October 13, 2019

A Kazakhstani Photographer Posts the First Known Photos of a Jumping Spider Species - Observation of the Week, 10/13/19

Our Observation of the Week is this Pseudomogrus dalaensis jumping spider, seen in Kazakhstan by @talgar-t64! These are the first known photos of a living individual of this species.

“People usually do not pay attention to what's under their feet. And there's this whole world,” says Anatoly Ozernoy. “And I want to show [these worlds] to people. Show their beauty, their physical perfection, their world. We should not destroy them, they have the same right to live on this earth. Earth is for everybody, it's not only for people.”

Anatoly lives in southeastern Kazakhstan, at the foot of the Ile Alatau mountains, and he tells me “a great variety of natural habitats is represented here: mountain peaks with glaciers, alpine meadows, old-growth conifer forest zones, steppe by the foothills and deserts further away from the mountains. This allows me to experience tremendous diversity of life without a need to travel long distances - everything's a stone's throw away.”

As a spider enthusiast, Anatoly has taken it upon himself to photograph local spiders, many of which are not well documented. “There are lots of endemic species here,” he explains, “but their scientific descriptions lack photos [and] most of them have never been photographed alive...So my photos are often the first ones of the species - this also adds quite a motivation to my research. I'm eager to find more of them, take pictures and share with people.”

One of those spiders is the one shown above, the jumping spider Pseudomogrus dalaensis. Anatoly tells me it’s known only from three locations in Kazakhstan “and out of the blue I found it just 13 kilometers away from one of those places in the fall, although I was betting on spring or summer. It was a great luck! The spider is small and I was fortunate enough to spot it on a large prickly shrub.”

With over 6,000 species, the Salticidae, or jumping spiders, are the most diverse of any spider family, and are pretty amazing. Perhaps the most visually-acute spiders, salticids have large, forward-facing eyes that allow them to find prey and judge jumping distances. This distance judging is accomplished not through binocular vision like we humans use, but “by comparing a blurry version of an image with a clear one, a method called image defocus.” And unlike, say, orb weaver spiders, male jumping spiders use visual cues when courting a mate; most famously those in the genus Maratus. Check out this video of a male courting a female!

Anatoly (above) says that iNaturalist has “proved very useful” when it comes to “photographing spider species, researching their distribution throughout the country, sharing local biodiversity with the community.

It's got various taxa distribution features, great tools for working with maps, plus every interested person has an opportunity to see observations. Moreover, I have an opportunity now to help others with identification of their spider observations and see for myself and learn new species and their habitats.

A huge thank you to @kastani for translating messages between myself and Anatoly, and to @zygy for bringing my attention to this observation. The generosity and passion of the iNat community is always humbling.

- Using laser vibrometers, researchers at UC Berkeley study the acoustic signals male jumping spiders create during courtship, which complement their visual dance. 

- Here’s a video of those sounds. 

Posted on October 13, 2019 16:46 by tiwane tiwane | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 12, 2019

El Salvador - iNaturalist World Tour

El Salvador is the 110th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The top observer, @carlosjuarezp, a bat and herp researcher, is on the map between the capital of San Salvador and Montecristo National Park where most of his observations are clustered. @guillermofunes and @kevcv_bio also have observations split between these two regions. The second top observrr, @ares-afc, has observations mostly clustered around San Salvador along with other top observers such as @talgoose, @tokue, @goodlordbird, and @verovasquez. @davidernesto's observations are centered on Montecristo National Park itself. @arnoldorm's observations are clustered near the small town of Colima. All 10 top observers appear to be El Salvador residents, which is interesting.

El Salvador es la parada número 110 en el iNaturalist Tour Mundial. El observador principal, @carlosjuarezp, un investigador de la herpetofauna y murciélagos, está en el mapa entre la capital de San Salvador y el Parque Nacional Montecristo, donde se agrupan la mayoría de sus observaciones. @guillermofunes y @kevcv_bio también tienen observaciones divididas entre estas dos regiones. El segundo mejor observador, @ares-afc, tiene observaciones agrupadas principalmente en torno a San Salvador junto con otros observadores principales como @talgoose, @tokue, @goodlordbird y @verovasquez. Las observaciones de @davidernesto se centran en el propio Parque Nacional Montecristo. Las observaciones de @arnoldorm se agrupan cerca del pequeño pueblo de Colima. Los 10 principales observadores parecen ser residentes de El Salvador, lo cual es interesante.



