The starfish thread http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/thread/2777 has been marked as "assumed answered" because it's an old one that will probably be never answered. The same applies to the Cape Town spider http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/thread/9830. Many things cannot be ID'd from photos alone, or we may not have experts in some groups, especially exotic organisms. These threads should be marked as "Hopeless from the point of view of an ID - nobody will ever answer it". Unfortunately, there is no such option. We only have two options: 1 - leave these as they are ('unsanswered'), and 2 - mark them as 'assumed answered'. Option 1 means all these hopeless threads will send us an email every 120 hours untill the end of time, which is not practical. Do you prefer this option? Why? The thing is, all these threads can still be answered after having been marked as 'assumed answered'. I did explain earlier that these threads are not closed. You can add comments, IDs, their owners can mark these as 'helpful' or even 'correct', which means the thread will become 'answered'.
The 'assumed answered' stamp shouldn't be taken literally. It is just a way of marking these threads as not for immediate attention. Leaving them 'unanswered' would make the forum unmanageable.
The carder bee thread http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/thread/10003 has been left 'unanswered'. Does this make you feel better? I think the bee is not a Bombus, but more likely Anthophora. However, as the photos are not clear enough, I will never know. Can you solve this mystery? Do you prefer leaving this thread 'unanswered' forever? How would this help?
The dragonfly thread http://www.nhm.ac.uk/natureplus/message/25733 has been marked as 'assumed answered', and as far as I can see it has been answered indeed. What is the problem here? The owner (Gillie) could have marked it as 'answered' by marking your reply (or Hannah's) as 'correct'. She didn't, perhaps because she couldn't check - that's why she asked the question in the first place. Would you prefer it 'unanswered' until Gillie marks one of the replies as 'correct'? Why? Would you prefer me to mark one of the replies as 'correct'? Or would you prefer that I and others mark replies as 'correct' even if we don't know if this is true? If I or other Museum staff would start to check every thread for the accuracy of every reply, it would defeat the purpose of the forum. It was meant as a place where members are the experts, and they are the ones who deliver IDs. If we ID every thing that has already been identified by others, wouldn't this be duplication of effort? who would benefit from that? Besides, what we can do about those threads where we really don't know what has been posted? How should we mark those threads?
Any suggestions for making this forum a better place for you are appreciated. I will send them to the administrator.
This is a female broad-bodied chaser Libellula depressa. The males are a similar shape but are a powdery sky blue colour. This species is common in the south of England and Wales and is often one of the first dragonflies to colonise new garden ponds. The females and newly emerged individuals are often mistaken for hornets because of their large yellow bodies.
Hannah (NHM ID team)
It is indeed a female Libellula depressa, as in
With these colours it could either be female or an immature male (mature males are blue). But the shape of the tailend shows it's a female.
there are 20 photos of males & females including yellow immature males at
Message was edited by: rhossilian