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Given query (string): A general taxon name (e.g. "P. tigris", "Panthera tigris", "tiger", etc.)

Support for common names can be a big hassle. For instance, this is the result for looking up 'tiger' in the Map of Life:

  • Genypterus tigerinus
  • Rana tigerina
  • Python molurus, Indian Python,Vittatus, Burmese Python, G, Tigerpython, G, Bivittatus, Dunkler Tigerpython
  • Tigriornis leucolopha, White-Crested Tiger-Heron
  • Cnemidophorus tigris, Tiger Whiptail,Nctilinealis, Sonoran Tiger Whiptail, Stejnegeri, Coastal Whiptail
  • Anolis pseudotigrinus, False Tiger Anole
  • Anolis tigrinus, Tiger Anole
  • Psittacella brehmii, Brehm's Tiger-Parrot
  • Telescopus semiannulatus, Common Tiger Snake, Tiger Cat Snake, Western Tiger Snake,Lystictus, Damara Tiger Snake, G, Getigerte Katzennatter
  • Ambystoma californiense, California Tiger Salamander
  • Thylacinus cynocephalus, Thylacine, Tasmanian Tiger, Tasmanian Wolf
  • Panthera tigris, Tiger,Amur Tiger,South China Tiger,Bali Tiger,Indochinese Tiger,Malayan Tiger,Javan Tiger,Sumatran Tiger,Bengal Tiger,Caspian Tiger, Hyrcanian Tiger, Turan Tiger
  • Leopardus tigrinus, Oncilla, Little Spotted Cat, Little Tiger Cat, Tiger Cat,Central American Oncilla, Central American Little Spotted Cat
  • Psittacella modesta, Modest Tiger-Parrot
  • Telescopus beetzi, Namib Tiger Snake, Karoo Tiger Snake
  • Microlophus tigris, Tiger Pacific Iguana
  • Telescopus rhinopoma, Indian Desert Tiger Snake
  • Rhabdophis tigrinus, Tiger Keelback, Tiger-Wassernatter, Tigernatter
  • Tigrisoma fasciatum, Fasciated Tiger-Heron
  • Ambystoma tigrinum, Tiger Salamander
  • Psittacella madaraszi, Madarasz's Tiger-Parrot
  • Nucras tessellata, Tiger Lizard, Striped Sandveld Lizard
  • Ambystoma velasci, Plateau Tiger Salamander
  • Lanius tigrinus, Tiger Shrike
  • Puma concolor, Puma, Cougar, Deer Tiger, Mountain Lion, Red Tiger
  • Tigrisoma lineatum, Rufescent Tiger-Heron
  • Notechis scutatus, Mainland Tiger Snake,Utatus, Eastern Tiger Snake, Occidentalis, Western Tiger Snake, G, Östliche Tigerotter
  • Psittacella picta, Painted Tiger-Parrot
  • Pachydactylus tigrinus, Tiger Thick-Toed Gecko
  • Hoplobatrachus tigerinus, Indian Bullfrog
  • Tigrisoma mexicanum, Bare-Throated Tiger-Heron
  • Telescopus tessellatus, Soosan Tiger Snake
  • Crotalus tigris, Tiger Rattlesnake, Tiger-Klapperschlange
  • Notechis ater, Ater, Black Tiger Snake, Krefft's Tiger Snake,Mphreysi, Tasmanian Tiger Snake, Niger, Peninsular Tiger Snake, Serventyi, Chappell Island Tiger Snake, G, Schwarze Tigerotter

Support for abbreviations might require non-independence of results, i.e. the result for a given string depends on the context it is submitted in. I would argue against non-independence as it affects reproducibility.

within (string, possibly?): A taxonomic grouping that this taxon is found within. This would help us disambiguate Crucibulum (within = "Fungi" or "Basidiomycetes" or "Nidulariaceae") from Crucibulum (within = "Animalia" or "Mollusca" or "Calyptraeidae").

That would require support for multiple classifications as certain taxa might exist in one system but not in another. E.g.:

acceptedNameUsage (string): Where the queried name is the currently accepted name for this taxon, this should be identical to scientificName; where the queried name is not the currently accepted name, this should be the currently accepted name ("Felis tigris", for instance, if the user queries for Antilocapra anteflexa, the system should return "Antilocapra anteflexa Gray, 1855" in the scientificName field and "Antilocapra americana Ord, 1815" in the acceptedNameUsage field.

Unfortunately, there isn't such a thing as an 'accepted name' but there are many accepted names according to different authorities. This is the kind of feedback we get from our testers:

it becomes apparent that Tropicos is wrong, E. audax (Drury) Anderb. is illegitimate (And the author abbrev for Drury is incorrect, the correct accepted name has authorship (D.G.Drury) Holub.
. Luckily, the taxonomic status of a name is not necessary for our planned TNRS usage. This could be skipped.