miked's picture

DO NOT use 'other organisms' group unless you really can't fit it into one of the other groups

Please put your observation in the correct group and DO NOT use 'other organisms' group unless you really can't fit it into one of the other groups. For example butterflies and moths should be put into 'invertebrates' and fungi should be put into 'fungi'.

Items put into 'other organisms' are probably less likely to be found by experts as I suspect experts concentrate on observations that are put into their specific group of interest such as 'plants' or 'fungi'.

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Masked Marvel's picture

Would it be possible for

Would it be possible for iSpot to reassign the observation to the correct category on the basis of the scientific name? Although this may no be correct it's unlikely to be so wrong that it would put the observation in the wrong category.

miked's picture

well the system is supposed

well the system is supposed to do this automatically I think so long as you choose from the drop-down list and 'get recommended'.
If you type the name without doing this then it can't select the correct category. This works for the original name that is used but it might also work for the likely ID too but have not checked that yet.

wolvobirder's picture

I recently did an

I recently did an identification of a small bloody-nosed beetle that was classified as "other organism" by the original observer. The system did not reclassify the observation.

Could we not have an additional drop down box in the "add observation" form to add the correct group if it is classified as "other organism"?

John

miked's picture

I have manually adjusted this

I have manually adjusted this particular observation to inverts group. I am not sure that having an extra box would work as you would then be editing the original observation which only the observer themselves and one or two admin people are allowed to do.
The system should have made the adjustment automatically but occasionally it does n't as in this case.

DavidHowdon's picture

Does it?

I've never seen the system behave this way. The original poster's allocation to a category remains unchanged regardless of what other IDs are added.

So if it is meant to work that way I'd suggest it might be a bit broken.

Ray Turner's picture

Seconded

Seconded

Ray

Ray

wolvobirder's picture

Broken

Yes I'd also say that it is broken. The correct group never gets assigned.

Martin Harvey's picture

not broken, but room for improvement

As things stand:

  • When adding an observation, if you provide an identification using a recognised species name, and then click on Get Recommended, the Group will be filled in automatically.
  • If you don't provide an ID, you have to choose the Group manually.
  • If an ID later gets added or changed, there is no automatic updating of the Group (and never has been).

As part of the redevelopment of iSpot that is currently being worked on we are looking to see if we can improve this so the the correct Group can be more readily picked from the name - not yet sure exactly what we'll be able to do but we'll keep you posted.

----
Entomologist and biological recorder

AlanS's picture

Me being pedantic

and awkward for the sake of it.

But there is an assumption here that the Latin name will belong to just one group. As we have separate zoological and botanical codes, this might not be true.

At species level this will work I think. But what happens if someone posts an observaton of an unknown flowering shrub and someone correctly names it to genus as "Pieris"? Would an automatic system put it into invertebrates as a butterfly?

Or would an uncertain butterfly of the Cabbage White genus (Pieris) end up as a plant?

My favourite in this context is the genus Drosophila, or, to be more precise, the genera Drosophila. It is amazing how many books/papers discuss Drosophila without ever specifying they mean a fruit fly and not a toadstool!

Yes, me being pedantic, but it might be a point to watch with any automatic system.

Alan

DavidHowdon's picture

There are a few

on iSpot where the auto-complete feature gives you a choice between 'wibble' (an invertebrate) and 'wibble' (a plant) so at least in theory this can probably be handled.

Martin Harvey's picture

pedantry!

Thanks for being pedantic Alan, we're keen on that! But as David says, hopefully the system can cope, and for both Pieris and Drosophila when you click on "Get recommended" it offers you the choice of plant/butterfly and fly/fungus respectively (although for the fungus the species dictionary prefers the name Psathyrella).

----
Entomologist and biological recorder

AlanS's picture

Well done

Good to know the system is already prepared.

Yes, Drosophila (fungal) is currently considered a synonym of Psathyrella, but we longer-in-the-tooth mycologists who used to use a classic French work ("K & R") as our standard identification book for toadstools will remember Drosophila being used as the generic name there.

Who knows, the DNA cladisticians, with their arbitrary and arcane rules about paraphyly, may split the genus and Drosophila may rise again!

And then we could have fun with your new linking system, with species of Drosophila known to feed on species of Drosophila.

Alan
(who should be marking exam scripts - this is rather desperate displacement activity)