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Penn State research on local birds eating spotted lanternfly

Great article by Amy Duke featuring research by
Kelli Hoover and Anne Johnson out of Penn State on predation of Spotted Lanternfly by local birds. (Anne is now one of the project managers on this iNat project, so your bird observations here are already helping contribute to their study!)

https://paenvironmentdaily.blogspot.com/2020/09/study-at-penn-state-examines-potential.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PaEnvironmentDaily+%28PA+Environment+Daily+Blog%29&m=1

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 02:40 אחה"צ על־ידי robizzy robizzy | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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Observation date should = collection date

Hello, Earlhamites! I am posting to the project with permission from your professor @crsmithant. I graduated from Earlham in 2004 and now I work for iNaturalist.

I noticed that some of the observations uploaded to your project have the observation date as the date you took the photo, rather than the date indicated on the specimen label. To ensure the quality of the data you share, the two dates should match.

The easiest way to correct the dates will likely be to edit your observations on the iNaturalist website, rather than in the app. I made a short video that illustrates how to edit many observations at once.

I hope you'll take a few minutes to make sure the dates are correct on all of your insect observations from this term.

Later today I'll post a similar video for how to bulk edit locations.

I'm so excited to see more observations from campus and hope you keep sharing what you find on iNaturalist!

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 01:32 אחה"צ על־ידי carrieseltzer carrieseltzer | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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Nature Walk - 9/29

This morning at 7:30 AM I took a walk to the Houghton Garden in Chestnut Hill, MA. I had never been there before. It was very peaceful, there were only about three other people on the trails that filled the wild garden. It was 64 degrees Fahrenheit outside, and it was partly cloudy. The sun rose at 6:40 AM so it was nice and bright when I took my walk. Throughout my walk, I didn't see too many animals, but on the way there and back I saw a squirrel and a turkey. In the wild garden, I was able to see a lot of lichen on trees, along with different species of trees. I also was able to see some plants such as goldenrods. Lastly, I turned over a rock and saw an insect, which I identified as a type of termite.

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 01:21 אחה"צ על־ידי lucy1033 lucy1033 | 16 תצפיות | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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From neat encounter to dinner in 20 seconds

For several weeks the (I assume) same Eastern Fence Lizard hung out on the outside wall near the front porch light, snacking on anything that came near. I took this photo of a Yellow-vested Moth, and went on to another moth, when out of the corner of my eye I saw the lizard emerging from behind a wall plaque. I eased around and tried to line up a shot while the lizard lined up his shot. He shot before I could, and I didn't capture his capture.

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 01:19 אחה"צ על־ידי bobreed bobreed | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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Nachtschatten - auch spannend im Oktober!

Die Art des Monats Oktober, Vincetoxicum hirundinaria, werden viele Beobachter wahrscheinlich nicht finden, da sie in Hessen relativ selten zu sein scheint. Es gibt aber trotzdem Interessantes zu entdecken.
Jetzt ist die beste Zeit, um sich mit der Gattung Solanum, Nachtschatten, zu beschäftigen. Viele Arten sehen nämlich auf den ersten Blick recht ähnlich aus und sind erst jetzt anhand ihrer reifen Früchte richtig gut zu unterscheiden.
Wer mit Handy oder Kamera auf Nachtschatten-Jagd gehen will, sollte sich vorher am besten die Merkmale ansehen. Denn Übersichtsfotos helfen hier meist wenig. Wichtig sind Nahaufnahmen der Früchte und Kelche, auch Blattform und Behaarung der Stängel sollten möglichst gut zu erkennen sein. Wenn noch Blüten vorhanden sind, ist es natürlich gut, die ebenfalls abzulichten.
Hier kann man sich die Pflanzen und ihre Merkmale im Vorfeld ansehen: http://www.blumeninschwaben.de/Zweikeimblaettrige/Nachtschattengewaechse/nacht_ganz.htm

