Journal archives for May 2017

May 01, 2017

4,000 Species in our county!

Dear San Mateo County Bio-Blitz participants:

We've reached a major milestone today, with 4,000 total species observed in the county. We also have a chance to reach 100,000 total observations by the end of 2017. Keep on keepin' on!

Jennifer

Posted on May 01, 2017 03:52 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 0 comments | Leave a comment

May 03, 2017

Lichens and Mosses

I am getting into lichens. I figured this would happen - they are visually interesting, colorful, and they are remarkably stable compared to birds. But I am stymied by mosses. I am not even clear, really, on what a moss IS. I include here a link to a moss I took a picture of on campus today. Could someone tell me how to best make visual IDs of mosses (just as a Phylum)? And what are the best things to photograph on a moss to increase the chance of being able to ID it. I took the first picture with my macro lens on the iPhone, for instance. Is that a good strategy? Thanks!

@finatic , @dpom , @kueda , @charlie , @sea-kangaroo

Posted on May 03, 2017 18:29 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 1 observations | 26 comments | Leave a comment

May 11, 2017

Catching Up with IDs

Dear Participants -

I have a dream to reduce the number of unidentified, non-research grade observations in the San Mateo County Bio-Blitz project. As of this writing, there are over 26,000 of our 85,000 observations that are not at research grade. Some of these will never be identifiable to species, but many can be. I've been spending some time in the deep recesses of our project, and here's what I've noted.
There are MANY identifiable forms, especially in plants and inter-tidal critters. I just lack the expertise to identify them. There are sizable numbers of butterflies, insects, mushrooms, odes, and lichens that, if not identifiable to species, can at least be located to family. As to be expected, most birds are taken care of already. But surprisingly, mammals are not as well-covered.
I am not asking everyone to spend hours IDing. But if each person would take thirty minutes to search for their speciality species and families, it would be a great help. There is a LOT of low-hanging fruit to be identified. For instance, I don't know many plants, but I went in and cleaned up Scarlet Pimpernel and Miner's Lettuce!

If you have not already done this, it is easy to generate a page that brings up all entries in need of identification. Here's the process. Come here to the San Mateo County Bio-Blitz. Click on "Observations from the left-hand column under "Stats." When the observation page comes up, go to the address bar on your browser. The address should read
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations?project_id=799&place_id=any&verifiable=any&captive=any
Now, go to this address and between the word "observations" and the question mark, insert the word "identify" - as in this address
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?project_id=799&place_id=any&verifiable=any&captive=any
This page will now work the same way as the general "Identification" page for all iNat sightings that you can access from the top bar menu.
Once you've advanced the first page of entries in need of IDing, you can jump to later points by fiddling with the page marker.
http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?verifiable=any&page=5&project_id=799&captive=any
Here, where the address reads "page=5" you can go into the address bar and change the page number to where you want to go. I've found this feature to sometimes be buggy, toggling between page 1 and the requested page. If you are persistent, though, the program most often calms down and lets you do what you need to do.

Each page generated contains 30 entires to be identified. We currently have 882 pages. If we could work that down to 750 pages, I'd be thrilled! Frankly, if we all chip in, it'll be done in a snap!

I'm going to invite people who have known expertise or lots of entries here. Thanks for anything you can do!

Posted on May 11, 2017 03:56 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 7 comments | Leave a comment

May 12, 2017

Identifying Flies

While pondering over this strange Diptera sp. I saw yesterday (strange, beautiful and fascinating), I came across this resource

http://phorid.net/zadbi/education/how-to-identify-flies/how-to-identify-flies-antennae-shape/how-to-identify-flies-cyclorrhapha-test/

Useful for getting those pesky diptera to family.

Posted on May 12, 2017 15:41 by gyrrlfalcon gyrrlfalcon | 1 observations | 5 comments | Leave a comment