Exclude certain taxa from traditional project

I’m in the process of creating a traditional project to collect observations of predators (or just “eaters,” really) of periodical cicadas, and I ran into a problem: I want the project to focus on the predators, not the cicadas themselves, and I’d like to be able to exclude Magicicada spp. from the project. This is easy to do with collection projects, but I couldn’t find a way to do it in the traditional project setup menu.

Under the Observaton Rules, there’s an option in the drop-down menu for “Observation must be in taxon”, but there’s none for “Observation must not be in taxon.” Short of adding every animal taxon other than Magicicada (which would be nuts), I can’t think of a handy way around this.

I searched the site and forum, but couldn’t find anyone describing quite this same problem. The ability to exclude taxa would be a feature that I’m sure others could use in their traditional projects, too.

I don’t think it would be that hard to come up with a list of what to include. You don’t have to worry about things that only eat plants or that wouldn’t encounter a cicada. This is what I came up with:
Kingdom Fungi
Phylum Cordata
Phylum Mollusca
Phylum Platyhelminthes?
Phylum Annelida?
Subphylum Crustacea
Subphylum Chelicerata
Subphylum Myriapoda
Order Blattodea
Order Coleoptera
Order Dermaptera
Order Diptera
Order Hymenoptera
Order Mantodea
Order Odonata
Order Neuroptera
Order Mecoptera
Suborder Heteroptera


That certainly looks like a good start…I’d probably rule out Fungi because I was aiming more for animal predators (but fungi certainly “consumes” Magicicada, in a particularly grotesque way), but I can’t see too many gaps in that structure.

Thanks for your suggestion! I’ll implement it and see how it goes.


I recently became interested in fungi including the Cordyceps and similar parasites. Fascinating stuff. Also really creepy.

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Given this is a traditional project where people are adding observations manually, and assuming the project title will be something related to ‘Magicicada predators’ (with of course more explanatory info in the description), how many unwanted Magicicada-focused observations do you think will be uploaded to the project?

Genuine question; I run a few traditional projects where the parameters/requirements are very explicit based on the title and description (and even journal posts where I reiterate the rules), yet there are still users that persist in uploading unrelated/non-target observations that I have to boot out (these cases are invariably new, inexperienced users of course, so I cut them slack, but it’s still annoying that people don’t take the time to read properly :/ )


This is why I made my project for aberrants curator-only, so not just anyone can add them to the project. However, they can tag me, add one of the observation fields, or ask me to be a project curator, and one or all of those options will work.

I worry that if I make it public users might add random observations, but to be honest, there are a lot of projects with very lax restrictions (e.g. the iNaturalist iNaturalist Observations), and they seem to do fine.

@WeeCorbie Don’t forget to vote for your own feature request!

Ha! Thanks for the tip, @zdanko!

@thebeachcomber - I feel your pain. I run two Etsy shops and fill out painstaking descriptions, and people still send me questions when the answers are right there, but they just didn’t bother to read through. You can fight it, but I’m afraid it’s human nature.


Yeah, you could also allow anything and then remove any unwanted observations. That is what I do for one project I curate. There are rare plant species that are auto obscured but putting them in a project that covers only a 10 acre preserve with mixed ecology which could narrow down the area even more could leave them vulnerable to poaching.

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