The silence....

General discussion on entomology
Chuck
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Re: The silence....

Post by Chuck »

Jshuey wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 1:13 pm
Trehopr1 wrote: Wed Sep 14, 2022 4:49 am I must say that I don't quite understand all of the relative silence here on the forum. We now have a membership of 281 members of which (I would like to think) most have some measure of honest insect interest. Yet, it seems that maybe 15 or 20 of us EVER have anything to post, comment on, or otherwise bring up for conversational purposes.
I can give you a quick take from me. The forum has morphed into a picture board of pretty store bought specimens. Something that has no appeal to me - although obviously others feel differently. I must admit though - that I always tune in if field-based people add to the discussion - Cabintom jumps to mind as a great contributor. I want to discuss insects and their ecology, not just look at pictures, and that seems to be lacking of late.

John
We share similar interests. In my case, field work in summer gets all of my time, there is no time for a serious post. Sure I can quip out a quick post, but anything of any real value takes time. And winter provides PLENTY of time.

Eurytides has done some VERY cool activities lately, I hope he finds time to share that.

Though as Eurytides noted, photos (which are critical to his report) are a PITA to add. Same here. If I'm going to host and link I'd might as well crop and color correct, and that takes time. Winter time. Stay tuned.

Somewhat off topic, one thing I like to see is geography photos. Or is it topography? It's odd, in print publications photos of a road through a forest look the same to me whether in Indonesia or Alaska. But somehow on the forum here (probably because backlit) they do differentiate. And, I like to see people, yes, I like to put a name with a face....even if sometimes it means thinking "holy schitt he got old."
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Re: The silence....

Post by eurytides »

Hey Chuck, I have tried to post. The thing is, no pictures on my phone meet the size limit. The photo album app doesn’t seem to be able to reduce photo size. So I have to either download some other app or send the pictures to my computer, and that’s more work than just going back to the old system with imgur.

For everyone else confused by the “very cool” thing I have been doing, what Chuck is referring to is my UV flashlight. A while back I asked the forum if anyone used UV lights to locate larvae or cocoons. There wasn’t much of a response. So, I bought one anyway and spent a few summer nights locating larvae. The results have been very good. I have made numerous observations of what larvae, ova, cocoons glow and which don’t. I think this has been an understudied area in the entomology field.
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Re: The silence....

Post by Trehopr1 »

John, I too enjoy field based posts (when they pop up) but, field work is not something that many of us have the luxury of --- with any regularity. Cabintom has apparently some measure of downtime in his missionary work which allows him field work in a very exotic locale and even you as an active ecologist /entomologist finds ample occasions for "field-time" that the rest of us can only dream of.

My five or six outings a summer are (moments) of time in comparison and, because traveling to other parts of the US to "find" species other than what I typically catch is fraught with monetary expense, logistics, and even luck --- I simply don't do it. It could be said that others here might also have health issues with "getting out there afield" so perhaps insect fairs, dealer purchases, or old collections are their avenue to realistically enjoy the hobby even though I'm sure in (their heart) they would love to be living the life of a Victorian adventurer/collector.

For me, and (I think many others) the show your favorite specimen section is the highlight of the forum and it doesn't matter to me how the pictured specimen was acquired !

When I do post pictures there I always try to provide some information to go along with it and while others may not necessarily do the same (invariably) information does come out about the things they post through questions that other members might ask.
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Re: The silence....

Post by Chuck »

There are as I see it three camps: specimen collectors, field/research, and professionals. Most of the pros can't spend time on non-work/non-academic activities. Leaving the other two, I think a forum needs both to prosper.

As for the 10% participation, well that's everywhere. In clubs, 95% of the people do 95% of the work, and 20% show up for events. The 80/20 or 90/10 rule is applicable everywhere. Supposing that the 10% participation rate is accurate, it would take a 10% increase in registered members to get 1% more posts; equating to a doubling of members to get 10% more posts.

So either/or or and, drastically increase membership or find a way to increase content, which itself will increase membership organically. This loops back to what I believe was my first post on the topic.

Of course, if you don't like what you see in the content, you can always post new topics yourself. I didn't like all the ignorant rubbish I was reading about CITES, so I spent hours compiling that topic to hopefully quell the annoyance.

