I know that some iNaturalist users set out to document thoroughly all the biodiversity of a particular place, and this is certainly a worthy goal. But I am curious whether anyone’s life list goal is to fill out as much of a given taxonomic group as possible, not limited to one area. Say, for example, Rubiaceae – looking specifically for Rubiaceae wherever you go, uploading Rubiaceae preferentially, and perhaps even planning trips for the purpose of observing specific Rubiaceae.
After all, if there are what we may call taxonomic interest groups in the wider world – the International Aroid Society, for instance, or the International Palm Society – it makes sense that some of that would go on here, too.
Cecidomyiidae here. They’ve interested me for a while and can be found on many host plants.They’ll also be a big focus for me when I visit Germany in 2022 since there aren’t as many European records of them on iNat. I’m also interested in filling out the Cynipidae and Eriophyidae as well.
I am an “area guy”, so on iNat I focus on my favorite island. Aside from that, I am into higher plants.
But I think after some years the big question is not what you focus on, but what do you ignore?
I am not so bad with IDing insects, but I stay clear of that because there is nothing more abundant than insects. Especially Coleoptera. My prof had a saying: “You can do Coleoptera or everything else”. So I am doing everything else and remain happy that insects didn’t make it to the oceans …
Rubiaceae are neat! However as I live near the coast, only 2 species have I been able to find: Spermacoce assurgens and S. riparia.
But, if we consider “planning trips to observe X”, then Loasaceae it is. I have travelled twice in hunt of Nasa angeldiazdioides (?) (not sure how to properly write it yet!) and Nasa humboldtiana, with more luck for the latter, althrough not by much… These are among the most complicated and diverse plants of the Andes and are lacking on Peruvian records, considering there are a bunch of species yet to be observed and some only known from the type collection!
Oh, and also, Amaryllidaceae. I’ve been trying to find Stenomesson chloranthum - it was a failure as it had disappeared from the last known locality of collection! Since the flowering season for it is over now…
Stenomesson are heavily in need of records. Yes, S. aurantiacum is very abundant. But the other species… not so much. Many are known from type material only, or botanical drawings.
I look for and enjoy finding new species of any sort, but when I travel to try to find a specific species, it’s almost always a bird. Right now, I have a list of all bird species recorded in my county, and I’m trying to observe them all.
I definitely have groups I’m more interested in than others (fish, bog/xeric plants, basically any invert) but in practice I tend to just try to photograph and upload everything I can to inat which gives me a pretty wide berth
Birds, Charadriiformes being the dearest, but of course trying to be an “area person”: birds/plants>insects/spiders>lichens/regular fungi, it’d be different, but that’s how groups are ided, so interest stays where response is recieved.
Since we were a birder first, we will likely always try to see as many Aves in our life as possible. Since we were told about iNat last year, our interests have grown to include every organism we can observe–which is limited only by what we know exists. So we try to ID a lot on iNat and read the forum in order to learn about more taxa. We also want to see some of the megafauna (mammals) of our continent that we have not; namely, Mountain Lion and Woodland Caribou.
I have learned about so many amazing organisms I never would have known to look for, just by scrolling through the Needs ID feed. There’s nothing quite like seeing a picture of something you’ve never even heard of, researching it a bit, and then going outside and tracking it down.
The only group I try to observe all of is birds, but I frequently don’t get photos or audio, so I don’t worry about getting them all onto iNaturalist. I use eBird which works on an honor system, no media required (unless it’s something rare for the area and not easily distinguished from other species).
On iNaturalist I do a little of everything, but I mostly focus on plants and of those mostly wildflowers/forbs. I’d like to record every plant species on our property eventually.