[Coral-List] Revision and update of Guide to Common Caribbean corals, soft corals and sponges

Sheppard, Charles Charles.Sheppard at warwick.ac.uk
Fri Nov 29 09:25:58 EST 2013

There is now a major revision of ‘Coralpedia’ – a web-based identification guide to Caribbean corals, soft corals and sponges.  The web address has not changed: http://coralpedia.bio.warwick.ac.uk/

Coralpedia was first launched in late 2007, as a web conversion of a cd.  It was a bit ‘clunky’ due to that conversion, but despite this has been receiving nearly 100 visits per day since then, a third of whom are repeat visitors rather than glancing views, and a quarter use the Spanish language version - nearly a million page views in all from over 100,000 ‘unique visitors’ (Google Analytics is pretty amazing!)

The v2 Coralpedia website which has replaced the original is much improved, and, with colleagues (who are all acknowledged of course in the ‘About’ page in the site), I have revised to some extent the taxonomy.

The naming of species is where fun might begin!  You will know that genetic work is well underway now, leading to some most interesting and informative changes.  However, I get as many or even more emails from those who want to retain traditional use as from those who want to adopt immediately the new revisions and names.  Some emails have been, erm… strongly worded in support of one corner or the other!  So, the names in Coralpedia v2 are those that are recorded and recognized in WoRMS (World Register of Marine Species) at http://www.marinespecies.org/.  Some newly revised names are there, some not.  Maybe that last word should read ‘not yet’ - time will tell.  One major point about Coralpedia v2 is that changes can now be readily incorporated, and new species can be added if people send to me their additions.

We hope people continue to find Coralpedia useful.  The ‘Notes’ page gives several other references, both printed and web-based, for the more detailed information and sources.  Both the original, and the revised website, were funded by the UK Government, first via its Overseas Territories Environment Programme and more lately via the Darwin Initiative.

Do take a look, and send in corrections, feedback or more species.  (It has been brought to my attention that there now is another site named coralpedia which is an 'aquarist community driven site'.  Nice and colorful, but it is not connected to this identification guide.)

Best wishes
Professor Charles Sheppard
School of Life Sciences
University of Warwick

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