Information on Slides Data Base


This file is intended to give you an introduction and on-line help concerning the use of FileMaker data file SLIDES which has stored information on zoological and marine biological slides available from Daniel Geiger.

The Slides HELP file contains information on every field used in the data file; the FileMaker version includes some general hints for the effective use of this powerful program: especially "find".

All systematic names are the scientific ones, and not a single common name is used. In the help-file, terms printed in bold refer to a field in the data base and terms written in CAPITAL LETTERS refer to a word used in the specific field.

Nobody is perfect ! Forgive me all the deviations and mistakes in the file. Constant improvement is guaranteed but this does not exclude long lasting errors.

This internet version 1.4. is produced in April 1997. Please write to me in order to receive the most recent version of the Slides file as well as the Slides HELP file, either as FileMaker II, tab delimited or comma delimited files. Please, indicate any difficulties you encountered using these data and help files to me. You can contact me here. Back to top of page and index.

General: This field gives information on the classification from the rank of the phylum down to the Family, in some cases also to the subfamily (DECAPODA MAIIDAE ... / SAURIA IGUANIDAE ...). The order of the taxa follows the systematic ranking: first the phylum, then the class, order and last the family. Intermediate levels are included where necessary or customary. Genus and species name are indicated under Main Subject. Classification gives no information on the species mentioned under Secondary Subjects. A list of terms used in this field can be found here

The classification indicated is the most up-to-date known to me and it depends a lot on which manual was used for identification. Sometimes mismatches of different books are indicated under Special. For recent monographs on which the classification used here is based and for regional guides, see below.

Special indications: Some special non-taxonomic terms are used in this field, and are listed and explained below.

  • BIOTOPE: This shows a type of habitat or environment. Main Subject is always BIOTOPE. Under Secondary Subjects the typical organisms are indicated sometimes along with a rudimentary classification. The type of habitat is indicated under Biotope.
  • DIVER: A diver is the main subject of the slide, which is also indicated under Main Subject.
  • HERMIT CRAB: As the "hermit crab" may have evolved several times-although this is somewhat disputed-, I use this informal group name for this very typical crab form.
  • INCERTAE SEDIS: Here I know precisely which species I deal with (indicated under Main Subject) but I do not know its full classification from the phylum down to the Family. Such cases normally stem from photographs from zoos or aquaria. The level of uncertainity is indicate as in UNIDENTIFIED.
  • MANY: There are more than 1 main subject, sometimes also the interaction of several organisms is shown. Main Subject is 0 (zero) and all the species depicted are indicated under Secondary Subjects sometimes along with a rudimentary classification. Also TAXON MANY can occur, e.g. TELEOSTEI MANY means that several fishes are depicted.
  • UNIDENTIFIED: I failed to make an identification even at least on the genus level. The actual level of incertainty is indicated by the position where
  • UNIDENTIFIED is indicated. E.g. PORIFERA UNIDENTIFIED says that I don't know whether it is a Demospongia, Sclerospongia, Calcarea ... but it is certainly not an sea-squirt. ECHINODERMATA ECHINOIDEA REGULARIA UNIDENTIFIED means that it is certainly not a heart-urchin but I ignore whether it is a DIADEMATOIDA, CIDAROIDA, ECHINOIDA ...
  • UNKNOWN: I do not have a clue what organism that is. I only think it is biogenic and, therefore, is included in this file. An approximate description is given under Special.
List of recent taxonomic monographs on which the higher systematics used in the slide file is based:
  • Anthozoa (European): Manuel, 1988: Synopsis of the British Fauna NS #18 rev. British Anthozoa.
  • Cnidaria Hexacoralia Anthozoa Madreporaria = Scleractinia: Wood: Corals of the World. TFH publications
  • Annelida Polychaeta: Fauchald, 1971: The Polychaete Worms. Nat. Hist. Mus. L.A. County
  • Mollusca Gastropoda Opisthobranchia: Thompson, 1976 and Thompson & Brown, 1984: Biology of British Opisthobranch Molluscs Vol. I & II. Ray Society, London.
  • Mollusca Remainder: Mainly Vaught, 1989: A Classification of the Living Mollusca. American Malacologists, Inc. Melbourne, Florida.
  • Arthropoda Pantopoda = Pycnogonida: King, 1974: Synopsis of the British Fauna: Pycnogonida.
  • Sipuncula and Echiurida: Stephen & Edmonds, 1972: The phyla Sipuncula and Echiura. Trustees BM(HN).
  • Echinodermata Asteroidea: Clark & Downey 1992: Starfishes of the Atlantic. Natural History Museum Publications. Chapman & Hall, London.
  • Chaetognatha: Bieri, 1991: Systematics of Chaetognatha. In: Bone et al. (eds.): The Biologgy of Chaetognaths. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
  • Chondichthyes, Teleostei, Reptilia, Amphibia: Grzimek (ed.), 1980: Grzimeks Tierleben. dtv.

