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How can you identify a species?
Here are a few ways to try to identify species you have found during your BioBlitz activities.
Use your eyes:
• Notice where the organism was found, and under what conditions. Surroundings can help establish diet, which can aid an identification.
• Notice all you can about the organism’s appearance.
• Measure the organism’s dimensions, either with a measuring device or by comparing it to something close by that can be measured, such as a leaf or shell or coin.
Use a dichotomous key:
Marine Species (General)
Use a guidebook, online “zoo”, or web identification guide
Use species pages from the Encyclopedia of Life
Use guide websites:
Mushrooms: Mushroom Observer
Animals: Animal Diversity Web
Consult an expert:
Find an expert at a university, agricultural extension, 4-H club, zoo, aquarium, or other experts. A pest control company can help with bug I.D. Contact the organization for information on how to get help with an identification.