Ups and downs of biological recording

in my time of recording wildife iv learned there is ups and downs of biological recording for county recorders and recording schemes. the ups is its helps map distribution and conservation statis of familys and species but the downs are not all species of wildlife are popular or some are more popular than others for a variety of reasons there not very colourful they look dull and boring or easy to overlook and pass by without noticeing. that and some still have lots of myths and misconceptions that suround them. another reason is some family and some species in certain types of familys can be challangeing to identify for instance although soms can be challangeing but still identifyed eventualy there are some that need a magnifying glass or a microscope to identify weather its male or female or have certain traits that can distinguish it from another species that is almost identical to another which can cause people to be less inclined to learn about them and want to record them exspecialy if they arnt good at identifying them or arnt exsperts on them and also some familys and species in certain familys can be less well known to most people than othet familys or species in that family which causes those to be under recorded like spiders and certain other under recorded familys or species in a family aswell which means county recorders and recording schemes dont have enough data for certain species or familys to make an acurate map of there conservation staus or distribution for conservation.

Indeed and there are some other issues too. For example at times it has been popular to just record a small subset of taxa and base conservation decisions on just those which is sometimes to the detriment of other taxa or the whole ecosystem.

Some groups, such as spiders, are much harder to get records accepted than, say, hoverflies.

Is that ( “spiders are hard to get accepted”) becuase the spiders are harder to identify than hoverflies,or because the people accepting the records have different standards to apply.

Good question.
Almost every record I’ve submitted has said ‘requires voucher specimen except from well-known recorders’ (or words to that effect). I’m sure that spiders are harder to get to species than many hoverflies but surely there are quite a few spiders that can be id’ed from photographs? Anyway, my spider VCR has agreed to look at some of my photos this winter, so we’ll see if I get any accepted!

As a non-specialist in either group, I’d say there are more hoverflies than spiders that can be identified at a glance. With most spiders I don’t bother with a key, just go straight to microscope examination of the palps of males or epigynes of females. Males are on the whole easier as the palps have more visible structures to consider, so best to only collect spiders that have boxing gloves. What books do you use for hoverflies and spiders?

I’m a complete novice on spiders - the only book I have is Britain’s Spiders which has lovely photos.
On hoverflies, I have Roger Morris’ Britain’s Hoverflies (second edition); Stubs and Falk and update; and also Hoverflies of Surrey by Morris (which is sometimes helpful in ruling out species that don’t occur in Surrey). I find the hoverflies FB group extremely helpful, too. But I’m only moderately good on hoverflies - at least I know some of the commoner species now.
Roger M verifies hoverfly records on iRecord virtually every day, so you get rapid feedback. I’ve never had any spiders verified on iRecord but I’ve recently made contact with our VCR who has offered to look at my photos when he has time.

My two main reasons for taking distribution maps (particularly NBN Atlas) with a pinch of salt are that for difficult groups the apparent distribution is basically the distribution of recorders (e.g. see the map for the very common springtail Entomobrya nivalis) and also that some counties and BRCs do not necessarily send their records to NBN Atlas even if they have been verified (e.g. beetle records I sent to Cambridgeshire RC!).

If you look at the BSBI database, nearly every plant appears commoner in Waterford and Wexford than in the rest of Ireland. I presume that this is a recording effort effect.

My reason for choosing this forum for my request for help is … it’s being read currently. So…
I want to post Ranunculus alpestris from Lech Austria.

It does not show up in the Add Observation: Identification drop down option.

The list for COL on iSpot Ranunculus | Species Dictionary | Global | iSpot Nature

does not show it.

But it is in COL here. Ranunculus alpestris L. | COL

Can someone explain?
p.s. I ‘live’ in Global on iSpot so that’s not the problem.

We have an old version of CoL on ispot but we are in the long process of trying to upload data to GBIF and update the version of CoL on ispot. We are in active discussions with both organisations at present (several emails over past few days).

Thank you. I was going to EDIT to add Gentiana purpurea L. to the request, Gentiana purpurea L. | COL
but I see now that it will happen in due course. I am stoic about this (what other approach is there?)

One interesting issue is that there is not a perfect match between CoL and GBIF taxonomy. They are supposed to be moving closer together but there is still a gap, hope to check shortly if any or how many of the iSpot taxa this affects.