Major regional guides used:
  • Mediterranean: Riedl, 1983: Fauna und Flora des Mittelmeeres. Paul Parey, Hamburg.
  • North-West Atlantic: Hayward & Ryland, 1991: Marine Fauna of the British Isles and Northwest Europe Vol 1 & 2. Oxford University Press.
  • Bermuda: Sterrer, 1986: Marine Fauna of Bermuda. John Wiley, New York.
  • North-West Pacific: Morris et al. (eds.), 1983: Intertidal Invertebrates of California.
  • Plankton: Todd & Laverack, 1991: Coastal Marine Zooplankton. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
    Trégouboff & Rose, 1957: Manuel de Planctonologie Méditeranéenne. CNRS, Paris.
  • Deserts: MacMahon 1992: Deserts. Audubon Soc. Nat. Guide
    Savage 1959: Lizards Snakes and Turtles of the West. Naturegraph Pocket Keys Vol. 2
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Other works used for identification:
  • Arthropoda Arachnida: Jackman, 1997: A Field Guide to Spiders and Scorpions of Texas. Texas Monthly Fieldguide Series.
  • Mammalia. Jameson & Peeters, 1988, California Mammals. University of California Press.

Main Subject
General: The main aim of the picture is indicated with genus and species name using the scientific, Linnean nomenclature. The higher taxa associated with the species are indicated under Classification. "Main aim" of the shot means, that the subject does not necessarily occupy the largest area of the slide. If the area is really small, it is indicated under Special.

ERRARE HUMANUM EST. The Identification provided is to the best of my knowledge. Errors have, do, and will occur. I try to improve the file at all the times, but also I am just a human being. (I classified Arminia tigeriana for two years under Plathemintes Turbellaria Unidentified and Lamellaria sp. as Mollusca Gastropoda Opisthobranchia Pleurobranchomorpha Unidentified).
For the more important manuals used for identifcation, please see here.

Special indications:
  • AFF. and CF.: As in general scientific use: might be that species / has affinities to but is certainly not the species.
  • BIOTOPE: This shows a type of habitat or environment. Classification is always BIOTOPE. Under Secondary Subjects the typical organisms are indicated sometimes along with a rudimentary classification. The type of habitat is indicated under Biotope.
  • DIVER: A diver is the main subject. Classification then is DIVER, too.
  • MANY: More than one equally important subjects are depicted, which are indicated under Secondary Subject. Classification is also MANY (cf. Classification).
  • Scenic: The shows a scenery from the particular location. For habitat information see under biotope.
  • OR: Between two names, giving alternative identifications, where the first is thought to be a little bit more likely.
  • 0 (zero): The identity of the organism is not known even on the genus level. In Classification either UNIDENTIFIED or UNKNOWN is indicated.
  • =: Gives indications on common synonyms encountered. With type specimens (see Classification) the first taxon is the taxon of the type, the taxon after the = is the senior synonym (if applicable).
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Secondary Subject

Eupagurus bernhardi in shell of Buccinum undatum with epizoic Hydractinia echinata.
General: The most important side subjects and the species background - not the main aim of the shot - are listed under Secondary Subject. For those subjects which I assume to be commonly known (e.g. Symphydus: Teleostei Labridae), no classification is indicated. Only for some weird taxa such a rudimentary classification will help you to get an idea what it is about. An alternative possibility is to check the respective taxon under Main Subject and check the classification from that record.

Special indications:
    DIVER: A diver is part of the picture.
    For those taxa which do not have a main subject (Main Subject MANY), Secondary Subject identifies these equally important taxa and also the taxa in the background. Use common sense to find out which is which.
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Fotomicrograph of tubefoot of sea urchin.
General: Here I indicated all further information:
- Technical photographic information: film, lens used, illumination, correction, magnification etc.; see also below
- Orientation of animal: dorsal, ventral, oral, aboral, lateral etc.
- Biological information: eggs, spawn, male, female, parasites, symbiosis, mutualism, behaviour etc.
- Identification: identified (det.) by ..., after book xy, etc.
- Odds and Sods: by night, not reported from that locality, atypical colouration etc.
- COMPARE TO # XYZ: Compare the present slide or record to the one recorded under the Number XYZ.
- Variation: As one set mostly is composed of more than one slide (up to 97) and no slide is exactly the same, I indicate the variation under special.
- Origin of specimen: when the specimen is not photographed in its natural habitat in the wild, its habitat or the sampling method (VAN VEEN GRAB, TRAWL, DIVE) is usually indicated.

Equipement used:
Pre 1987 photographs were taken with a Yashica FX-D and a Tokina 35-105mm f4.5
After 1987 all surface photographs are taken with Olympus equipement, based on OM4 and OM3. Underwater photographs form 1987 to 1991 have been taken with a OM4, Winder 2, 50mm Macro f3.5 in a Hugyflex aluminum underwater housing, with a Subatec HST 2000 OM-TTL-flash. From 1992 on all under water pictures have been taken with a Pentax LX, 45° viewfinder, winder, 100 mm AF Macro or a 24 mm MF lens in a Hugyfot Ufomarin-Accu Aluminum housing and an Aquatron SII Pentax-TTL-flash.

