I uploaded an observation of a caddisfly case and was stumped as to how I should annotate it beyond larva, if at all. I finally settled on track since I assume track includes any sign and not just a footprint. Thoughts?
The definition of “Track” that appears when you hover over it specifies an “impression in ground or snow made by organism”. Someone else may be able to explain the history behind the “Evidence of Presence” choices, but there really isn’t anything for “trace evidence” in general. This is part of the reason why there are multiple projects for things like caterpillar shelters, bird nests, etc. as well as general “animal architecture” projects. I didn’t see any projects for caddisfly cases specifically in a quick search, unfortunately.
Depending on how durable caddisfly cases are, I would also be careful about annotating these as “Larva” if they are empty. If they can last for weeks to months, doing that might mess up the Life History graphs
I agree, it shouldn’t be annotated as “Track” which does have a specific meaning. I wouldn’t annotate as Larvae myself for the reason you cited (without confirming the presence of a larva in the case).
There are some threads that touch on some of these issues:
and probably more, but there are definitely some that discuss trying to create a new annotation for structures created by organisms.
I went back and removed the annotations. Instead I used the Observation Field Animal Traces and Insect Stages. I feel strongly that this should be classified somehow as larva as caddisflies create cases only in the larval stage but I get the conflict with life history and the need for an actual organism.
I definitely understand the desire for that, but unless there’s an actual organism in there I disagree that it should be annotated as larva. For example, if one wants to start tracking seasonality of caddisfly larvae, annotating an empty case would throw that off.
It’s been a while since the annotations were introduced, has there been any movement on animal structures? Nests, burrows, etc? That could cover caddisfly larvae. There was quite lively debate about this at the time but i don’t recall an outcome.
They also pupate within the cases, so you have to check within to be certain of life stage