New paper about using iNat to study Mollusca in Brazil

Hold that hope. Because I ID Unknowns, I am constantly finding new dedicated experts across our biodiversity.
(But my Verbascum are invasive aliens)

Have you tried connecting (outside of iNat) with researchers who have published papers about Verbascum from those countries and asking them for help with particular IDs? If you can get one or two experienced researchers using iNat, they might then be willing to contribute more ID knowledge in time.

Sometimes, academics may be reluctant to offer help because they fear you’ll require lots of time from them. It may be easier to recruit them if they understand that you’re willing to assist with simpler IDs. If you’re able to handle the less-complex IDs for a particular region/country and ask for expert help mostly for “problem cases”, that may well entice them in. If you find an iNat observation that seems to match a taxon recently described or renamed by the researcher, that’s a pretty good hook to encourage them to assist!

You may well have a good idea of who is doing research on the genus in each country. If not you’ll likely find these names pretty quickly through Google Scholar, Research Gate, JSTOR or a similar research search engine. Or you can just check the reference lists in recent articles. Unfortunately, it seems that Faik Ahmet Karavelioğulları, one of the main researchers in Turkey, died suddenly in 2018.

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That’s why it’s good to copy the placeholder text to the comment space when making that first non-placeholder ID. Of course, I didn’t know about that for the first several hundred ID’s I made.

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From articles on Verbascum or other sources, find an e-mail to contact an expert. Send a link to one well-photographed example, asking for an identification. Thank the expert! Repeat, with some explanation of iNaturalist and a request that the expert join to do ID’s. It can work, and at least it gets some of the observations ID’d. (I’m still working to persuade a sedge expert to join. In the mean time, I keep asking advice on particular observations.)

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You absolutely should not handle specimens, unless you really know what you are doing. As someone mentioned above, most land snail and slug species are hosts to some very dangerous parasites. Sadly, this is true not only for Lissachatina fulica* (African Giant Snail) but also for native species…

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Thank you =)! In addition to being gastropod experts, we are all iNat users and two of us have been Curators for some time. We discussed many of these issues among ourselves. In fact, both these issues raised over time and the important records we encountered along the way were our motivations for writing the article. Of course, many records were found over the course of months, but when we decided to compile and review all the data (and IDs), we worked fast. We were really excited =)

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