Second Swallowtail Butterfly Expedition Complete!

A big thank you is owed to all the citizen scientists who contributed to the just-completed transcription of swallowtail butterfly specimens from the Field Museum of Natural History! This expedition fills in some much-needed taxonomic gaps that remained after the previous expedition, and helps push the swallowtail project forward. Despite the American Thanksgiving weekend, we still managed to get 121 specimens transcribed in 10 days. Way to go!

We have another big push to digitize swallowtail specimens from the eastern United States coming up before the next round of holidays. If you need a break from the festivities, be sure to check back for more butterflies!

Finishers needed for a NFN challenge

Hi everyone, we are just about finished with 5 expeditions and we wanted to see if we could make a big push to get these done!  The total number of transcriptions needed varies from 8 needed to 321.   So, the challenge is:  Can we get these 5 expeditions done in the next 24 hours?  Let’s find out!  You’ll find the expedition names and number needed below.  Just hit the link to start transcribing.  And thanks for being a finisher!

Herbarium_Arkansas Dendrology: Part 6: White Oaks 8 more transcriptions to do

Butterfly_New World Swallowtail Butterflies from the Field Museum of Natural History 24 more transcriptions needed

Herbarium_WeDigFLPlants’ Sunflowers of Florida—Florida’s Biggest Plant Family129 transcriptions left

Herbarium_Plants of Texas: milkweeds and spurges and birches, oh my! 182 transcriptions to go

Herbarium_Arkansas Dendrology: Part 5: Blackberries, cherries, hawthorns, buckthorns, elms, hackberries, and mulberries — 24 October 2016321 transcriptions still to do

New World Swallowtail Butterflies from the Field Museum of Natural History

The New World Swallowtail Butterfly project has a new expedition up! As you may remember, I am collecting images of swallowtail butterfly specimens to understand how morphological diversity varies across the New World. Museum specimens provide an excellent record of diversity through time and across geography, and the new expedition is no exception.

These butterflies were imaged during my recent trip to the Field Museum of Natural History. The Field Museum Division of Insects houses over 12 million specimens; their Butterfly and Moth collection has a geographic and taxonomic breadth that complements the previous expedition nicely. In addition to helping with my research, the data you transcribe will be sent back to the Field Museum to incorporate into their specimen database for other researchers to use in the future.

As with the previous Swallowtail expedition, remember that there are two images for each specimen—a front and a back. This is important, because in some cases, the labels in the image have different data written on each side. Thanks for your help, and look closely—some of these specimens provide a unique historical record of biodiversity that has since been lost!

Hannah L. Owens, Ph.D.
Postdoctoral Associate, Florida Museum of Natural History

Plants have all the anthers!

A new expedition has been launched on Notes from Nature from the herbarium at Appalachian State University. This expedition contains everyone’s favorite families: Asteraceae and Asclepiadaceae! Look for the title Plants have all the anthers (Pt1) to start transcribing this wonderful collection. As you can tell by the (Pt 1) part of the title that there is more to come. Stay tuned on our herbarium Facebook page and Twitter to see when the next segment of this lovely herbarium is released!

WeDigBio 2016

Many thanks to all the participated in WeDigBio 2016. We had a suite of successful onsite events as well as lots of volunteers contributing remotely.

NFN had as many as 23 expeditions active during the event with over 11,000 transcriptions completed over the four-day event! There were NFN events held from Bangalore, India to London, U.K and several across the United States.


WeDigBio event at the FRLHT Trans-disciplinary University

We had several very productive onsite events with volunteers contributing as many 500 transcriptions in a single day. However the most productive event by far was hosted by Travis Marsico in Arkansas U.S. with over 1300 transcriptions in a single day!

As I reminder there is lots of information always available on our Statistics page if you want to explore around. You can also review some of the conversations that went on by searching for #WeDigBio


The Notes From Nature Team

Trechine Beetles complete and more Tiger Beetles

Whoops, I made an error: there are in fact only about 1250 species of Bembidion, not over 3000 as indicated in the Trechine Ground Beetle Expedition description. My apologies to all those that noticed! Much thanks to James Bergdahl for bringing it to my attention.

In any case, thanks again to everyone that has contributed to the E.H. Strickland Entomological Museum (University of Alberta Museums) ground beetle expeditions. With the completion of these 1180 specimens, our list of transcribed specimens now totals 2278 records. Only 17,839 more to go!

For our next expedition we will return to tiger beetles. Yep, that’s right, more tiger beetles! Apparently, in the scramble to get new images prepared last time around, I overlooked 1141 records.

Check out the new expedition “Tiger Beetles 3”!


— Bryan Brunet, PhD

Collections Management Advisor (Natural Sciences), University of Alberta Museums, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

WeDigBio 10K

The Notes from Nature team — all of us — have been amazed by the efforts of our volunteers during the annual WeDigBio transcription blitz.  We are in the waning hours, here, as the event winds down at midnight tonight.

Right now, since WeDigBio started Sunday, we have had 9488 transcriptions completed.  A HUGE effort!  We are hoping to make a last push to 10K before its over, and so if you have a little more to spare to get us over the hump, we’d be excited to make that mark.

We’ll post a longer summary of all the great WeDigBio events etc. during the week, after we’ve had a chance to digest them ourselves.

Thanks, again.

Your Notes from Nature Team

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