Einen Sonderfall stellt Solanum nigrum s.l. dar. In Deutschland unterscheiden Bestimmungsbücher wie der Rothmaler die Arten Solanum nigrum und Solanum decipiens (so auch im Schlüssel von Blumen in Schwaben). iNaturalist folgt einer anderen Taxonomie, hier ist Solanum nigrum = Solanum nigrum nigrum und Solanum decipiens = Solanum nigrum schultesii. Die Angabe der Unterart ist hier also keine Spielerei sondern macht es möglich die Beobachtungen später den in Deutschland anerkannten Arten zuzuordnen.
In genetischen Arbeiten wurde allerdings kein Unterschied zwischen den Arten festgestellt. Manche Autoren gehen davon aus, dass es nur eine Art mit unterschiedlichen Ökotypen sei, also Solanum decipiens eine Anpassung an sonnigere Standorte. Tatsächlich finden sich manchmal Exemplare, die sich nicht ganz eindeutig zuordnen lassen und in ihren Merkmalen zwischen den beiden Sippen stehen. Andererseits wachsen aber auch gut unterscheidbare Exemplare von nigrum und decipiens manchmal direkt nebeneinander. Hier ist also sicher das letzte Wort noch nicht gesprochen.
Mit guten Fotos, auf denen die Merkmale gut zu erkennen sind, können wir Daten sammeln, die in Zukunft dazu beitragen können zu klären, wie es sich denn nun mit Solanum nigrum s.l. in Hessen verhält.

Aber auch andere Arten der Gattung sind durchaus interessant. Es gibt einige Neophyten innerhalb der Gattung, die bislang nur wenige Male aus Hessen, vor allem an den Ufern der großen Flüsse, manchmal aber auch auf Brachflächen oder Erdaufschüttungen, nachgewiesen wurden. Da ist noch einiges zu entdecken. Und selbst die altbekannte Tomate gehört in diese Gattung und zeigt sich in den letzten Jahren immer häufiger außerhalb der Gärten.

Euer Zebra

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 11:26 לפנה"צ על־ידי zebra1193 zebra1193 | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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Vincetoxicum hirundinaria - Art des Monats Oktober 2020

Der Oktober ist nicht gerade die beliebteste Zeit um Pflanzen zu beobachten, dazu ist es in Hessen merklich abgekühlt. Wer jetzt in der Freizeit nach draußen geht, sucht meistens eher Pilze. Viele einheimische Pflanzen sind nun auch nicht mehr gut zu erkennen.
Trotzdem möchten wir noch eine Art in den Fokus setzen, die natürlich auch in der nächsten Saison weiter gesucht werden darf. Diesmal wird es aber deutlich schwieriger als im Monat September. Denn die ausgewählte Art ist nicht mehr in Blüte zu finden und zudem viel seltener als Saponaria officinalis, die Art des Monats September.
Die Weiße Schwalbenwurz ist aber dennoch im Moment gut an ihren Früchten zu erkennen, wie man bei dieser Beobachtung sieht, die vor wenigen Tagen gemacht wurde: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/60811717
Mehr zu den Merkmalen hier: http://www.blumeninschwaben.de/Zweikeimblaettrige/xKleineFamilien/vincetoxicum.htm
Die Art wurde ausgewählt, weil sich auf der Karte, die die Verbreitung in Deutschland zeigt, Hessen als heller Fleck abbildet. http://www.floraweb.de/webkarten/karte.html?taxnr=6351
Zwar fehlt die Art auch in anderen Teilen Deutschlands, aber es ist schon auffällig, wie Hessen da hervorsticht. Vielleicht können wir der Karte ja noch einige Fundorte hinzufügen?
Bislang wurde Vincetoxicum hirundinaria 14x auf iNaturalist in Hessen dokumentiert. Ich bin gespannt, ob jemand diese Art findet! Eine schöne Zeit wünscht,
Euer Zebra

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 11:03 לפנה"צ על־ידי zebra1193 zebra1193 | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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Erste Erfahrungen mit der "Art des Monats"

Der erste Monat, in dem wir den Fokus auf eine Pflanzenart gelegt haben, ist fast vorbei. Funktioniert die Idee, mit Hilfe von iNaturalist mehr über die Verbreitung von Pflanzenarten in Hessen zu erfahren? Zeit für ein erstes Resumee.
Die älteste Beobachtung von Saponaria officinalis aus Hessen ist bereits 5 Jahre alt. Bis August 2020 waren insgesamt 49 Beobachtungen eingegangen. Dann wurde sie "Art des Monats" und binnen vier Wochen erhöhte sich die Zahl der Beobachtungen auf 77! Das zeigt, die Projektidee wird angenommen. Obwohl wir mit 13 Beobachtern bislang ein sehr kleines Projekt sind und obwohl September nicht mehr die Hauptzeit zur Pflanzenbeobachtung ist, konnten wir die Anzahl der Nachweise deutlich erhöhen. Vielen Dank an alle, die dazu beigetragen haben!
Lässt man sich die Nachweise als Verbreitungskarte anzeigen, erfährt man zweierlei: Einerseits besteht offensichtlich ein Verbreitungsschwerpunkt in Südhessen. Andererseits sieht man aber auch die Aktionsräume unserer Beobachter: Die meisten Beobachtungen erfolgten in der Nähe der größeren hessischen Städte. Das gilt für die Masse der Beobachtungen in unserem Projekt insgesamt, der ländliche Raum ist oft unterrepräsentiert.
Bis wir die Verbreitung der Art in Hessen wirklich abschätzen können, braucht es daher noch etwas mehr. Wir werden Saponaria officinalis in der Saison 2021 weiterhin im Fokus behalten und hoffen, dass möglichst viele Naturalisten Ausflüge und Exkursionen in die ländlichen Regionen unseres Bundeslandes unternehmen, damit wir im Laufe der Zeit ein detaillierteres Bild der Verbreitung bekommen, natürlich nicht nur von Saponaria.
Die Idee funktioniert! Jetzt müssen wir sie nur noch etwas weiter in die Fläche tragen. Vielleicht auch, in dem wir weitere Beobachter gewinnen. Also: Weitersagen!
Euer Zebra

