A Virtual Museum on the State's Fish Biodiversity

Querying the Database

Queries are made from the Data tab (on www.fishesoftexas.org) and allow users to construct complex personalized queries. Users may include in queries many database fields including geography (county, basin, HUC, natural region, partial locality descriptions), collection dates (as a year range), collector name, taxonomy (family, genus and/or species), donor institution and catalog number. Users can also limit their queries to only those records with georeferenced error radii under a certain distance – an important feature for users needing precisely georeferenced records only. We also allow users to search for text strings in all donor verbatim fields. We highly recommend users do this to find any records not found via queries constructed with our edited fields (not all records have been fully edited for various reasons). Users can also search specifically for records with associated items in our digital library including field notes or images. Tool tips, which become visible when the cursor is scrolled over a "i" icon next to the menu title, offer explanations that are important for understanding details regarding the field and how it can affect a query.

There are a few basic things to keep in mind when designing queries. When searching for specific catalog numbers also include the donor institution. Results will be retrieved if institution is not included, but in some cases records of interest may not be returned.

Users should understand that all records are associated with a collection date range, typically the same day, but in some extreme instances the range can be quite large spanning approximately 150 years. Our date search requires users to enter a begin and end range and only retrieves records with ranges entirely within the queried range. For example, a record collected sometime between 1975 and 2006 will not be returned if the queried range is 1970 to 1976, while a record collected from 1970 to 1976 will be returned. Future versions of the website will allow such queries.

Users should know that queries using our edited locality and geography fields (those on the right side of our query window) will only retrieve records that we have georeferenced. Many more records are contained in the database including records that we were not able to georeference, due to vague descriptions or internal conflicts, and records from outside of our geographic scope. Users should also query the verbatim locality fields to retrieve all records of potential interest.

It is not possible at this time to query the database for hybrids. See Hybrids for more details on how to find these records.

Read the entirety of the Using the Online Database section to best understand how to make effective queries, retrieve all the data you are looking for, and interpret your data properly.