What I'd not like to see is my leaving, or others who contribute. Admittedly, I spend more time on iNaturalist now. The driver was the environment here, but now that I'm there I enjoy iNat because I learn more.
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Re: The silence....

Post by kevinkk »

Bub wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 3:51 am This is an interesting thread. I've hardly posted because I'm such a newbie that I don't have anything to contribute. I've seen this same discussion on other forums that are hobby related.

I have posted photos here and don't find it that big a deal. I always do some cropping and re-sizing anyway.
I just finished reading the posts I missed in this thread, I chose to this contributor's comment to quote- everyone has something to
contribute, and we all start somewhere, and experience level shouldn't deter anyone from posting. A lot of sound thinking, realistic
truths about all of us, as a group here, and the changes we've had as a society in general, specifically when it comes to tech.
I enjoy collecting, the hunt is the excitement, it might be a capture outdoors, or just finding that one thing and paying for it. I enjoy
self caught specimens for my insect collection, but my other collecting- books and toys, it's a winning bid that comes really close to a big
bug. Generating new interest- I don't even know what got me started collecting insects.
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Re: The silence....

Post by bandrow »

Greetings All,

I guess I felt a little guilty after reading all this, as I've become more of a "lurker" than contributor since the new forum launched. My main excuse is an insane workload that keeps me from getting to much of my "fun" bug endeavors - including getting into the field - a rarity for me these days. I do still read through most of the posts but since the forum is heavily focused on Leps, I rarely have anything to contribute. However, I started crafting a response to Chuck's post about Morpho sp. occurring in Ohio on the Lep ID website, but then considered it redundant and didn't finish.

Another barrier for me is not having a good camera to image specimens in the collection - my Android Tracfone's camera just doesn't cut it. And the equipment available at the museum is overkill for taking quick random images.

I agree with all that livingplanet3 said about the demise of hobbyists, but ironically, as the hobby of collecting insects seems to be diminishing, the activity of citizen-scientists seems to be concurrently increasing. Websites like iNaturalist and BugGuide are quite active and to be honest - I spend way more of my limited free time helping with IDs on those sites, more-so on BG. But therein lies the rub so well-put by Chuck - the dumbing down by SM. Too many folks think that imaging a specimen and posting it to a website is the end-all of scientific research. Too often, posters get frustrated that you will provide an ID only to the genus level (or higher) from an image, and all too often, some other identifier jumps in and takes it to species with not enough evidence to do so, and no voucher specimen to refer to. The number of images of Phyllophaga ID'd to species-level from a living specimen on a leaf aggravates me to no end - without the genitalia, most are unidentifiable!

The dark side of citizen science is the all-too-common inference that collecting of specimens is unnecessary, and for some, immoral. That sentiment on SM (the fewest voices are always the loudest) has too much influence on newcomers and the likelihood that a beginner starting with an iPhone will move on to actual collecting is pretty slim. Both approaches are valid, and one compliments the other, but the collaboration of the two is where real science happens. I see these same sentiments growing within the museum itself - younger blood wonders why we have so many specimens - just take an image. Us old farts argue that the collection needs to grow - especially as more parts of the globe lose biodiversity at an alarming rate. We are in an almost "salvage" mode for collecting for some regions.

Sorry if I drifted a bit from the subject at hand! I'll continue to "lurk" and participate where useful. I do recommend this website to almost anyone I come across who's looking for internet sites for insect enthusiasts, regardless of expertise level, and will continue to try to encourage new users to join up - I've enjoyed this site for years and hope to continue...

Cheers!
Bandrow
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Re: The silence....

Post by bobw »

what is "SM"?
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Cabintom
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Re: The silence....

Post by Cabintom »

Chuck wrote: Fri Sep 16, 2022 5:39 pm What I'd not like to see is my leaving, or others who contribute. Admittedly, I spend more time on iNaturalist now. The driver was the environment here, but now that I'm there I enjoy iNat because I learn more.
I just want to point out that the entirety of my collection is uploaded to iNaturalist. The specimen photos you see here are quite easily linked from there.

EDIT: OK, not the entirety. I have a number of undescribed Neptis specimens/species that are waiting for a name before I upload them.
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Re: The silence....

Post by Chuck »

Bobw, SM is social media. Farsebook, YouTube, etc.

Bandrow, ask your museum anti-collection freaks why the PhDs in systematics and genetics didn’t ask me to take photos and instead asked me to suffer through months of field work.
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Re: The silence....

