Ocean
98-, Australasia
09 -, Primarily Pacific/Indian Ocean 
99-, Asia

** Area  95-, Includes: Turkey, Central Asia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, The Gulf States, Lebanon and Israel

The third number of either of the above two  series is a check digit to ensure that where the succeeding group of three numbers have been issued more than once  - but in different areas, that they cannot be confused when both species carrying the succeeding three numbers are also present in the same area or publications covering that area.
For example.
Should Species No. 910 099 have been issued the 099 suffix cannot be immediately preceded by a 0 for any other species subsequently designated an 099 coding. The next species would be designated -11 099 if it were a native of the same area, or -21 099 or -31 099 etc.if it was allocated a species number from these respective different areas. The next ,(or third time )issue of an 099 suffix would produce a -12, -22 or -32 prefix. This enables one, by checking the third digit to ascertain on how many previous occasions any one three digit suffix number has been issued.
We have sufficient free space in the database species numbering system to uniquely number all recorded species to date.


Where a species name is available but the validity of that particular species or sub

species is open to doubt or may shortly be altered we issue temporary database numbers.
The temporary numbers have been allocated unique prefixes to differentiate between
them and the permanently allocated database number. These three digit prefixes will all be within the following group:-
0r 999
No significance can be attached to these number groups


4. Shortage of numbering capacity

Should more room be required the major prefixes in turn will be additionally prefixed
without changing the unique originally designated species number.
Many species will be present in more than one of the  designated geographical areas. They will only be given one Species Number and publications on a specific area will then not necessarily carry the species content in numerical sequence if they are edited in taxonomic or biological sequence.

Suffixes to the Species Numbers will be used in certain publications to
convey additional information. ie. X and XX were used in the ' Mediterranean Fishes' series (2nd. Editions -pre 1997)to denote late additions out of biological sequence, and immigrating Red Sea Species respectively. T is used in the 'Asian Fishes' series. These suffixes are omitted when species are resequenced correctly.



Each area covered by a Major Prefix will have all recorded species indexed in twelve local and/or internationally used languages, two of which will always be Latin and English. A dodecalingual or multilingual  index for each of these areas will be published referenced in Latin and English.
The full database may hold many more listed languages ( up to a maximum of thirty) for a particular species and is also capable of recording all of the names of a particular species in all of the countries in which it may occur.
All languages are recorded using  accepted  European alphabetic characters



The database itself is constantly updated on a daily basis. All technical and looseleaf publications issued using database information carry an integral free updating service within their original purchase price, and batches of information for the purchasers of this information are despatched at frequent intervals. It is essential in this respect that the registration forms supplied with such publications are completed and returned to Calypso otherwise purchasers will not be receiving their revised information packages. It is not possible to update the bound books, whose status will be reviewed annually to determine whether revisions or new editions need to be prepared



In addition to other categories, information is stored on each species in the following units:-
Database Species No.
Accurate line illustrations / colour and monochrome photographs : (Up to five in each category)
Current Latin Name./Family/Reference.
Previously used Synonym/s (if any) for genus,species and family: (normally up to six)
English name/s: (normally up to four)
Distribution Frequency.
Size. Average/Maximum.
Dorsal arrays.
Dorsal ray count.
Anal ray count
Lateral line count
Geographic Range.
Maximum recorded age.
Breeding season.
Specific Features
Basic colouration.
References within FAO literature
References within OECD literature.

The colloquial names of each species are also recorded in as many of the following list of languages as are available:



Latin, English, American, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian,Greek, Turkish, Lebanese, Israeli, German, Serbo-Croat, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish,  Polish ,Romanian, Bulgarian, Albanian, Arabic, Moroccan, Tunisian, Maltese, Cypriot, Japanese, Russian, Algerian & Icelandic -in addition to others for certain wide-ranging species.

Other Asian languages are presently being added to the and when completed these will include the following represented in a western European alphabet.
Sindhi, Urdu, Baluchi, Tamil, Hindi, Cantonese, Malay

Local and National Australian and New Zealand names have also been  added during the construction of database areas 08-and 98-.

U.S. Colloquial names are being incorporated into the Caribbean, North-Western  and Central Western Atlantic databases


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