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 10:38 לפנה"צ על־ידי zebra1193 zebra1193 | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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GSB Observation Period Finished - Submission Period extended to the 8th October

Thanks everyone for participating in the Great Southern Bioblitz. The observation period is finished but those observation made during the 4 days can still be uploaded to iNaturalist.

The organisers have allowed an extended time period due to allow some participant groups in remote locations and area with limited internet access in Africa and South America to be able to finalise their submissions.
The new close off date for observations to be in the system is the 8th of Oct. We ought to target for Sunday the 4th October so that the additional 4 days can be used to finalise identifications and give us all an opportunity to review our own observation and resolve any question marks over species IDs.

Well done everyone.

Cheers rover--rod

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 08:08 לפנה"צ על־ידי rover-rod rover-rod | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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IDENTIFICATION TIME

Thank you everyone for all the great observations.

We now have a week to make identifications, so if you can please help with those.

Identifications are best made in a series of stages. Please choose your level and help us.

  • If you dont know any particular group really well, then please start at Stage 1 (Basic), and then Stage 2 (IDs).
  • If you know a particular group (e.g. birds, or Ericas) well, then please start at Stage 2 (IDs).
  • If you are a specialist, then please start at Stage 3 (Review), and then move to Stage 2 (IDs).

It is best if you use the ID curation tool. To see how this works, please look at this 2 minute tutorial.
https://vimeo.com/246153496
(basically you click on a card to start the tool, and then ID what you can on a "page", mark what you cannot do as "reviewed"and then go to the next page).

If you still have observations to upload, please do those first. Clear your upload backlog before starting on identifications:

* Stage 1. Basic

These are observations that do not have an ID and need an ID. It includes almost meaningless IDs such as "Birds" and "Plants" - the issue is not a problem for birds (our experienced identifiers can cope with this, but for plants, we need to narrow it down to family for the specialists to kick in).
Anyone can help here, and this is really appreciated. Please ID as finely as possible. It is almost pointless to ID "Plants" - please try to get to family level.
So please use this link.
Cut 1 - nothing: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?iconic_taxa=unknown&project_id=great-southern-bioblitz-2020-cape-town&place_id=any
Cut 2 - effectively unknown: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?quality_grade=research%2Cneeds_id%2Ccasual&project_id=great-southern-bioblitz-2020-cape-town&lrank=epifamily&place_id=any

* Stage 2: Tackling Family and genus level IDs.

This is the intermediate stage. Anyone can help here too. Specialists and those who know a particular group well should work here.

Click this link:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?quality_grade=needs_id%2Ccasual&project_id=great-southern-bioblitz-2020-cape-town&place_id=any
In the "species" box type your group (e.g. Ericaceae or Coleoptera - you can use common names, but if you dont know the formal names, then you are probably getting ahead of yourself). click on the option and then get identifying.

* Stage 3: Review

This is the final and double-checking phase. Dont worry: the ID curation tool will clear what you have reviewed, so that you will only have to review new data, not what you have already done. So data you checked in Stage 2 will not reappear here, nor will observations checked previously (unless someone has queried the ID).

Click this link:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?quality_grade=needs_id%2Ccasual%2Cresearch&project_id=great-southern-bioblitz-2020-cape-town&place_id=any
In the "species" box type your group - click on the option and then get reviewing.

If the ID is correct, then please "Agree" to it. Click the Agree button alongside the ID. The number of agreements is a measure of the certainty of the ID, so please dont just skip the IDs.

It is as simple as that. Please help.

