Journal archives for April 2017

April 01, 2017

My (current) identification strategy

  1. Start with the lowest level taxon that I know offhand.
  2. Search iNaturalist observations for that taxon, filtered by state (or any relevant area defined by map).
  3. View by "Species" (not by "Observations") and have two windows open--one with the critter that needs the ID, the other with the grid view of species.
  4. Start scrolling (anything likely to be observed will show up here). Be cautious, there may be misidentifications, especially for those that are rarely observed.
  5. If I find a match (or close match), go to BugGuide and use the advanced search for the genus (by state) to see if any other species are similar.
  6. Still on BugGuide, examine the Info and Taxonomy pages for the genus and see if all known species have photographs (it usually states how many species are known from N.A.). If not, I can't be "absolutely" sure of an ID myself because one of the species without photos may look superficially identical the one I'm IDing.
  7. If it's a moth, go to Moth Photographers Guide for confirmation.

If I don't find a match or close match on iNat (viewing by Species), then the work really starts. And what I do depends on what taxa it is. But it usually involves looking at the plates on Moth Photographers guide or digging around in BugGuide. Basically, looking for a needle in the haystack.

Posted on April 01, 2017 02:09 PM by pfau_tarleton pfau_tarleton | 6 comments | Leave a comment

April 30, 2017

Power user tip: displaying species lists

When I'm wanting to sift through all of the species within a certain area in order to find a match to an unknown observation (see April 1st entry), it's sometimes handy to display multiple groups or to exclude groups. To do so, you can enter multiple taxon_ids in the URL and exclude taxon_ids.

E.g. to show butterflies+skippers, type in "&taxon_ids=47224,47654":,47654&view=species

If you want to exclude a group, use without_taxon_id. E.g. all lepidoptera except butterflies+skippers (i.e. moths):,47654

To find the taxon ID, navigate to its taxon page and check the URL. For searches that I do regularly, I bookmark the URL and it's there when I need it.

Thanks to Scott Loarie for this tip:!topic/inaturalist/AGk2R_3CixY

Posted on April 30, 2017 12:08 AM by pfau_tarleton pfau_tarleton | 1 comment | Leave a comment

Searching for things

Sometimes one needs to find a past comment, and there are three options: all comments, comments by me, comments on my observations).

Searching through IDs isn't possible like it is with Observations, but that functionality is supposed to be in development:!topic/inaturalist/sw6w5ESnIf8

Posted on April 30, 2017 01:31 PM by pfau_tarleton pfau_tarleton | 4 comments | Leave a comment