European Micropezids & Tanypezids

The answers to our questions are everywhere; we just need to change the lens with which we see the world (Benyus)

Biological Recording

Principles of Biological Recording

This simply consists of Who, What, Where and When
The majority of this is recorded when a photograph is taken. For scientific use (e.g. conservation) just a little more information is needed (see Where)


The person making the record (or taking the photograph.) There should be a setting in your camera which ensures that your name is added to every photograph you take. If you want to get more serious about this then it's possible to add your name as a watermark on the image itself. Professionals such as Nikola Rahme use that method. If an expert has confirmed the identity then that's an additional "who", so if you'd posted it on for example then you could add "det. Paul Beuk" if he happened to confirm the identification.


Determined by yourself from knowledge or keys or if it's a photograph and you don't know what it is then it can be confirmed by posting the image to one of a number of online sites. Once you find out then the name can be added to the image's metadata (title)


Location is usually the nearest town or village or named reserve or feature. That's not quite enough though for scientific purposes, it's too imprecise. There are several modern methods which can be used to obtain coordinates, from good maps through Google Earth to gadgetry. There are standard fields in a photograph's metadata which can store Lat/Long coordinates


Always recorded when the image is taken. Take care that you've not uploaded a modified copy of an original image that finishes up with a different date. Best to add the date to your post.

Keeping records

For personal use it may be worth investing in a good system to manage your images such as iMatch (a digital asset management application) or even use a simple spreadsheet.

To contribute to scientific research then please submit the record.

There is additionally a variety of tools and applications that may be used for biological recording.

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith