Instructions for Authors

Species Orchidacearum (SO) is a serial publication. It is published in volumes, freely available online, and peer-reviewed. Icons from any author are received, they may treat any species of the Orchidaceae family, from any country, previously published or not, as long as they comply with the author’s instructions. The icons are made up of a digital plate (LCDP from here on), and one page of text, specified further on.

SO looks to be a universally accessible platform where species of the Orchidaceae family are made available, by systematically documenting each species’ local and regional variation. In order to reach this goal, each icon must comply with the following requirements:

1) The illustrated specimen needs to be determined to species with confidence. The authors must show that the protologue and original type material have been studied, and should annex these material to their submission.

2) The origin of each illustrated specimen has to be known and as specific as possible. No plates of unsure origin will be received.

3) Each icon must include an LCDP, in full color, and it needs to be complete and of high quality (see published examples for reference).

4) Each icon must include a text prepared on the basis of the illustrated specimen. Each icon must represent a single individual, not a species, and be as faithful as possible.

5) Authors are responsible for obtaining the permits required to illustrate and prepare the materials for each icon. When any of the elements of an icon have been previously published, reprint permission from the original publisher has to be obtained prior to submission to Species Orchidacearum.

For the sake of consistence, scientific names follow those established in Genera Orchidacearum, with well funded exceptions. The specific epithet has to be given by the authors. Homotypic synonyms have to be listed in the text, heterotypic synonyms should be omitted. New taxa may be proposed in SO.


Lankester Composite Digital Plate (LCDP)

Size: Letter, 8.5 × 11 inches (215.9 × 279.4 mm)
Resolution: 300 dpi
Background: Black
Format: Photoshop PSD file with layers, RGB mode with 16 bits. Photographs must be in RAW, NEF, DNG or similar, and edited in order to adjust from brightness, contrast, temperature, etc. Color calibrations is highly recommended so that colors are closest to nature.
Scale bars: White, horizontal, 6 pixels wide, with two sides that rise 10 pixels above the scale.
Labels: Each illustrated part has to be labeled with a letter. These are in all caps, Arial 14 pts, white, placed horizontally on the bottom left of each structure. Parts are labeled in alphabetical order starting with A, in the following order when presents: habit (plant), leaf, inflorescence, flower, perianth, sepals, petals, lip, column, polinia, anther cap, capsule.
Measurements: these are given in entire numbers, no decimals (105 mm rather than 10.5 cm), with a space separating the units (normally mm or cm, but m and dm may be used in exceptional cases). They are given in Arial, 12 pts, white, and should be centered over the scale bar, 20 pixels above the line. Easily comparable values should be used (1, 3, 5, 10, 20, 50, etc.), rather than less informative ones (like 4, 7, 9, 11, 13, etc).



One or more authors are given, specifying the author(s) of each element (LCDP and text). The text is in English, not longer than a single page, in Times New Roman, 12 pts.
Name: a species name has to be indicated, followed by its authors in their standard from (IPNI), followed by the abbreviated citation of the publication, with journal volume (number) and publication year. Only the species name will be in italics and bold. As follows: Acianthera lojae (Schltr.) Luer, Monogr. Syst. Bot. Missouri Bot. Gard. 95: 254. 2004.
Synonyms: Only homotypic synonyms should be listed.
Type: Here the information of the type collection must be given as is given in the protologue. This typically includes country, colector and herbarium where the specimen is deposited.
Description: A standard morphological description of the specimen is expected here, from the most general elements to the most specific. The description should be based only on the specimen studied by the authors, do not add information from other sources onto the description.
Illustrated specimen: Here the information on the illustrated specimen must be given when it differs from the type. The information give is the same as that requested for the type specimen.
LCDP Caption: The illustrated plant parts must be given in the same order as the plate numbers.
Ranges: separate by a single dash, without spaces (20-45, not 20 – 45).
Use a multiplication symbol “×” instead of the letter “x” to separate length and width (1.0–1.1 × 3.2–3.3 mm).
Units: should be metric, abbreviated (10 km, 2.3 cm).



The authors must show they have studied the original description (protologue) and its elements (type material). They are encouraged to submit the studied elements together with the LCDP and plate as either web-links or as separate files in .PDF, .JPG or .TIFF. These original elements may include the protologue, original publication, holotype, isotype, lectotype, neotypes, paratypes, illustrations of type material, etc. Material not associated with the original description should not be submitted. Authors are not required to provide all elements, but at least those that allowed for an interpretation of the studied specimen. The anexes are not published with the icon.