Friday, 20 July 2012

Pan Species Listing

Not wanting to be seen hopping on any bandwagons here......... My interests are many and varied and spread through a variety of phyla. Our natural world is way too interesting to restrict ones self. I had started to set myself a goal of learning a new group every year but that was rudely interrupted by a baby who doesn't let me! It was going well and I had been getting to grips with the Isopoda (Woodlice) mainly due to my garden being some sort of Isopod metropolis - to the stage where the buggers have eaten all of my cucumber plants and are now embarking on the almost ripe Strawberries.
I then started on Shieldbugs but was rudely interrupted without ever finding much. These groups add to my interests in birds, fungi, odonata, mammals, butterflies, moths, bumblebees, bees and some knowledge of plants. Before hearing of pan-species listing, I had never really thought about adding everything up but it now seems like the right thing to do being a bit of a Jack of all trades.

The really appealing thing about Pan-species listing for me is that there will always be something new to learn. We are not talking about the finer points of Black and White Flycatcher ID or obscure forms and subspecies, we are on about whole new groups with thousands of species and new structural terms (my favorite so far being the opistogaster). Furthermore, new species are and will continue to be everywhere. There is not a moment when outside when you might find something new. I have already had lots of new species just in the garden and some waiting for the bus. 

I have been threatening this for a while now and have been adding up in earnest. You may have noticed random organisms starting to appear on my blog! Not sure that I am ever going to up with the big guys due to time constraints (league table here) - that is not a typo, it does read over 10,000!!! I am getting near a very minor landmark and am starting to be happy that my list is probably a true reflection of what I have seen so will provide a breakdown into groups when I reach that landmark (don't expect anything mind blowing!)

In the mean time, you might want to have a look at how the masters do it:

The Lyons Den
Mark Telfer
Skevs Blog
North Downs and Beyond

I can only really aspire to be like these guys - they are bloody good!

A random organism on my Pan-species list - Trivia monacha (Spotted Cowrie)

If this post reads like something of a confessional, it probably is. I think I need the strength to admit to myself that I am now a Pan Species Lister. Ahh..... I feel liberated!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Rich, quite a moving confession... We are quite a few around, and whether you prefer to pan-list at home or abroad you're much welcome to join the tribe:

    Looking forward to seeing your obs and pics there!