The number of observations per month hs been growing steadily since 2017 and passed 500 observations per month for the first time in June of this year

La cantidad de observaciones por mes ha estado creciendo constantemente desde 2017 y pasó 500 observaciones por mes por primera vez en junio de este año



Top observer @ares-afc is the top identifier and leads in insect and arachnid IDs. Top observer @carlosjuarezp leads in herp and mammal IDs. @arnoldorm is another local top observer/top identifier. @jmmaes from nearby Nicaragua leads in plant IDs. @oliverkomar from nearby Hondoras is another top identifier.

El observador superior @ares-afc es el identificador superior y conduce en las identificaciones de insectos y arácnidos. El principal observador @carlosjuarezp lidera las identificaciones de herpes y mamíferos. @arnoldorm es otro observador superior local / identificador superior. @jmmaes de la cercana Nicaragua lidera la identificación de plantas. @oliverkomar de la cercana Hondoras es otro identificador superior.



What can we do to get more people in El Salvador using iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

¿Qué podemos hacer para que más personas en El Salvador utilicen iNaturalist? Comparta sus pensamientos a continuación o en este hilo del foro.

@carlosjuarezp @ares-afc @talgoose @tokue @kevcv_bio @arnoldorm @goodlordbird @guillermofunes @oliverkomar @jmmaes

We’ll be back tomorrow in the Cameroon!

¡Volveremos mañana en el Camerún!

Posted on October 12, 2019 18:55 by loarie loarie | 3 comments | Leave a comment

October 11, 2019

Curaçao - iNaturalist World Tour

Curaçao is the 109th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. Curaçao sits between Aruba and Bonaire in the Caribbean off the coast of Venezuela. Here, top observers include visitors (e.g. @avocat @jasondombroskie @anudibranchmom @zahnerphoto @anthonysarkiss and @stanvrem), people doing research on the island (e.g. @wernerdegier studying symbiotic crustaceans) and people who live / have lived on Curaçao (e.g. @clifford and @patrickas). Somewhat unusually, 50% of the observations are from a project by California Academy of Sciences coral reef researcher @pimbongaerts which I'll describe at the end of this post.


While the number of observations per month has ticked up in recent years, the graph is dominated by @pimbongaerts field season in July of 2019.


West Indies bird expert @chrisharpe leads in bird IDs, @maractwin leads in fish IDs and @greenline leads in plant IDs. Other top identifiers include @adamwang. But the top identifier, leading in 'other animals' (in this case corals) is @ianespanol1 who was @pimbongaerts's Summer Systematics Institute at the California Academy of Sciences charged with identifying corals recorded during the field season.


@pimbongaerts (aka Pim Bongaerts) and @ianespanol1 (aka Ian X Espanol De La Cruz) are interested in conserving coral reefs. They used iNat to record and identify observations of 29 coral species from their field sites in Curaçao. Working with UC Santa Cruz researcher Collin Hurst, they used this data to train a coral classifier to explore if they could train the computer to recognize Caribbean coral species based on corallite-scale. Eventually, they hope to automate monitoring of coral biodiversity.

What can we do to get more people in Curaçao using iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

@pimbongaerts @avocat @jasondombroskie @anudibranchmom @zahnerphoto @ianespanol1 @chrisharpe @adamwang @maractwin @greenline

We’ll be back tomorrow in the El Salvador!

Posted on October 11, 2019 22:26 by loarie loarie | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 10, 2019

Uruguay - iNaturalist World Tour

Uruguay is the 108th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The top observer, @santiagomailhos, has observations are throughout Uruguay but most are clustered south of the city of Paysandú on the banks of Uruguay River, which forms the border with Argentina as are @cmbiancardi's observations. @pablobaldu has observations clustered near the capital of Montevideo and along this southeastern coast of the country. Many other top observers also have their observations clustered here such as @mirmeleon, a student at Facultad de Ciencias (Universidad de la República) in Montevideo, @leo_lagos, editor of the daily science section of Uruguay's newspaper, @phviny, @liuid, and @ori86. @liuid is doing a PhD studying bats at the University of La Plata (Argentina) and is currently based in southern Brazil. @joaco5 has observations clustered along border with Brazil near the city of Rivera. @roget, associated with Fundación Vida Silvestre Argentina, has more observations across the Rio de La Plata in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


The graph of observations per month has been ramping up in 2019. Peaks in April 2019 and August 2019 were mostly driven by @santiagomailhos and @pablobaldu respectively.
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The top identifier is @rafatosi, a bird oriented Uruguayan biologist, who also leads in bird, mammal, and herp IDs. Top observer @mirmeleon is another local top identifier and leads in 'other animals'. Most of the other top identifiers are from nearby Argentina including @lrubio7 (who leads in insects & arachnids), @nicoolejnik (who leads in mollusks and fish), and @r-a-p.


