Journal archives for April 2024

08 April, 2024

Important Note About iNat:

Please be extra careful when pressing "agree" on identifications, especially the Computer Vision / Auto-ID ones. It is extremely important that you are careful with this because when an observation is research grade it becomes available to researchers and it can be frustrating and extra work for them if it is incorrect data. Also, when an observation becomes research grade it goes towards helping train iNaturalist's Computer Vision, so incorrectly-identified RG can mess up iNaturalist's map data and the Computer Vision for users who will use it later. Research grade isn't a badge or something that you should even necessarily strive for. If it can't be RG then it can't be RG. When you click the Agree button, you are indicating that you believe it to be that species, based on your personal knowledge or research. It is important to remember that quite often most insects and spiders cannot be identified without microscopy. (The use of a microscope) That kind of independent identification is way, way more valuable than quickly clicking “Agree”, because it can be used to correct errors. I must admit that some of my oldest identifications were just carelessly agreeing without me actually knowing what was right or wrong, and this led me to quite a few misidentifications. I also often wanted everything to be brought down to species. I am more conservative. Don't become my old self. I know animals and especially spiders can be really difficult to identify, and often specific, generic, or even familial identifications just can't be made without examining the genitalia, a process which can be difficult and one which almost always involves killing the animal. A lot of the time, minor details must be located to confidently identify a particular spider, and some families can include members which can appear identical to another family and with other members appearing identical to a totally different family.

When pinging people based on the amount of identifications they are a few things are important to remember:

  1. Are they active? Be sure to check when the last time they were on inat was.
  2. Are they frequent identifiers who have shown trustworthiness or do they just press agree?
  3. If they just add what they think it is with little to no description don't press agree! Unless you are certain of what the specimen in picture is don't press agree.
Posted on 08 April, 2024 21:09 by cs16-levi cs16-levi | 1 comment | Leave a comment

14 April, 2024

My Expertise

I am studying Arachnology currently and I have varying degrees of knowledge about Herpetology, Entomology, and Ornithology. I have some degree of knowledge about mammals, but most of it includes Rabbits - more specifically Marsh Rabbits. Although as of right now I have no profession with animals I have spent a lot of time researching spiders; especially widows and Long-Jawed Jumping/Orbweaver spiders. I have also spent a lot of time researching the herps, birds, fish, and rabbits of North America so when I go out to identify something i'm not guessing and I only make an id if I know what the species is. When I first joined iNaturalist I knew almost nothing about spiders, but it has kick started my love and for them and it hasn't stopped! I can identify (almost) any Freshwater/Saltwater fish larger than 5 inches in the Southern United States. Tracks and signs have been a part of my daily field research for a while now, but I only started identifying them on iNat on 2.10.23. Herons, Deer, Egrets, and Game Birds are my primary focus.

Posted on 14 April, 2024 16:51 by cs16-levi cs16-levi | 0 comments | Leave a comment