Journal archives for August 2021

August 09, 2021

POLL: New Observation Field - host plant identification

Hello caterpillar-rearing friends,

I have a question: I am considering adding a new Observation Field to this project to record host plant the observed caterpillar fed on in one single location. This will make it easier for any interested parties to analyse data down the track, and encourages users to note down this important information.

In the spirit of recycling, I have looked at some existing Observation Fields that could be used and they fall broadly into two categories - free text fields or taxon fields.

Name of Host Plant: [text]
Caterpillar host plant (text field): [text]
Host plant: [taxon]

The benefits and downsides of each, in my opinion:
Free text - great if you don't know the exact name of a plant. May be easier to use for adding multiple species or non-plant hosts e.g. fungi, lichen, carnivorous, did not feed in this life stage/at all? However, may lead to inconsistency or incorrect names being applied.
Taxon - ensures names used are consistent, updated when taxonomy is updated. Can add on any taxon level (species, genus, family, kingdom). Not useful where the name of the plant is not known, or the caterpillar fed on something other than a plant (or didn't feed at all while in captivity).

I can set it up so the field is not mandatory (can be left blank) if users are unsure of the name of the host plant.

Would you prefer a free text field, taxon field, combination of both? Or neither!

Have a look at the linked observation fields and check out some of the observations and how they've used the field. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below - do you like this idea? Which option do you prefer? Should the field be mandatory? And anything else you might like to add.

@daviaker @dlync @williamsmoths @scottwgavins @cobaltducks @ellurasanctuary @rattyexplores @ronigreer @helencross

Posted on August 09, 2021 01:24 PM by claudiarose claudiarose | 12 comments | Leave a comment

August 10, 2021

Agaristinae ID notes

I'm down with a cold so thought I'd write my first journal post.

During the past few months I've become very interested in Agaristinae (Noctuidae) caterpillars and moths, which started as a personal mission to get the seasonably common (in Canberra) and fairly recognisable Pasture Day Moth recognised by iNaturalist's computer vision (which appears to be a success! Yay!).

Below are my notes (thus far) on patterns I've noticed when IDing some common Agaristinae moths and their caterpillars.

I haven't finished adding all the caterpillars yet. I was planning to include notes on Hecatesia spp, Eutrichopidia latinus and Periscepta polysticta but haven't come across enough IDed photographs showing dorsal and lateral view yet.

Posted on August 10, 2021 02:55 PM by claudiarose claudiarose | 2 comments | Leave a comment


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