I would caution against using taxonomic info in image names. Taxonomic information changes, which may force you to rename or edit image names in the future. Much easier to dot that in a database. Hence, I agree with Chris. A file name that is a numeric or alpha-numeric  identifier that corresponds to a specimen and/or image record in a database and storing all pertinent info about the image or specimen in the database allows for easy searching and no need to ever edit image names.


On 3/20/2017 11:01 AM, Christine Johnson wrote:
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I have found that if you are trying to add images to a database where there is a database record for that specimen, the best file name to use is the USI (Unique specimen identifier) to that record. Otherwise bulk attaching images to correct records is difficult. But I guess this is only a good naming convention if that is where you intend to access your images (in a database with its database record).




Chris Andrea Johnson, Ph.D.

Curatorial Associate

American Museum of Natural History

Division of Invertebrate Zoology

Central Park West at 79th Street

New York, NY 10024

(212) 769-5605

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Collection Forum

Entomologica Americana

Journal of Negative Results - EEB




From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Collman, Sharon J
Sent: Sunday, March 19, 2017 2:52 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: data on insect photos


I worked out a naming convention that suits me but I'd love to be able to shorten the name files while still capturing the information.  Storing the files is basically like a file cabinet.


Naming convention


Starts with the Host for everything but the insects/arthropods or insect if it is an insect or arthropod


Host-pest-location-date (Year-MO-Da)-my initials or photographer-original number given by the camera.





Filing -



        Silver_spotted Tiger



        Douglas fir






    Groundcovers (includes grass)



I'm sure there are wonderful new ways to do this so I'm looking forward to how others name photos and file them.




Sharon J. Collman

Horticulture and IPM Educator

WSU Snohomish County Extension

600 128th St SE, Everet, WA 98208

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From: Entomological Collections Network Listserve [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of Felix Sperling [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Sunday, March 19, 2017 1:52 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: data on insect photos

Hello All,     


A friend who is an accomplished photographer, Adrian Thysse, has just written a blog on the kinds of data that may be added to photos of specimens, with particular reference to insects:


He is especially interested to get feedback on his suggestions for a methodology for image file labelling and metadata use for photographers. 


What are other people on the ECN list doing to label your image files?


-  Felix


Felix Sperling, Professor

Curator, Strickland Museum of Entomology

Department of Biological Sciences

University of Alberta

Edmonton, Alberta   T6G 2E9   Canada


Gil Nelson, PhD
Research Faculty
iDigBio Steering Committee
Integrated Digitized Biocollections
Institute for Digital Information and Scientific Communication
College of Communication and Information
Courtesy Professor
Department of Biological Sciences
Robert K. Godfrey Herbarium
Florida State University
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