Observation 159972: Psathyrella (Fr.) Quél.

Proposed Names

28% (1)
Recognized by sight: Some Psathyrella collections are actually in Parasola. Black spored ones are suspect.
28% (1)
Recognized by sight: Some are Coprinopsis too…
55% (1)
Recognized by sight: Christian probably saw something in this family at least…

Please login to propose your own names and vote on existing names.

Eye3 = Observer’s choice
Eyes3 = Current consensus


Add Comment
I am not exactly sure how that would work
By: Alan Rockefeller (Alan Rockefeller)
2014-02-20 22:39:12 PST (-0800)

It might be a good idea to require an explanation on all proposed names, and ask for but not require an explanation on all votes. I would really like a way to be able to explain why I voted a certain way without having to leave a separate comment about it.

Interesting discussion
By: Nathan Wilson (nathan)
2014-02-20 19:53:08 PST (-0800)

This has been an interesting issue from the inception of Mushroom Observer. When I first created it, I fully expected the majority of observations to simply be species lists much like the lists published in various mushroom group newsletters or filling untold numbers of field notebooks (not unlike eBird and many other biodiversity observation sites). The fact that the community has essentially created a standard where observations are expect to have images I think is wonderful. However, for all the reasons described I do not believe the site should ever reject new observations simply because there is no image. It is simply too hard to reliably tell why someone creates an observation and whether it has value. Yes, this means there is going to be garbage, but as has been pointed out this can be filtered away. I am interested in providing such filters, but have simply had no time to implement anything that is not important from a fundraising perspective. Once we get some funds then these sorts of features could get implemented (but there’s a long list of other things in the queue as well).

Something I have seriously considered raising the bar on is changing the consensus name of an observation. In my view name changes should have some sort of explanation, but often they are simply asserted. My thinking is that someone could still suggest a name with or without an explanation, but the consensus name of the observation would only change if the user intends it to change the name and provides some explanation of why.

Other sides to this, too
By: Jason Hollinger (jason)
2014-02-20 18:08:01 PST (-0800)

Besides the ever-popular “observations without specimens are heresay” and related arguments.

Different people use MO for different purposes. It’s obviously a great teaching resource. Adolf is using it to store meta data for herbarium collections. Myco societies are using it to share checklists and field notes. I’ve used it experimentally as a way to update the out-dated taxonomy in an old checklist. I hope people continue to use it to store field notes — which will often have entries like this present one, with little or no documentation, but still serves some private purpose, presumably. And so on, and so on.

I’m increasingly of the opinion that MO should remain totally permissive, and instead should improve its ability to screen and search and massage and otherwise view or mine the database. (Not that I’ve had the slightest free time this last year or two to actually make any tangible progress in that direction, mind you.)

My two cents. (Which, by nature of being partly in charge, admittedly count for somewhat more than the average two cents. :)

you make a good point
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2014-02-20 17:43:13 PST (-0800)

but I think you overestimate the extent to which observations like these discourage “experts” from using or visiting MO. with the wheat comes the chaff. I simultaneously cherish and am frustrated by the loose prerequisites to posting. it succeeds at not scaring off the average person — an all important user class — but it allows underwhelming data to populate the site.

i think the compromise to strike here is not banning or requiring anything, but employing a new system of praising/incentivizing quality observations, to help ensure that underdocumented ones occupy the minority. given the activity level of Pivotal Tracker (aka Feature Tracker) these days, it’s hard to say how soon that, among other changes, will come, if ever.

Jason & Nathan: care to comment?

That is exactly the problem…
By: Byrain
2014-02-20 14:04:59 PST (-0800)

Psathyrellaceae is in for some changes and in the future what was referenced with this observation might not be considered Psathyrella anymore, or maybe it will… The point is without any images, information, or specimens there is no way to know and no hope that we will know. This is just another black mark for MO & another reason to convince any Psathyrellaceae experts to not look through all our observations.

