Casual record species entry

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When I enter a record and enter the name of the species, I get a message saying that the taxon needs to be specified. It says use the * wildcard but I don't know what this means or how to address it. This happens whether I enter the common or scientific name. Unlike the other headings no padlock is shown for species name, which may be related. 

I won't be attempting to enter any more records until I get an explanation to this anomaly. This never used to happen as the name would appear in a drop-down menu, but no longer.