I’m trying to find which species I have found that are county/state/country records overall, not just on iNaturalist. The only other database I have found that lists records is GBIF but that only seems to have museum specimens and iNaturalist data. Obviously, eBird can be used for bird records and there are several resources for plants but a majority of the species I am looking at are insects, especially beetles and moths.
I know BugGuide and MPG have some records but don’t necessarily list every county a species has been found in.
If you’re really determined to find out, particularly if it it is for a particular county, you might try searching the scientific literature. At least in the past, many journals had a “Noteworthy finds” section where people could publish a first county record for X. Many masters projects with theses were also devoted to listing all the plants or whatever from a particular county.
The answer to this question depends highly which taxa you are looking for and is more of an art than a science for many taxa. It basically involves looking at all the major sources for a taxon and seeing if the species has been published as existing there before. Knowing what those sources are and where to find them is challenging.
I can only really answer for my area of expertise (herps in the US) but just the existence of a record on GBIF doesn’t mean that a county record has been created - there are “hidden” (essentially unpublished) county records out there in plain sight sometimes. But for herps in the US, I would be checking state guide books, anything with county level maps, and then Herp Review and a full lit search. If nothing came up, I’d feel confident it was a county record.
I agree that for invertebrates you’ll probably have to look in the literature, although it may mostly be in one place. I could recommend good resources for mollusks, but it sounds like that’s not a priority. (As the second most diverse group of organisms you’d think it should be!)
Thanks everyone. I had a feeling it would just be down to searching through literature but wanted to make sure there wasn’t an easier way!
@thomaseverest Do you have any tips for finding more mollusks and what photos and needed for an ID? I’m in Corpus Christi, TX so have some experience with them (mainly dead ones washing up on the beach).
As for finding mollusks, in general you just have to be looking for smaller, more inconspicuously camofluaged animals. Land snails/slugs love to hide under damp places like logs and rocks, but also pots and underground electrical boxes. Most freshwater species can be found right at the edge of any water, although bivalves are likely buried in the sediment. Marine mollusks can be found in just about any habitat. Just beachcombing in TX can probably get you a lot of species, but you can also check intertidal areas like marinas or mangroves (do they have mangroves in TX?) for living individuals.
eBird isn’t necessarily the only place for first records. I’ve had to dig through various publications to find the “true” first records. I think I have 18-20 on eBird, but in reality is more like 12-13 so far. Until I can work on getting those various historical records added, and approved, they won’t be in eBird. Between eBird and my research there are 25 species with records that are not in eBird; eBird, 268 species, and my spreadsheet, 293 species.