It would be great to have info like this in easily located place. I think folks have mentioned that before. Best photo practices: Sedges, or something like this.
Depending on the mushroom size you can sometimes use the selfie camera on your phone.
Reading a lot of hints, sharing the same ‘goats’ as others, and I’ll definitely bookmark this.
It would be handy having these suggestions organized (hierarchically) and possibly merged with the other taxa dependent hint resources we are talking about in the thread I opened.
I feel this is mostly an experience-based thing - once you discover that you have taken loads of pictures of the same scaraboidaea and when you try to id you just miss a clear view of the inner darts of the front tibias, you get it. Would be nice sharing too :).
Just a further proof that pushing people to try to id seriously initiates a virtuous loop.
As for the scale, this is a generalized thing. I’m going to try with a millimetre scale cross shaped printed on plastic transparent film that I can cut out, looks less scary for insects and can be dropped on a leaf without destroying the magic.
On dates I’d be cautious. Found insects around months after their adult range period in literature. At least in Northern Italy climate change is affecting a lot.
What I find really surprising is that people nearly always (can I say that?) takes just one picture. What a shame. I tried to wonder why.
My conclusion is that if they use the mobile app it’s a pain when you have a moving subject to load one by one using the interface (every time you need to wait, click two times, rezoom, not practical).
I have started taking pictures outside the mobile app and then choosing from picture library. Way easier.
Moreover, (this case especially with people loving big guns like macro lens), they get just one amazing detailed pic of some spider predating an insect which has very few info for id. Made me start loving blurrier pictures shot by mobile users :)
When I add an observation with only one photo, it’s usually because I don’t have time – I’m on my way to a bus, to school, etc – and I figure one photo is better than none.
Sure… not criticizing here. But in that case if you just take a bunch of pictures with the phone app, point and shoot, shoot shoot… it takes even less than using the app and you can load later into an observation with no difference. Provided you are using a mobile that stores GPS data with the pic! Try it! Works a charm😊
Moreover, this approach has the advantage of easing up taking pictures focused just right on tiny subjects (hairy legs of spiders for instance). set zoom level, lock the focus and take three pics at slightly different distance from the subject, and pick the best.
When posting pictures of insects, it can be a big help to know what plant it was on, particularly for caterpillars. Plant-eating beetles such as Chrysomelidae are usually quite mobile and aren’t necessarily sitting on their food plant, but much of the time they are so it is useful circumstantial evidence.
Sometimes they just run/fly away after the first shot…
well, when I use the phone photoshoot app instead of inaturalist photo app I easily get to 1 pics a second (once you have setup tap to shoot). It may depend on the hardware you’ve got but - if I use the iNat mobile app, I cannot get beyond say one picture every 7 secs or so (+ stress).
It’s too bad that I’m just as clueless on plants as I am on insects!
I thought of this (adding pictures of the plant in the one of the insect to identify it) - can be useful for bugs as well, but I think this might be confusing because people might be confused about the subject of the obs.
I am currently thinking of taking pictures outside the iNat app and then make a couple of observations and link one another in the description. Like “observed feeding on [link]”
In case you have doubts about the plant, obviously.
Hybomitra - a general, not as critical shot of the abdominal pattern and body, and every single angle of the face you can get
If you’re posting an observation that involves a plant and an insect, you can post it twice and provide the URL’s of each in the notes on the other. And/or for the plant you can add some extra, more distant photos that don’t show the insect well but show the whole plant or its leaves. They will help identify the plant.
If in doubt, photograph as many angles as you need to detail the organism. Imagine you have to make a reference for a 3D model. You want to see the front and back of things, the different shapes from different angles, and detail.
I work on local taxa, currently mainly insects in lepidoptera, hymenoptera and diptera. Am especially interested in insects that are not in the iNat database until now. The tricky part is to get somebody to confirm the IDs. Even for the most colorful and characteristic insects this can be tricky. See e.g. this fly: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/35001605
i was linking observations of plants and insects, or plants and fungi etc. with observation groups in the past. People do however not seem to recognize these connections. So i work with links in the description now. Its certainly better to document both species with iNat, than to just give an ID on the host plant. As wrong IDs happen, and what was recorded can be confirmed.
See e.g. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/36858591
agree. I think a link in the description is the best option.
Predominantly plants in the coastal plain of SC. I echo what graysquirrel mentioned as well as adding…
Fruit/seeds (if available)
Plant in it’s environment - a lot can be gleaned from the habitat in which it is occurring.
I bet you would get an answer to this one of you put it on Diptera.info.