By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2014-02-20 10:28:46 PST (-0800)

I didn’t say that this observation is an example of an exception to the rule of photo-containing observations tending to be better than photo-less ones. I said that exceptions exist, and that images aren’t everything.

For whatever it’s worth, I trust that Christian saw one or more Psathyrella that day. I trust that most to all of his other unphotographed records are sound as well. If I were not confident in his identifications, I would vote toward Imageless. The use of that name is discretionary, as it’s name page explains.

By: Byrain
2014-02-19 12:28:08 PST (-0800)

Your point would be more meaningful if there was a drawing, description, or even notes here. Not even habitat is mentioned…

Christian, this is where Danny’s first argument would work, bird identification is far more straightforward than mushroom or bug identification & its easier to trust undocumented bird sightings than fungi or bugs.

/agree Christian
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2014-02-19 12:07:18 PST (-0800)
missing the point
By: Christian (Christian Schwarz)
2014-02-19 12:06:44 PST (-0800)

this was not intended to be a Psath taxonomy observation. I was keeping a species list. I saw a Psathyrella. I wrote it down. I uploaded it. Leaving it unidentified at genus level is the most precise I can be. We can’t expect everyone to applh the same amount of effort to every mushroom they see. But at the same time it’s important to not unnecessarily lose information. This is an important concept on eBird, which as I’ve mentioned many times before is the most successful citizen science project ever.

there are more described bugs than described fungi,
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2014-02-19 12:06:44 PST (-0800)

which is either proof of more work having taken place in entomology than mycology, proof of greater diversity in arthropods than fungi, both, or neither. estimated totals of both vary greatly, and are just that: estimates.

i’ll grant you that an observation with images tends to be better than one without them, but there are exceptions. consider that much of the literature prior to the 1980s lacked photography altogether, relying instead on very specific descriptions and notes. when and where that is the case here, rare though it may be, such an observation provides more information than those which have poor photos and no notes, of which we have plenty. point being, photos aren’t everything. information is.

at the moment, we can only weigh in on the quality of an observation by voting on or proposing a name, rating the photos, and commenting. while I see no reason to change the site’s policy on the optional use of images in an observation, I think it’s time MO graded observations based on their level of completeness/comprehensiveness, whether that be an automated or consensus based process, or some combination of the two. if for no other reason, this needs be done to set a standard to which uploaders can aspire in making their contributions to the site. the current point system is incomplete, irrelevant, and, consequently, ignored. with the opportunity for an observation to reach ‘A+’/‘10’/‘Gold Star’ status, the observer will have an incentive to provide more information, giving the membership and visiting public a better all-around site.

You can’t even post
By: Byrain
2014-02-19 11:19:45 PST (-0800)

without images at bugguide and they frass any sightings that are either not useful, identifiable, or even redundant while we are stuck with observations like this that only serve to make the queue of unidentified Psathyrella even bigger with no hope of identification or usefulness. And the identification of insects is not more straightforward, there are many more insects than there are fungi, none of which is relevant to why they have more experts interested in their site than we do despite having a smaller coverage (Only North America).

The point still stands, this observation is even less useful than obs 22692.

for every one observation
By: Danny Newman (myxomop)
2014-02-19 10:39:53 PST (-0800)

on Mushroom Observer which does not contain images, there are 1000 or more that do. BugGuide is centered around a group of organisms whose identifications are far more straightforward than those of fungi, seldom requiring the use of a microscope, the absence of substrate, and little to no worry about putrefaction, dessication, and the changes in macromorphology these will often bring about. There are also far more entomologists than there are mycologists, and entomology is more firmly rooted in and better funded by more US and European institutions than mycology. Apples to oranges.

This is why…
By: Byrain
2014-02-19 08:18:41 PST (-0800)

sites like bugguide attract a lot more experts than we do.

Created: 2014-02-18 20:34:53 PST (-0800)
Last modified: 2016-07-29 10:27:56 PDT (-0700)
Viewed: 129 times, last viewed: 2017-06-17 21:26:42 PDT (-0700)
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