What can we do to get more people in Uruguay using iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

@santiagomailhos @pablobaldu @mirmeleon @joaco5 @leo_lagos @phviny @rafatosi @lrubio7 @nicoolejnik @r-a-p

We’ll be back tomorrow in the Curaçao!

Posted on October 10, 2019 07:45 by loarie loarie | 5 comments | Leave a comment

October 09, 2019

Cyprus - iNaturalist World Tour

Cyprus the 107th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The political boundaries within the Island of Cyprus are controversial. First, Akrotiri and Dhekelia British Overseas Territories (mostly military bases) carved out of the island. Second, the northern half of the island is the defacto state of Northern Cyprus after Turkey invaded in 1983. GADM treats Northern Cyprus as a separate country even though it is only formally recognized by Turkey. Following GADM, Cyprus (officially the Republic of Cyprus) is the Island of Cyprus minus Akrotiri and Dhekelia and Northern Cyprus.

The top observer is botanist @danielcahen with observations clustered in the mountainous Platres region. @jakovosdemetriou, studying biology at the National and Kapodistrian University in nearby Athens, Greece has observations clustered along the west coast along with other top observers such as @denis_m, @luca63, @sandy_rae, @clamsdell, and @sandralamberts. @jurga_li has observations clustered along the southern coast along with @bogmyrtle and @purperlibel.


The graph of observations per month has been ramping up since 2018.


@ronf is the top identifier and leads in plant IDs. @johnascher leads in insects and @sammyboy2059 leads in birds and mammals. @jakovosdemetriou is both a top identifier and top observer. @cliygh-and-mia comes in 5th on the identifier leaderboard.


What can we do to get more people in Cyprus using iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

@danielcahen @jakovosdemetriou @denis_m @luca63 @jurga_li @sandy_rae @ronf @sammyboy2059 @jakovosdemetriou @cliygh-and-mia @johnascher

We’ll be back tomorrow in the Uruguay!

Posted on October 09, 2019 05:03 by loarie loarie | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 08, 2019

Venezuela - iNaturalist World Tour

It's Week 16 of the iNaturalist World Tour. We've also updated all the figures to include data from September 2019. Taiwan, Denmark, Czech Republic, Peru, Austria, China, Chile, Thailand, Poland, Philippines, Botswana, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Croatia, Dominican Republic, Benin, Iceland, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Guatemala, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Mozambique, Hungary, Nepal, Eswatini, Egypt, Cambodia, New Caledonia, and US Virgin Islands have all moved up in the rankings. That means the St. Kitts and Nevis (which now is slated for this week) was covered last week, but we need to cover Venezuela which is now slated for last week. So, if you're still following along, this week we'll play catch up with Venezuela (in place of the St. Kitts and Nevis), Uruguay, and Curaçao, and El Salvador in Latin America, Cyprus and Jordan in the Eastern Mediterranean, and Cameroon in Africa.


We begin playing catch up with Venezuela. The top observer is @ozzhernandez with observations clustered around the capital of Caracas. @steven-cyclist, who once lived in Venezuela, @cepsl, and @angelfern56, director of the IVIC herbarium of the Venezuelan Institute of Scientific Research, also have observations clustered here. @imerualfonzo, curator in Vertebrate Paleontology of the José Royo y Gómez Museum of the Central University of Venezuela, has a centroid pulled to the south of Caracas as does @pagophila. @gchavarri has observations clustered near Ciudad Guayana, @luchomartinez near Mérida and @franciscomarval near Cumana. @greglasley's observations from travels nearly 30 years ago are across the country but pulled towards his observations in Trinidad. Don't miss this Rainbow Whiptail seen by @dllavaneras featured in an Observation of the Week post from Isla Larga near Puerto Cabello Venezuela.


The number of observations has ticked up substantially in 2019 beginning with an isolated peak in January 2019 driven by @steven-cyclist.


