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How long to leave an image in ID Request before moving?

I also posted this in the moth forum, since those are my bugs of choice- but was advised to post this here.

Since no one has really given me the specifics of how to work with the many moth id requests, I'm a bit lost on how to proceed. I moved many images today to the higher moth taxon, but immediately received an email from someone who was upset that they only posted their moth photo to id request today. So what are the guidelines- do they sit there a week- a month- or longer? I will gladly help out on bugguide as often as I can, but I need some guidelines to work with before I proceed any further, so I do not break any unwritten (or unposted) rules. Thanks!

Thanks for the guidelines for
Thanks for the guidelines for specific images - very helpful!

Out of curiosity, what about images where a knowledgeable person has commented and given an ID to, say, genus, or even species? (e.g. someone posted a "large syrphid" to ID Request yesterday and I ID'd it to species fairly quickly and quite confidently. Should I move it immediately, or let it sit in ID request until it gets a page back and then move it (my previous strategy)?

I know some folks put images in ID request with species already stated - I assume that those are looking for confirmation of ID (when I do this I add a ? and text explaining that I'd like confirmation, but this seems less common). What should one do with those images?


If you can provide a solid ID...
...and you feel that the image is a good addition to the Guide, then I'd suggest moving it immediately.

The tricky part for me, often, is deciding what will and won't make a good addition. (Do we really need that 500th shot of T. marginatus?) In that case, I may provide an ID but leave the image where it is, giving others (who may have more expertise, or who may specialize in the taxon in question) the chance to move or frass it as they see fit. Of course, if the image isn't dealt with after a number of days or weeks, I'll eventually make my own call.

Changed my mind
After looking at ID Request over the past week I realized I was wasting too much of my time looking at the same images over and over.

So I moved all (or nearly all) of the beetles and moths and Orthoptera more than 3 days old to their order pages. They were already dozens of pages deep.

What is left is relatively exotic or mysterious, which is what ID Request should look like.

Here is my proposed guideline for cleaning ID Request. By cleaning I mean moving things out to a temporary home on high level pages where group experts will pay attention to them later.

1. Quick moves. These are groups where specialists don't seem to watch ID Request:
Crane flies to Tipulomorpha
Robber flies to Asilidae
Mites to Acari
Myriapoda to the appropriate class

(The first two are established practice.)

2. If it is more than a day old, move
Psocoptera to Psocoptera
Hoverflies to Syrphidae
Other flies to Flies

3. If it is more than three days old, move anything else if you recognize the page that should hold it, such as
Leaf mines

If an image has a knowledgeable comment, it can move out earlier. Not necessarily to species, but the submitter got a possible ID and a specialist can think about it later. For example, "looks like a screwworm" means move it to Flies, Blow Flies, or C. macellaria in your discretion depending on how much time you have and whether you believe the ID. "Probably Rambur's" means Damselfies, Coenagrionidae, Ischnura, or I. ramburii. And so forth.

thanks John
Appreciate you sharing your guidelines.

My guideline
My policy is nothing that clearly belongs to some high level group should remain in ID request longer than about a week. Maybe 8 or 9 days rather than 7 in case some people only show up on weekends, and not necessarily the same day every week.

That's always a tough question
We usually don't move things till they get to about 50 pages deep, which now is about two weeks old. We doubt any expert visiting ID Request will get that deep before giving up, so it is better for the IDs that the images get moved to the moth page or to a family page. During winter when things are slower, ID Request usually gets reduced down to only 20 pages or so. Don't know if that helps, but we would say if you leave things for two weeks, no one should get upset. Unless you are moving to the species page, which can happen on the first day it gets posted. The sooner the better.

thank you..
completely different answer than I have received from other editors though. I think I'll refrain from moving anything further unless I move it to a species page. This is too confusing with so many different opinions on how to go about this.

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