There are numerous cases where we don't have the expertise to identify to species, so everything gets moved to genus, or family, etc.- no problem there. What I'm really concerned about is the practice of frassing new images that would go there because "we already have plenty", or some variation.
We have numerous examples of unidentifiable everything-but-the-kitchen-sink groups transforming into a diverse array of species in the guide upon the arrival of specialists in those groups: springtails, ichneumonids, sawflies, millipedes and booklice- to name a few. Even ones where specialists won't help us (the aphids, for example) can be organized and narrowed down somewhat.
Yes, it's inconvenient to have pages and pages of images under one taxon. Yes, many of the images are no doubt duplicates. The problem is that we simply don't know which of those images are unnecessary duplicates, and which will turn out to be species otherwise unrepresented in the guide.
Please, please, please resist the temptation to "tidy up" genera, families and other higher taxa by frassing clear, but unidentified images before a specialist has had the chance to see them!
Contributed by Chuck Entz on 25 November, 2009 - 12:36pm
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