In anticipation: thanks a million! Our identifiers are as important as our observers. Your help is invaluable.

BUT:

  • FAVES!!!
    If you see a particularly good photograph, an unusual, outstanding or special observation or just one that you like, please "FAVE" it - we will use these to choose our top observations for the Bioblitz. You can do as many as you like: be generous. It is on the bottom of the left panel in the ID tool.

  • Data Quality!!!
    Please note that these data are used! So please if there are any real issues, please mark the observations appropriately.

  • mark planted as planted
  • use the "Data Quality" tab to mark data with suspect localities or any real issues.

These help data users work out which data are most useful to their needs
For instance, all your data here will be used by SANParks in their Climate Amelioration study, which seeks to try and figure out which species on the Cape Peninsula will be most impacted by climate change and therefor might need rescue plans. These data will be downloaded next week - so this is imminent research!! Thank you for helping out in this study and others like it!

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 07:25 לפנה"צ על־ידי tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 2 comments | הוספת תגובה
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ENCERRADA A FASE DE OBSERVAÇÕES E COMEÇA A FASE DE IDENTIFICAÇÕES

PARABÉNS, GENTE!

Já batemos o recorde de observações de abril/2020 (6200) e estamos com quase 8.000 observações.
Como ainda há muitas imagens nas maquinas fotográficas, que serão inseridas ao longo desta semana, acredito que vamos ultrapassar a marca de 10.000 observação até o fim de semana.

A "Fase de Identificação" começa hoje e vai até 04 de outubro de 2020.

  • verifique as sugestões feitas em suas observações;
  • responda às perguntas, caso existam (raro, mas pode ocorrer);
  • auxilie na análise das observações e sugira identificações das espécies que você conhece.

E navegue pelos projetos, veja determinados organismos, enfim, procure combinações interessantes que o inaturalist proporciona!.

Uma boa semana para tod@s vocês!

Equipe de Organização do Bioblitz em Brasil-Geral.

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 04:44 לפנה"צ על־ידי ericfischerrempe ericfischerrempe | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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ENCERRADA A FASE DE OBSERVAÇÕES E COMEÇA A FASE DE IDENTIFICAÇÕES

PARABÉNS, GENTE!

Já batemos o recorde de observações de abril/2020 (1143) e estamos com 1.200 observações.
Como ainda há muitas imagens nas maquinas fotográficas, que serão inseridas ao longo desta semana, acredito que vamos ultrapassar a marca de 1.500 observação até o fim de semana.

A "Fase de Identificação" começa hoje e vai até 04 de outubro de 2020.

  • verifique as sugestões feitas em suas observações;
  • responda às perguntas, caso existam (raro, mas pode ocorrer);
  • auxilie na análise das observações e sugira identificações das espécies que você conhece.

E navegue pelos projetos, veja determinados organismos, enfim, navegue pelo inaturalist.

Uma boa semana para tod@s vocês!

Equipe de Organização do Bioblitz em Brasília e na RIDE.

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 04:39 לפנה"צ על־ידי ericfischerrempe ericfischerrempe | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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4,000 Observations!

Just reached this SDBioblitz's 4,000th observation, which happens to be this Katydid I found by chance while photographing a plant.

Hey @chrisleearm, you asked if we might reach 5,000 observations. Well, it seems observations keep coming in, so we just might :-)

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 04:36 לפנה"צ על־ידי gpasch gpasch | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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September 28, 2020 Malibu Bluffs Park

I started my visit in the best way with my first observation being a rattlesnake! It was sitting on the path I was planning to take so I changed my route and came back later after he warmed up and was gone. I had the place to myself which was nice and though it was quite humid, the temperature was quite bearable.

In addition to the rattlesnake, I got a nice photo of a singing California thrasher and was fortunate enough to find a hiding grasshopper sparrow, a bird I'm not sure I've seen before--or at least photographed before. I was hoping to find some other migrants or less common birds but once again, none were to be found. However there were lots of flowers still blooming and quite a few insects out and about. And I finally photographed my first monarch of the year. Once again, they are becoming all too rare.

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 04:08 לפנה"צ על־ידי naturephotosuze naturephotosuze | 3 תצפיות | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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17.3 points to Asila

For observing a GRASS (tomorrow's family), and getting it to research grade at that

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 03:37 לפנה"צ על־ידי crothfels crothfels | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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13.0 points to elaineguo

for the first observation IDed by Jon Rebman, a giant among southern California botanists

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 03:31 לפנה"צ על־ידי crothfels crothfels | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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18.1 points to nguyen-isabella

for the first sighting of a plant with "vinegar" in its name

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 03:26 לפנה"צ על־ידי crothfels crothfels | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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Coyote out at sunset

92 degrees. Sunset. North side of Mt. Diablo.

