Working with iDigBio data

iDigBio is a US initiative to digitize hithertofore “unmobilized” biodiversity collections that were not available to the general public or researchers, aside from those who were able and willing to travel to visit the collections. Like GBIF, it is a tremendous resource, but like GBIF downloads have some issues, iDigBio has some oddities that will not be apparent except with focused scrutiny.

  1. iDigBio tries to apply a taxonomic name resolution to specimens, and sometimes it get these wrong. This is evident from this example, which shows a fossil specimen that is can only be identified to class Aves (birds), but iDigBio has reclassed it as genus Avus (an arthropod genus). The error can most easily be realized by looking at the original record in Arctos, the primary databases from which iDigBio drew this record. This issue was active as of 2020-04-14 and brought to our attention by Teresa J. Mayfield-Meyer (Museum of Southwestern Biology).
    • Solution: Unfortunately, there’s no quick way to solve this other than to be vigilant and check the original data providers’ records.
iDigBio version of the record
Arctos version of the record