The perfect ID request

Marine Life Id, Critter Books, Marine Life conservation news, etc.

Moderators: Leslie Harris, nwscubamom

Postby Leslie Harris » Fri May 14, 2010 8:51 am

ID seekers --

When you post a request please keep a few things in mind:

* The title of your post should say what kind of animal, like "What is this fish", "Odd red worm from Bonaire" etc. That will make sure people interested in fish won't have to look at worm pics and vice versa! :D Only say "mystery critter" if you don't have a clue as to what it is.
* In your post tell us as much as you can about where you found it. Indonesia? Red Sea? Cozumel? Artic? That's very important. Many species look alike but can be separated on the basis of where & how they live. Include depth, day or night, and what kind of habitat.
* Some animals are commensals and can be identified just by what they're living on. So if you have a pic of a commensal crab living on a sea pen & you have a good pic of the sea pen as well please post both of them.
* Prize winning artistic shots aren't always good ID shots. You have a better chance of getting a name if the shot is a clear view of the whole body & especially if you can provide more than one. Different types of animals require shots at different angles for the best chance of ID. For example, crabs should be photographed from above rather than just the face. The best view of shrimp for ID purposes is from the side. For corals & gorgonians it's sometimes necessary to have pics of the polyps both extended and withdrawn because the overall shape & skeleton are important ID features. We know that animals rarely cooperate & sometimes you're lucky to get one blurry shot. In that case don't be too disappointed if no one can supply a name.
* The smaller the animal, the harder it is to ID it correctly. Many of the features an ID'er needs to see are internal, transparent, too small, or otherwise not visible in a photograph - like fin rays in a goby or bristles on a worm. There are thousands of undescribed species out there. Even if an animal is described there may not be any pictures of living ones so there's no way to match your beautiful photo to a name. Sad but true... :(
* The smaller the photo, the harder it is to see details. Post the largest picture the board will allow.
* Always keep in mind that your mods need to justify their continuing purchases of expensive taxonomic literature & guide books to their significant others (and the taxman) so help us out by posting frequently! :lol:
Cheers, Leslie
So many worms, so little time
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
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Postby nwscubamom » Sun May 16, 2010 8:57 pm

Awesome, Leslie! Well put. Those ideas would really help.

And don't hesitate to post your photos even if you think they're not the best - we'd love to help as best we can.

Backscatter, blurry or not!

- Janna
--------------
Janna Nichols
www.pnwscuba.com
Outreach Coordinator
www.REEF.org
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Postby Leslie Harris » Sun May 16, 2010 10:14 pm

Absolutely, Janna. We'd rather see a poor photo than no photo at all! One of the saddest things in the whole world is a ID forum without new posts for the mods to play with..... :cry:
Cheers, Leslie
So many worms, so little time
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
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Joined: Thu May 13, 2010 7:55 am
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