Monday, November 3, 2008

The Flickr Field Guide Challenge!

(Stichaster australis by fraser_88)

So, I frequently use the image host for a great many things. Many bloggers do.

The eyes and cameras of the world become multifold when you everyone is uploading their pictures onto the service. Is Flickr a new tool for documenting global biodiversity??

So, I had a curious thought, by ONLY finding pictures labelled as "starfish" and not identified as species, with NO indication that the original photographer knew much more than "starfish" (or cared if they even HAD a scientific name) could I produce a relatively comprehensive summary of the common (and even some not so common) species for a particular region??

I chose New Zealand which has a distinct and a relatively well-known shallow-water starfish fauna.

I was surprised.

You can recover quite a few large number of taxa from Flickr. I have not captured every species-but as far as nearshore shallow-water taxa?? Pretty good.

In no particular order....

(please note all pix that follow were from Flickr and were not taken by me)

Asterodiscides truncatus (Asterodiscididae) taken by TimChao
Pentagonaster pulchellus (Goniasteridae) taken by Miombori
Pentagonaster pulchellus (Goniasteridae) taken by Chooks with the Looks

Patiriella sp. (Asterinidae) taken by Padraic7Patiriella sp. (Asterinidae) taken by TimParkinson
Stichaster australis (Asteriidae/Stichasterinae) taken by Ariel Ophelia Stichaster australis (Asteriidae/Stichasterinae) taken by Sam&Onny

Astrostole scabra (Asteriidae) taken by Distorted.Vision
Astrostole scabra (Asteriidae)-w/Coscinasterias muricata in the foreground. Taken by TelPortfolio
Coscinasterias muricata (Asteriidae) taken by Ruth and Dave
Henricia (Echinasteridae) taken by Ruth and Dave
Diplodontias miliaris (Odontasteridae) taken by Hey Mambo
and for the heck of it..I found this too!

The ophiuroid Ophiopsammus maculata (Ophiodermatidae) taken by TELPortfolio.

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