Coyote out on hiker hill just before sunset. Takes a rest in grass near the trail. Leaves scat. Investigates the trail until it gets to the gateway oak where it takes another rest. Investigates the wood piles. Disappears down the back of the hill into deer canyon.

Turkeys on the far northern fire break.

Striped feral cat out hunting in rattlesnake field. Caught a mouse. I’ve seen this same cat catch 3 mice and two birds so it’s probably killed many many more. Fewer animals in the park and less food for other native predators. Keep your cats in doors.

7:11 - bat.

Earlier today. 1 pm. High 90’s. Smokey. Mt Diablo Mines trail head. 2 young deer at the top of the first trail up the hill. One feeding. One resting.

Lots of tracks on the dusty trail past the mercury mine. Horse, deer, coyote, and a small canine, possibly a very old gray fox track. About 1.25 inches long. Toes 2 and 5 too far forward to be a coyote. Two claw marks present in most tracks so unlikely to be a cat. Trail is too purposeful and straight ahead to be a small dog, but not all the prints are still visible. Hard to analyze the gait when so much of the trail is missing, but there are both signs pointing towards and away from fox so it is not definite. Only some deer tracks looked somewhat recent, but I’ll keep my eye on this stretch of trail.

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 03:01 לפנה"צ על־ידי bruin_mike bruin_mike | תצפית 1
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Walk Through Warwick City Park, Sep 28, 2020

I often go for walks around here as it is peaceful and it has beautiful views of water. today I went with my dad and it happened to rain out today so we wore old sneakers and light rain coats. We usually see deer and plenty of squirrels, but today we only really saw a few birds. Because it was lightly raining, the trails were empty, so my dad and I were able to enjoy the path to ourselves and had fun stopping along the way to check out the nature. Along with some trees and lichen, we were able to spot two different kinds of mushrooms. I love coming here to walk, and it was definitely a nice way to take my mind off of stressful exams and assignments.

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 02:30 לפנה"צ על־ידי nicoleproc nicoleproc | 5 תצפיות | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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Pine Tree Preserve and Chestnut Hill Reservoir September 28, 2020

I took a nature walk this evening around 5:30 pm through the Pine Tree Preserve on Boston College's campus and around the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. It was a partly sunny, warm fall day, about 70 degrees F. The leaves are just starting to change colors here in Boston. I saw many plants, but not too many animals. I took particular note of various lichens and mosses on rocks and large trees. Another interesting find was evidence of Dendroctonus, a genus of bark eating beetles that are very destructive to conifers in North America.

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 02:19 לפנה"צ על־ידי caelalembo caelalembo | 13 תצפיות | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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It's (almost) over

Well done everyone, massive effort from our Coffs/Bello contingent!

Now it's time to upload any other photos you took during the event and identify our regions sightings. Thanks again to all our participants on the ground as well as our identifiers!

A summary of the event is coming very soon! :)

If you see any noteworthy highlights/sightings, please tag me so I can mention it.

Nick

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 01:19 לפנה"צ על־ידי nicklambert nicklambert | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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Week 1: Building Your iNaturalist Insect Collection

A quick reminder . . . Your week 1 lab assignment asks for your iNaturalist 'INSECT' observations, and your final project should only include Insects. Several folks are photographing and uploading arthropods to our project page. However, your efforts should really be focused on finding and photographing INSECTS!

Different stages of insects are acceptable . . . nymphs or larvae, pupa, and adults. Juvenille insects are much more difficult to identify than adults. But, taking photos of caterpillars can help you build your virutal insect collection, and can also help you become more familiar with insect pests (caterpillars are often pests, even if the moths and butterflies of these same species are pollinators). A photograph of a caterpillar and adult stage of the same species counts as TWO insect observations. But, a photograph of two adults of the same species or two caterpillars (or other larval form) of the same species will only count as one observation.

You will not need to show me your insect samples, every week. I ask for your specimens in week 0.5, one, and five. You will then need to turn in the entire collection (on iNaturalist) during the final week of the term. All specimens that you want me to grade need to be added to our iNaturalist project page for consideration.

Once again, please hunt for your insect specimens early in the term, when it will be easier to find and photograph different species.

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 12:47 לפנה"צ על־ידי gail61 gail61 | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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The First Documented Male-Male Combat in Black-banded Snakes! - Observation of the Week, 9/28/20

Our Observation of the Week is this pair of Black-banded snakes (serpiente come ciempiés - Scolecophis atrocinctus), seen in Costa Rica by @elainechernov!

