Iconic taxa challenge update

For the Global Snapshot of Biodiversity for the Great Nature Project, I issued a challenge to make at least one observation of each of the 13 iconic taxa in iNaturalist between May 15-25. I'm trying to do this myself and there's only a few days left to make observations, so I thought I'd report my progress here. Some of you prolific iNaturalists should be able to do this pretty easily by just looking harder for some things you don't usually pay attention to.

I've also made a point to make at least one observation during each day of the Global Snapshot, which I've sometimes barely managed to do. I've spent way too much time in front of my computer working! In spite of that, here's my status:

Plants - DONE (easy, though I realized I don't have many.)
Protozoans - I'm on the hunt for slime molds today!
Fungi (including lichens) - Not done! I thought I had a fungus observation... I'll find one.
Mollusks - DONE (snails & slugs)
Ray-finned fishes - This is going to be hardest for me. I know where I can find some goldfish as a last resort, but I'm trying not to include captives in my count.
Birds - DONE (easy to see, harder to photograph)
Reptiles - I should be able to find a turtle, but i haven't yet.
Amphibians - DONE
Mammals - DONE (squirrels are so easy here)
Insects - DONE (almost as easy as plants)
Arachnids - DONE (almost as easy as insects)
Other Animals (stuff that doesn't fall into another more specific animal category) - DONE (you might have to think a little for this one, but this includes millipedes, isopods, annelids, crustaceans, and more)
Kelp, Diatoms, and Allies - DONE! (I am most proud of this one - the cyanobacteria Nostoc! You might be able to find this green blobby stuff too after a rain. Here's a great little article about it.

I've got 9 out of 13, so just 4 to go! I'll have my eyes peeled for reptiles, fish, fungi, and slime molds (protozoans) this weekend. If I didn't have my toddler in tow I'd get these no problem, but "hiking" with a two year old is matter of finding the right spot in the woods where both of us can happily explore. Wish us luck!

Posted by carrieseltzer carrieseltzer, May 23, 2015 11:15 AM

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)

Observer

carrieseltzer

Date

May 17, 2015 04:22 PM EDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)

Observer

carrieseltzer

Date

May 17, 2015 04:24 PM EDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Asian Lady Beetle (Harmonia axyridis)

Observer

carrieseltzer

Date

May 2015

Description

Larva found on a cultivated chocolate mint plant.

Photos / Sounds

What

Eastern Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans)

Observer

carrieseltzer

Date

May 2015

Description

I don't think I've ever seen seedlings before, but this looks like poison ivy to me. Still has cotyledons.

Photos / Sounds

What

Common Pill Woodlouse (Armadillidium vulgare)

Observer

carrieseltzer

Date

May 2015

Photos / Sounds

What

Lynx Spiders (Family Oxyopidae)

Observer

carrieseltzer

Date

May 20, 2015 09:33 AM EDT

Photos / Sounds

What

Common Land Snails and Slugs (Order Stylommatophora)

Observer

carrieseltzer

Date

May 20, 2015 10:01 AM EDT

Photos / Sounds

What

American Toad (Anaxyrus americanus)

Observer

carrieseltzer

Date

May 20, 2015 09:53 AM EDT

Description

Found buried under leaf litter under a log in the woods.

Photos / Sounds

What

Star Jelly (Nostoc commune)

Observer

carrieseltzer

Date

May 21, 2015 05:14 PM EDT

Description

I was super excited to see this after a day of rain. Grows in the scrubby grass in some gravelly space near the metro station.

Comments

Great critter searching, Carrie!...I have never been so happy to see a mouse as I was today, just to knock mammals off my list! Shucks, but I forgot the 'other' category; so tomorrow am going to try to visit a crustacean in a nearby stream. Best of luck with protozoans and toddler!!

Posted by romeheather over 7 years ago (Flag)

That's great, Heather! Still no protozoans for me, but I did get fungi (lichen) and fish! I was very excited about the fish. They were teeny tiny! http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/1533149

Now I'm down to reptiles and protozoans. I saw a roadkill snapping turtle the other day but it was on a highway exit ramp where I definitely could not stop, and road kill turtles make me so incredibly sad. I saw a turtle at a nature center today and took a photo just in case, but I'll keep looking on Sunday and Monday. I'm using this as an excuse to explore new areas that I haven't visited before.

Posted by carrieseltzer over 7 years ago (Flag)

Do you have an update, Carrie? Were you able to catch a little reptile of some sort?!?

Posted by sambiology over 7 years ago (Flag)

I got my reptile, but not my slime mold :-(
I'll do an update after I crunch all of the other numbers.

Posted by carrieseltzer over 7 years ago (Flag)

This was a really cool idea. I just found your journal. I love the quest to get a ray-finned fish. Some recent blogs I've been following have people that are into species fishing and microfishing. That might be a great way to expand your species counts in fish.

Posted by vermfly almost 6 years ago (Flag)

Thanks @vermfly! I learned about species fishing from this post by @kueda: http://www.inaturalist.org/journal/kueda/4576-microfishing-tenkara-tenkara-microfishing
I've never tried though!

If you want to find more journal posts, you can check this for everything posted to iNat: http://www.inaturalist.org/journal/

Posted by carrieseltzer almost 6 years ago (Flag)

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