Arturo Santos Curator

Joined: Aug 27, 2017 Last Active: Sep 27, 2023 iNaturalist Monthly Supporter since November 2020

Check out my LinkTree for social media profiles and more:
https://linktr.ee/aispinsects

I am a technician at the Cornell Department of Entomology and with a strong passion for insects and biodiversity. I am interested in just about all things entomology and insects. I am also a contributing editor at BugGuide.net.

I have been identifying insects by photographs online since at least 2013. I started on BugGuide and r/whatsthisbug and didn't stop for a long time. I had also been looking at the WhatsThatBug blog years before. I was entirely generalist until I just decided one day to learn how to identify flies since they appeared to be neglected. In 2017, I discovered iNat and went on to identify flies along with @ edanko, becoming one of the top iNat identifiers of Diptera for North America. In chronological order, I learned to specifically identify long-legged flies in the genus Amblypsilopus, families of Diptera, crane flies in the subgenus Yamatotipula, some Calyptratae, and then Tabanidae. My identifications in that phase may be a little rocky and I used little literature at the time (except for the crane flies thanks to the easily usable CCW). At this time I also made the Google Slides file of the US/Canada fauna of Tabanidae in @ edanko and @ zdanko's FlyGuide. Next I dove into Calyptratae a bit more, where I took a large undertaking with the Tachinidae. I also went to look at other insect groups such as Scoliidae, Chrysopidae, and Tettigoniidae (I have always been interested in Orthoptera even as a kid). The Tachinidae taught me a lot about insect anatomy and finalized my skill in navigating through scientific literature to identify specimens. I formed collections of my own and identifying them using keys and descriptions, where I now have examined probably hundreds of species of flies, that can also be mostly seen in my observations. Finally was the Anthomyiidae, a group of flies almost entirely ignored in terms of expertise where no specialists exist in North America. Although I was and had finished reading the literature about these flies I never got to identifying them. Unfortunately I had to largely stop identifying in 2020 so that I can focus on other aspects of my life and career (and my identifications were already teetering out up to a year before). I still worked on my own observations, however, and grew to love making mock morphological descriptions of the specimens I collect. I am excited to say that I feel content with resuming identifications again. I hope to soon make a provisional key to genera of Anthomyiidae north of Mexico with updated generic concepts in my iNat journal.

In an effort to increase awareness about decolonizing naturalism, the vast majority of my observations take place in the land of the pre-colonial era Safety Harbor culture (called the broad sense of "Tocobaga") including the peoples Pohoy (Capaloey), Amacapira, strict sense Tocobaga, Mocoso, Alafay, Uçita, and istî siminolî or yat'siminoli (known as the Seminole Tribe).

The profile picture is not of me, but AI generated.

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