Elaine Chernov, a designer from the Los Angeles area, and herpetologists Erich P Hofmann (@ephofmann, based in North Carolina, US) and Wolfgang Wüster (@wolfgang_wuster, based in the UK) recently published a Natural History Note in Herpetological Review [PDF] about this observation, which is likely the first documented instance of male-male combat in this species! But according to Elaine, someone else also deserves credit: “My 6 year-old son, Miles, actually deserves some credit. He saw the snakes first!”

Elaine and her two children spend a good amount of time in Costa Rica, as her parents have retired there. “I try to get out into all the beautiful preserved land they have there as much as I can,” she says.

Rincón de la Vieja is the closest volcanic national park to my family's house, so my son and I went for a day trip to hike up to a beautiful waterfall to start off the new year. He was such a trooper—we hiked for 4 hours, and on the way back he spotted these snakes on the ground. I thought maybe they were mating, so I loudly proclaimed, "Aww they are hugging!" to him hoping for limited questions about what they might be doing.

So, she posted the snakes to iNaturalist. Erich P Hofmann, currently a biology instructor at Cape Fear Community College in North Carolina, tells me he has taxon subscriptions “set up for several cryptic, fossorial/semi-fossorial snake species I’m particularly interested in and/or have conducted research on, including Scolecophis and Homoroselaps.” Because these snakes are so small and are often hiding under the leaf litter, they are not often seen (as of now, only thirty-four have been observed on iNat) and “because they are rarely encountered, very little is known about their natural history, and behavioral data is especially lacking.”

Elaine’s observation, then, was intriguing, and soon Erich and Wolfgang (who is based in the UK) began discussing it, as well as sharing it on Facebook. Other herpetologists such as Harry Greene and Gordon Schuett weighed in and suggested it was worth publishing. “Elaine was keen to collaborate on publishing the observation” says Erich, “and she shared with us additional photos and a video of the snakes that she took, which was a phenomenal additional piece–not only an incredibly lucky observation of a rare snake species engaged in a potentially unreported behavior, but one with video that could be further examined!”

Both Erich and Wolfgang tell me that male-male combat is pretty well known among larger snakes such as rattlesnakes and other vipers, as well as long-bodied colubrids like those in the genus Pituophis. Erich explains,

[it’s] generally a kind of wrestling match: in larger-bodied taxa like rattlesnakes (Crotalus), combat consists of two posturing snakes moving and entwining their bodies, raising their heads and anterior trunks, and repeatedly attempting to “pin” the head and neck of the other snake until eventually one concedes. Similarly, in smaller-bodied snakes like coral snakes (Micrurus), two snakes intertwine their bodies, sometimes rolling and spinning around, and again try to gain dominance over their opponent by moving their head and neck above their opponent’s head and neck. However, the lifting of the head and anterior trunk isn’t seen–as we understand it, combat takes place mostly horizontally in smaller snakes. Biting appears to be rare in either case; it is really more of a physical match.

After doing some research, Erich and Wolfgang only found two examples of small colubrid snakes (in the genus Sonora) engaging in male-male combat, so it’s not common, or at least not commonly observed, in small snakes. Elaine’s observation was the first known documentation of such behavior in this species, although the two herpetologists note that because the snakes were not sexed, there’s a possibility the snakes were two different sexes. But in all likelihood both snakes are male, as the behavior hews closely to other documented male-male combat. “It was a really great example of citizen science and social media connecting observations and those able to make the most of them, and adding a little brick to the edifice of our knowledge of the natural world,” says Wolfgang.

Elaine (above, with her children) tells me she shared and discussed her notes, photos, and video with Erich and Wolfgang, then “walked around gloating about being a published scientist to anyone that would listen.” She uses iNaturalist to learn about what she sees, and she’s also helping her daughter (who’s now “obsessed with bugs) ID her finds. “I'm a single mom with two very young kids and...love using the app to be able to tell them what the thing we saw while out on a hike was called,” she says.

Wolfgang, a snake expert, has contributed nearly 37,000 IDs to iNaturalist, and says he likes using it for several reasons: coming across new locations for the species he studies, honing his ID skills (“with a whole bunch of other highly experienced naturalists on the platform, you are kept on your toes, and you soon relearn humility when you screw up!”), data for niche modeling and just as a social platform.“There are some incredibly knowledgeable and talented people on iNaturalist that don't otherwise use social media,” he says,  

and that I would not have come to interact with without this platform. And also, it's a great bastion of positivity in a social media landscape dominated by politics, news (usually depressing) and discord - we are all here for the same reason, brought together by what unites us rather than by what divides us. That is something to be treasured in these fractious times...While I would advocate a little bit of extra care in managing potential impacts on sensitive species, the overall balance sheet is very much positive!

