I apologize up front because I tried to search the topics to see if there was something similar to this but couldn’t find anything so if you redirect me to the appropriate threat, if it exists, that will be appreciated.
I am a herpetologist but I like to consider myself a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to my knowledge set on other organisms but of course this means that I often know enough to be dangerous but may still be lacking in certain areas. I try to continually improve my knowledge by doing identifications and it helps me become more familiar with the organisms I am trying to learn. However, it can be very cumbersome. Let me give an example.
Let’s say that I have taken a picture of a beetle and I want to find out what it is. My problem is that I know enough about beetles to know most of the major groups but maybe this particular beetle is something I am very unfamiliar with and so the sleuthing begins. Currently I have to search through the list of possible beetles to try and find something that comes close and then I look at the taxon to see if I can’t narrow it down. The beetles of Texas is a very long list to go through!
What if I could already narrow down the field of beetles by checking off groups that I know it doesn’t belong to. Maybe I don’t know exactly what it is but I know it isn’t a scarab, or a tiger beetle, or a dung beetle. I could dramatically reduce my search if I could eliminate those groups in the list of possibilities.
I mention this because this comes up a lot with moths. I know it isn’t a butterfly, a saturnid or a geometrid but that is all I have at the moment and yet my list of possibilities will still includes all of those. So at least a few times a day I am wishing I could not have to look at the organisms that I know that the observation is not.
I know there is an “exclusion” category in projects (which is wonderful) and I guess I would like to see an exclusion category when looking through organisms for observations. I think this would not only speed up the process but help me in my own education.
Perhaps there is a way of doing this that I am unaware of and so if this post only serves to highlight my own ignorance then that is okay as long as I find a better way to do identifications.