Where does this checklist species come from? Finishing a Guide for Iowa

Greetings All,

I’m working on a Guide for Orthoptera in Iowa (and an accompanying little paper if I can ever get it done): https://www.inaturalist.org/guides/14496. I understand Guides are not being currently developed in any way, but I’m betting/hoping they never go away (worst case scenario I’ll download a pdf of my guide to put somewhere else, but for the time being I find a very useful framework). I’m trying to determine all species that have been documented in Iowa. My question is regarding some species on checklists in Iowa that don’t seem to have any actual records.

For example, if you look at the map for Plains Lubber Grasshopper (https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/122262-Brachystola-magna) and zoom in on Iowa, you will see that Plymouth County is yellow because somehow the Plains Lubber Grasshopper got added to the checklist for that county. I originally assumed it was private records that added it to the checklist, but now I’m not so sure. It seems unlikely but possible that Plains Lubber Grasshopper has been recorded there (in 2014 Rainbow Grasshopper was documented in Iowa for the first time in BugGuide in Plymouth County: https://bugguide.net/node/view/993501/bgimage). If it’s a private, non-public record, my understanding is there no way to contact them and just hope they contact me. Of course, if it is private the ID could be erroneous. If it’s not a private record, does that just mean someone somewhere just decided to add it to the county checklist for unknown reasons?? I’m hoping it’s a private record and someone will contact me about it, since it hasn’t been documented in Iowa in any other place.

I know there have been similar questions to this, but I haven’t seen my questions answered to my satisfaction.

Thanks for any insight,

probably. no comment on the record for that species in the county checklist: https://www.inaturalist.org/listed_taxa/50942981. looks like the user may have done this as part of a mass upload, since the user is associated with lots of other records, too.

I didn’t realize you could see who added it, at least I can contact them and see what the deal is. Thanks!

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Specimen recorded in Plymouth County, 1936

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Oh wow. I hadn’t searched the GBIF yet. That seems a good place to look for museum records. That right there is probably why they added to the checklist.

A quick search of GBIF showed a few species with single records from Iowa I didn’t know about.

Yes, if someone add new species, even if it erroneous, the check list will be updated on its own.
I found that is better to create a check list for each specific taxa to get a better, non auto updated check list. It’s still linked to the place check list, but the taxa must be manually added, so easier to manage. And have tool to add taxa directly from the place check list.
I recently finished the Odonata of Indonesia Check List. After i finished, i found that there is one erroneous species with no observation in Indonesia Check List. I have contacted the updater to delete the taxa.

You can add the list by clicking on “create new check list for *******” on the right side.

The tool which showing erroneous taxa (I. elegans)

Yes, i agree with you. And to some extent, i think the check list could act as a barrier from erroneous ID. For example, i think the check list that i made is complete, even included some nearby but doubtful species. If someone in Indonesia input an ID outside the check list that i made, there is a warning prompt that informs the person that the species is not in their place check list. They still could add the ID though so it’s still not violated iNat purpose, but definitely could help reducing some, maybe many wrong ID in place.

I agree that would be helpful feature, it would really cut down on people identifying things from way out of range. eBird has a similar “rare species” feature where unusual species require extra documentation and review (I’m sure most people are probably familiar with that).

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