For his part, Erich notes that platforms like iNat can bring together people from around the world, as the people participating here hail from “California, North Carolina, and the UK, and the observation took place in Costa Rica!

There have been many iNaturalist observations that have ended up published as natural history notes or used in datasets for larger papers, but even seemingly “normal” observations of everyday taxa help to clarify our understanding of the natural world. Many people now have cameras in their pockets, and take pictures just to learn more about a plant or animal; by sharing them to platforms like iNaturalist, these simple pictures can be seen by experts, and may spark discussions, give rise to new hypotheses, or lay the foundation for future studies. Natural history is the foundation of good scientific inquiry in biology, and the collection of natural history data used to be restricted essentially only to scientists in the field. Now, citizen/community scientists are adding important new pieces to the overall puzzle of biodiversity and natural history of organisms on Earth simply by taking photos of things they encounter, and wanting to learn more about them. It all starts with the observers, and I’m very happy that Elaine shared her photo on iNaturalist and was open and excited about publishing the observation!


- Herpetologist @gregpauly noted that the black-banded snake publication “is 1 of 8 that reference iNaturalist observations in this issue of Herpetological Review. Plus, one book review and one research summary also mention iNaturalist. So, 10 different articles referencing iNaturalist in one journal issue!” You can download it by section at https://ssarherps.org/herpetological-review-pdfs/

- Here’s some footage of king cobra males engaging in combat. 

פורסם ב ספטמבר 29, 2020 12:11 לפנה"צ על־ידי tiwane tiwane | 7 comments | הוספת תגובה
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There's still time to upload and ID!

Hello Great Southern Bioblitzers!

What an amazing effort in our first ever year; in just 4 days, you contributed over 61,000 observations of more than 9,000 species. Even more excitingly, these efforts were thanks to 2,600 observers! It's awesome to see so many people involved, getting connected with nature, and contributing valuable biodiversity data.

But we're not done yet! Although the window for observing is over, you can still upload your photos. There will now be a 10 day window (so up until midnight of Thursday the 8th of October) to allow everyone to upload any photos they have left from the 4 days. Also importantly, these 10 days will be valuable for identifying your observations, so get out your field guides and start IDing! If you've managed to ID all of your own observations, have a look through some of the other amazing observations in the project and see if you can help others out.

I'm looking forward to next year's GSB already!

פורסם ב ספטמבר 28, 2020 11:36 אחה"צ על־ידי thebeachcomber thebeachcomber | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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1st Nature Walk

I went to a trail nearby my dorm that I normally go to to run, but today was different. I took the time to take everything in and truly absorb what was around me, instead of quickly glancing at nearby places and running off. It was really nice outside, in the low 70s but a little humid, which made me work up quite a sweat. I encountered many interesting plants and even was able to get really close to a few animals. While observing I noticed that two different plants had the same name of Goldenrods even though they looked completely different. Furthermore, I encountered many types of fungi such as Black-staining Polypore, Common Greenshield Lichen, Wrinkled Crust and Fomitopsis. I really enjoyed talking this walk as it felt like a short getaway from the stresses of school and home. The fact all these gems were in a place I go to so frequently made me realize how often I overlook even the simplest beautiful things nature has to offer.

פורסם ב ספטמבר 28, 2020 10:35 אחה"צ על־ידי victoriamcfadden victoriamcfadden | 11 תצפיות | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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Midnight on the final day

For the Garden Route the Great Southern BioBlitz https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/great-southern-bioblitz-2020-garden-route-district is over. Well, the taking of observations it is.
Now you can relax and over the next few days (10) upload all your observations and do identifications.

Looking at the umbrella project https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/great-southern-bioblitz-umbrella the Garden Route not to shabby.

The Garden Route recorded 666 species over the 4-day period and is laying in 4th place.
Currently with observations the Garden Route is placed 7th with 1911 observations.
Note these numbers can and probably will change as the balance gets uploaded.

Thank you to everyone who is showcasing the Garden of South Africa.