Post by bobw »

Chuck wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 1:08 pm Bobw, SM is social media. Farsebook, YouTube, etc.
Ah right. I suppose I should have guessed that, even though I don't do social media.
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Re: The silence....

Post by Trehopr1 »

It would be kind if members who tout acronyms in their daily use language would defray from doing so here.

Perhaps I am showing my age but, I have found myself on several occasions having to look up the meanings to these.

Thank you.
Chuck
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Re: The silence....

Post by Chuck »

Trehopr1 wrote: Sun Sep 18, 2022 5:09 pm It would be kind if members who tout acronyms in their daily use language would defray from doing so here.

Perhaps I am showing my age but, I have found myself on several occasions having to look up the meanings to these.

Thank you.
O.K. No more 275W MW off a 12V FLA looking for CITES leps for BMNH in KY off SR71 while concerned about ESA and USFWS and KYSP cause the rental from SDF isn’t inspected to OBDII and still have to get NE to SKL meeting at UK to hand off specimens for COI and SNP. Only 100KM left before Odark30 hope no SHTF events or MVA. Hey I think I saw a UFO or was it U-99?
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Re: The silence....

Post by Trehopr1 »

Very kind of you.

Never had to learn morse code.

Don't care to sift through pig Latin
or some facsimile thereof....
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Re: The silence....

Post by eurytides »

Chuck, could you elaborate on the acronyms you used? :)
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Re: The silence....

Post by Yorky »

I don't think that this is true. A while ago I started a new thread that was directed at exactly that, a thread about specimens that you have caught or bred yourself, it received exactly 0 replies. As an avid field collector and a "bauble " collector I find the lack of participation compared to that of 10 years ago quite depressing. Due to the lack if interest I too have limited what I post now in the way of new topics to next to nothing. Doesn't stop me from doing what I do in my meagre spare time, I have around 500 specimens to prepare that I'm working through slowly and I'll continue to collect on my own as I have done for the last 50 years but won't waste time taking pictures and posting them due to the general apathy on here.

It's a shame really as the site is a great resource going to waste, a source that gave a lot if pleasure to many people a few years ago.

Spare time is something that is in short supply. My job takes up so much of my time and energy and is so stressful that I'm finding it harder and harder to justify using some of that spare time bothering to take specimens off of the boards, photograph them, upload the pictures, crop the pictures, save the pictures and upload them on here for no participation or interest whatsoever.
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Re: The silence....

Post by kevinkk »

I must have missed your post Yorky, 99% of my specimens are ones I breed or are self caught. There's a lot of handy breeding experiences
we have learned over time.
I like going into the field, but have difficulty running things down, and breeding, which can be as much work as a person wants to put into it,
is the best way to experience the entire cycles. Everyone approaches this differently, and I wouldn't let perceived or real disinterest deter
me from either enlightening others, or annoying them-
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Re: The silence....

Post by eurytides »

Yorky, my collection is also made up of personal collected or reared material. I have posted little to the new forum because of the 800kb limit. However, I think I recently discovered a workaround.

So, let’s have a go. Here is a picture of a pair of Darapsa myron raised from larvae I found using a UV flashlight. Just off the board with temporary labels.
6CE761B9-0D6A-43B4-B086-237B58F02A3B.jpeg
6CE761B9-0D6A-43B4-B086-237B58F02A3B.jpeg (479.52 KiB) Viewed 54 times
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Paul K
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Re: The silence....

Post by Paul K »

eurytides wrote: Sat Sep 24, 2022 11:07 pm However, I think I recently discovered a workaround.



What is it?
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Re: The silence....

Post by eurytides »

No matter how I try to resize a photo with my iphone, the actual size of the file remained the same. So I now email myself the photo and then it gives you the option of sending a small, medium, or large version of the file. I then save the image from my email and upload that. On the screen of my phone, I don’t notice any difference in resolution between the different file sizes, but I’m sure there would be a difference if you tried to magnify the image to the highest possible degree.
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Re: The silence....

Post by eurytides »

Here is am example of a sphingid larva under UV.
Attachments
69E34261-1AEA-4BE4-87D6-8154BFAC9DA7.jpeg
69E34261-1AEA-4BE4-87D6-8154BFAC9DA7.jpeg (61.8 KiB) Viewed 47 times
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