Films used:
Up to 1993 most slides are done with a Kodak Chrome 64 (24x36mm) film stated as KC 64 under special. From 1995 on Fuji Provia and Velvia have been used. Other films include KC 200, Ektachrome P800/1600, Agfachrome 1000RS and some other odd Agfachrome. Black and white pictures (negatives) are not catalogued, despite the fact that I have a couple of them, i.e. some birds and some mammals. Please contact me for details.
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General: Here the type of biotope is indicated. Unfortunately there is no standardised nomenclature for a biotope. I tried to use widely known terms as CORAL REEF, MANGROVE, SAND, ALGAE, ROCK, LITORAL, TIDE POOL which are qualified by further terms, e.g. LITORAL FUCUS SERRATUS BELT.

Special indications:
  • AQUARIUM: Pictures taken in aquaria are indicated ARTIFICIAL AQUARIUM.
  • ARTIFICIAL: All pictures which were not taken in the wild are indicated by ARTIFICIAL. This does not necessarily mean, that one also realises it, especially in the macro-photographs! ARTIFICIAL is often qualified by other terms.
  • MAS: Meters above sea-level.
  • DIVE NO. XYZ: Dive number refers to my log-book.
  • ZOO: Pictures taken in a zoo are indicated by ARTIFICIAL ZOO.
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General: The location starts with the country and state and then some subordinate geographical indications. Mostly the date of the shot is indicated approximately.

Special indications: Some deviations have been used:
  • BALEARES, ...: W-Mediterranean, Spain, Balearic Islands
  • BANDOL: ILE DE BENDOR: Southern France between Marseille and Toulon
  • BANYULS SUR MER: S-France just at the border to Spain
  • BMK: Beim Buremichelskopf: refers to my Basel, Switzerland address.
  • BM(NH): British Museum (Natural History), London, UK
  • QUIRIAT SCHMONA: Very North of Israel ( 10km S of the border to Lebanon) very close to Jordan River
  • W(DC): Washington (DC)
  • A.w. B.CD: A-th week of the b-th month of the CD-year.
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General: The subjective quality of the slide is indicated using a five step classification. The following guide-lines have been followed:
Major steps:
BAD: There are serious mistakes in the picture (out of focus, under/over-exposed, reflections, blurred ...). I still keep these slides for something like sentimental reasons, or as it is the only picture of that particular subject I have.
FINE: Average quality, technically and photographically: In focus, balanced illumination, reasonable composition. The majority of the slides has this attribute.
GEM: A very nice shot, which can easily keep up with photographs in the National Geography Magazine (My personal opinion and taste). Technically perfect: Focal plane on the closest part of the animal or on the eye and enough depth of field, perfect illumination with no pitch black and over-white areas, no flat illumination, still some modelling shadows but no strong shadows. Very nice composition: The picture as it was taken stands on its own and every alteration of the format would not be to the benefit of the picture: that's my taste, of course.
Intermediate steps (BAD FINE, FINE GEM) are occasionally used so that there are five quality steps.
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Samplesize & Total
General: Of most subjects I have taken more than one slide (up to 97). The actual number is indicated in Samplesize. As no picture is exactly the same as the other, the variation (technically or of the subject) are indicated in Special. If you select several data sheets, Samplesize indicates the number of slides in the uppermost (screen) data sheet.
General: Total indicates the total number of slides selected ( Samplesize i: i is indicated under the book below Found).
Special indication: Total is always calculated if the Total is indicated in the current layout. This may take some time if you select a bigger part of the data file. You can cancel this summation by the -. (period) operation. Alternatively you may create a new layout without Total. For details of making a new layout see under Custom & Layout in the HELP-file.
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Depth from ... to ...
General: This field only applies for under water pictures taken in the field and the depth is indicated in meters. The depth range given is for the whole serie of slides; intermediate depths may occur in sample-sizes >2. For samplesize =2 the two depths are the ones of the two slides. For sample-size =1 the two depths are equal. All depths are indicated in meters. The field is a numerical field (as opposed to text). This allows find procedures using logic operators (>, <, = ).
All non-underwater-field-pictures have the value 0 (zero). This includes outdoor land pictures (e.g. insects). You may distinguish outdoor land pictures from non-field underwater and through water pictures by means of the word ARTIFICIAL in the field Biotope, which does not appear in the outdoor land pictures.

Special indications:
?: I do not know the depth at which the picture was taken.
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Number & Copyright
General: For each slide series a serial number is allocated. This facilitates finding the correct data for a slide you hold in your hands, which is especially important when several slides with the same subject are checked, e.g. there are 21 Classification PORIFERA UNIDENTIFIED with a total of 29 slides !
If you refer to a certain set of slides always use this number as a reference.

General: Here I mark who has which copies of my slides. I also obtained some slides from other people on which they have the copyright.
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I have scanned in thumbnails of my slides, currently approximately 3,700 out of over 7,000 series and 23'000 pictures. A selection is availble in the gallery.