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Fall Fund Drive

Magicicada broods as no-taxon nodes under that genus

Bill Reynolds had an interesting idea, and I had a similar thought previously as well. Perhaps for the Periodical Cicadas, Magicicada, we could file images under guides for each brood in addition to, or instead of, species. We have some images identified to species already, and I'm about to add some more of M. tredecim, but many images can't be identified easily to species. (The brood is usually clear, however.) I guess brood guide pages would be no-taxon nodes under the genus level.

What do people think? We have done similar things previously for groups of similar-looking images, for instance with some groups of Chrysomelids. In this case, however, there is a particular interest in the assignment of images to particular broods, irrespective of the ID issues.
The only slight complication I see is that some images will be assignable to species and to brood. An editor can add thumbnails to a guide page as a cross-reference, but there is no easy way classify an image in two places in the hierarchy. (This is where I wish BugGuide had a category tree as does Wikipedia, where articles can be assigned to multiple places in a hierarchy--of course, there is a danger of a mess!)
One idea to solve this is to simply encourage people to upload a duplicate image where both species and brood are known--that would not actually be that many images. I think Magicicada is a (nearly) unique case where this sort of thing would be useful.

Here's an example of what I'm saying. Kim's image from SC shows what is clearly M. tredecim, but it is also a member of brood XIX, and I have a photos of what is clearly M. tredecassini of the same brood:

But this photo is likely not assignable to species, though we know it is brood XIX:

It would be nice to have the first two photos appear under a brood XIX node, as well as under their respective species. Duplicate images would accomplish this, but I can't think of any other way.

And of course, while I'm dreaming, it would be really cool if the data tab could be made to display the month and year in this case. That would allow us to show the broods by year as well as location.

I have no problem with creating No Taxon nodes like "Unidentified Brood XIX" if there are substantial numbers of images to put in them, since there are no lower levels to be obscured.

As for changing the advanced search: there are ways to achieve similar results without dragging the programmers into it.

I would suggest putting a tag in the text of each image so that the "phrase in the description" field of the advanced search can find all images of a given brood. For this to work, they would all have to be in a very uniform format. How about:


The underscores should keep the system from indexing the "brood" and the roman numerals separately, which would prevent confusion from sentences like "All I know is, this is brood XIX", which I believe would show up in searches for "brood I" as well as for "brood XIX".

In the case of roman numerals with less than 3 characters, we would have to have a standard way to format them: the system wouldn't recognize "brood_X" and "brood___X" as the same thing. I prefer the latter (adding leading underscores to make them all the same length) because it's easier to work with in other applications- but there's no practical difference for our purposes. We just have to settle on a standard and stick with it

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