Journal archives for May 2018

May 09, 2018

Various links I use a lot

Helpful sites for plant identification in general (also name databases):
USDA Plants database
Flora of North America
The Plant List
Caterpillar host database

Links I often use for studying Euphorbia:
Biodiversity Heritage Library
Encyclopedia of life
Index herbariorum
Euphorbia PBI
Euphorbia PBI species search
Information on Euphorbia serpens/E. inaequilatera in Africa
List of my Euphorbia identifications on iNaturalist
My identification links

Curator and other iNaturalist links:
Curator guide
Create new taxon
Taxa that need curation
Frequently used comments
iNaturalist google group

Posts I'm tagged in:
In the description
In the comments

Link extension for finding observations without seeds that say they have seeds: &taxon_id=51822&field:seeds%20shown%3F=yes&field:Euphorbia%20taxonomic%20groups=unknown
Link extension for South Texas: &not_in_place=6793&nelat=28.829127840976845&nelng=-89.2749798392581&swlat=23.406643370556377&swlng=-104.71687556260099
Link extension for Euphorbias identified by me:

Posted on May 09, 2018 07:03 PM by nathantaylor nathantaylor | 3 comments | Leave a comment

May 10, 2018

What makes a good sandmat observation?

Since starting out on iNaturalist, I have seen a lot of sandmat observations. Some are good, some are bad, and some are simply unidentifiable (thankfully, a small number). But, there are some that really go above and beyond and make for an immediately identifiable and even taxonomically informative observation. What follows is a list of tips to help make the most out of an observation to ensure a good ID.

  1. Get a photo of the entire plant. Some plants grow upright, some clump, and some form thick mats.
  2. Get a close-up of upper side of the stem (at the tip of the plant and the base). When taking this photo keep in mind that the important characteristics include: stipules (the tiny structures between each pair of leaves), hairs, cyathia (the flower-like structures), and the fruits. There are two common and relatively widespread species in the United States that can only be separated by the hairs and the seeds, so this can be the most important photograph or set of photographs.
  3. Get a close-up of the underside of the stems. Some species root at the nodes or have fused stipules only on the undersides of stems. Also, try to get the undersides of fruits (and their style branches) in focus as this can be quite helpful.

These 3 should be enough to get you an ID for most species, but for some, it is better to get more.

  1. Photograph the seeds. Seeds can be difficult to photograph but are also some of the most informative structures. If you need help with this, I recommending reading the Tips on Harvesting and Photographing Seeds post.
  2. Get super close-ups of any of the structures mentioned above.
Posted on May 10, 2018 06:57 PM by nathantaylor nathantaylor | 1 comment | Leave a comment

New project: Sandmats of the world

So, I recently made a new project. I partly made it to test out the new project format, but mostly to provide a place to type out any information I learned about species in Ecuador and Peru. However, there's really no telling where in the world I might want to post about Chamaesyces. After the Andean species, I might try to learn some of the species from Hawaii, the Middle East, or Africa. Anyway, I think there's some potential for some fun posts if anyone is interested. Here's the link:

Posted on May 10, 2018 07:06 PM by nathantaylor nathantaylor | 0 comments | Leave a comment

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