פורסם ב ספטמבר 28, 2020 10:32 אחה"צ על־ידי shauns shauns | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas Pilot Year

The Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas Pilot Year is not over yet!! A big thank you to you all for making our pilot year a great one! If you have any data sheets, please scan and email them to jpupko@vtecostudies.org or mail in your paper copies to Vermont Center for Ecostudies PO Box 420 Norwich, VT 05055 as soon as you can. Once we have all of the data in, we will be able to share a summary of the year’s findings. Stay tuned for our end-of-the-year report coming at the end of next month!

Thus far, there have been 19 species of lady beetle recorded as Research Grade Observations in Vermont, 14 of which are native. One species found is the elusive Four-Spotted Spurleg Lady Beetle (Brachiacantha quadripunctata), which was not seen since 1976 prior to surveys done for this project. While fall has certainly arrived, it is not too late to get out there and conduct some more surveys—the beetles will be out until it we get our first deep frosts!! Additionally, certain lady beetles occur in the highest frequencies in September, as they prepare to overwinter in leaf litter or under rocks. Send some more surveys our way!

פורסם ב ספטמבר 28, 2020 10:32 אחה"צ על־ידי jpupko jpupko | 1 comment | הוספת תגובה
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Monday night: all done

Its midnight. We are done!
Thank you everyone for a magnificent achievement. Time for bed.

At this stage Australia has been done for 6 hours and South America still has 7 hours to play: we have -
10,587 of the 59.517 observations (18%)
1,539 of the 9,095 species (17%)
205 of the 2569 observers (8%)
We are top of the leaderboards in all, although the number of observers was a close call, and still is until Lima retires in 7 hours.
These numbers are provisional: the Americas are still active, and we all have a backlog of observations to upload and identifications to make.

Tuesday we can take a break. And then we need to finish our uploads and start the identification parties - these will be virtual of course. And with numbers one fifth that of the City Nature Challenge it should be quite easy.

I wont post any statistics yet: I will assume that by Thursday early almost all the observations will be uploaded, and that we have dented the identifications, and will do a short summary then.
Briefly though: (all targets are for species)
Targets exceeded: Botterblom (195%), Durbanville (132%), Uitkamp (102%);
Targets within 90%: Bothasig; Jack Miller,
Dipped again: Wolfgat & Arderne and Tokai Arboreta.

We have achieved (numbers of species): 144 birds, 24 mammals, 30 herps, 12 fish; 4,621 plants***, 35 fungi, 16 seaweeds, 125 insects, 18 arachnids, 69 molluscs & 10 crustaceans.

Once again, thank you everyone. And now for some well-earned sleep.

פורסם ב ספטמבר 28, 2020 10:26 אחה"צ על־ידי tonyrebelo tonyrebelo | 2 comments | הוספת תגובה
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Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas Pilot Year

The Vermont Lady Beetle Atlas Pilot Year is not over yet!! A big thank you to you all for making our pilot year a great one! If you have any data sheets, please scan and email them to jpupko@vtecostudies.org or mail in your paper copies to Vermont Center for Ecostudies PO Box 420 Norwich, VT 05055 as soon as you can. Once we have all of the data in, we will be able to share a summary of the year’s findings. Stay tuned for our end-of-the-year report coming at the end of next month!

Thus far, there have been 19 species of lady beetle recorded as Research Grade Observations in Vermont, 14 of which are native. One species found is the elusive Four-Spotted Spurleg Lady Beetle (Brachiacantha quadripunctata), which was not seen since 1976 prior to surveys done for this project. While fall has certainly arrived, it is not too late to get out there and conduct some more surveys—the beetles will be out until it we get our first deep frosts!! Additionally, certain lady beetles occur in the highest frequencies in September, as they prepare to overwinter in leaf litter or under rocks. Send some more surveys our way!

פורסם ב ספטמבר 28, 2020 10:17 אחה"צ על־ידי jpupko jpupko | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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Camera and phones down - time to upload

Hi Everyone , in case you were not aware, there is a window to continue uploading your observations taken during the Great Southern Bioblitz timeframe. If you could complete by the coming weekend, it will give identifiers time to view and confirm observations before the final results. We look forward to seeing what species are added.
At this stage the western side of Lake Mac City looks as though it was not visited and there are so many great vegetation communities there - hopefully next year.

פורסם ב ספטמבר 28, 2020 09:49 אחה"צ על־ידי margo_s margo_s | 6 comments | הוספת תגובה
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Period for uploading

Message received from organizers.
While the taking of observations ends tonight at midnight
"There'll be a grace period of ~10 days afterwards to give time to upload/ID everything"

פורסם ב ספטמבר 28, 2020 09:26 אחה"צ על־ידי shauns shauns | 0 comments | הוספת תגובה
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