@chrisharpe, an Ornithologist / conservation biologist working in Neotropics (especially Venezuela) leads in identifications generally and bird IDs specifically. @ozzhernandez leads in insect IDs, @herp in herp IDs, and @diegoamaya in plant IDs. Other top identifiers include @rafael_gianni and @gchavarri.


What can we do to improve iNaturalist in Venezuela? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

@ozzhernandez @steven-cyclist @imerualfonzo @pagophila @cepsl @gchavarri @angelfern56 @chrisharpe @herp @rafael_gianni

We’ll be back tomorrow in Cyprus!

Posted on October 08, 2019 05:59 by loarie loarie | 3 comments | Leave a comment

October 06, 2019

US Virgin Islands - iNaturalist World Tour

We end Week 15 in the US Virgin Islands - the 104th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. These islands sit between Puerto Rico to the West and the British Virgin Islands to the East. The top three observers in the US Virgin Islands: @casseljs, @thehappiestwanderer and @stinger, and also @mickley have observations clustered in the northwest island of St. Thomas. @stinger is a plant ecologist and a giant in the field of biodiversity informatics behind such efforts as ITIS and BISON. Most of the top observers, e.g. @heather232, @corey22, @emily28, @sarka and e@as_is_the_sea, have observations clustered on the north east island of St. John. A few, scuh as @grodz & juddpatterson, are clustered on the southern island of St. Croix.


The number of observations per month ramped up significantly in 2019.


@maractwin is the top identifier and leads in fish. Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of fish observations here. @kemper and @rangertreaty50 are other top identifiers with lots of fish IDs. @joshuagsmith leads in bird IDs and @mack911 leads in fungi IDs.


What can we do to get more people in the US Virgin Islands using iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

@casseljs @thehappiestwanderer @stinger @heather232 @corey22 @maractwin @rangertreaty50 @joshuagsmith @mack911 @kemper

We’ll remain in the Caribbean tomorrow on Curaçao!

Posted on October 06, 2019 21:48 by loarie loarie | 2 comments | Leave a comment

Saint Kitts and Nevis - iNaturalist World Tour

Saint Kitts and Nevis the 104th stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. @susanhewitt is by far the top observer and is pretty much singlehandedly holding down these islands with her annual visits. @susanhewitt's observations are mostly on Nevis along with top observers @cherrielee and @ktratboy. Other top observers such as @mlodinow, @ronald63, @narpus, and @jmeerman have observations on nearby St. Kitts. Its noteworthy that @gabriel217, in 10th place on the leaderboard, has only posted iNat observations from Saint Kitts and Nevis and doesn't have any observations posted from elsewhere.


The graph of observations per month pretty much just shows @susanhewitt's annual visits in June 2015, May 2016, Aoril 2017, April 2018, and March, 2019..


@adorantes, from the nearby Yucatan, is the top identifier by far and leads in plant, bird, and arachnid IDs. Thanks to other top identifiers such as @kitty12, @ehabes, @rajibmaulick, and @chrisharpe


What can we do to get more people in Saint Kitts and Nevis using iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

@susanhewitt @mlodinow @ronald63 @cherrielee @narpus @adorantes @kitty12 @ehabes @rajibmaulick @chrisharpe

We’ll be back tomorrow in the US Virgin Islands!

Posted on October 06, 2019 05:16 by loarie loarie | 5 comments | Leave a comment

October 04, 2019

Paraguay - iNaturalist World Tour

Paraguay is the 103rd stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. The top observer by a healthy margin is @jaykeller with observations around the capital of Asunción. Several other top observers such as @joaquinmovia (a volunteer at the Museo Nacional de Historia Natural del Paraguay) and @emiliobuongermini (a biologist involved in an NGO dedicated to improve the knowledge of Paraguayan biodiversity) and @titolahaye. Other top observers such as @elacroix-carignan (a biology student at Université de Sherbrooke in Quebec), @rob21, @mfaucher have observations clustered around Loma Plata in the Paraguayan Chaco. @watarumatsunaga has observations clustered along the Paraná river border with Argentina and @ammartin's observations are in a great transect across the country. @alee4 doesn't appear on the map (which was crunched on Septermber 1st) but has many new observations in the southern half of the country and is now 10th on the observer leaderboard.

Paraguay es la parada 103 en el iNaturalist Tour Mundial. El observador superior por un margen saludable es @jaykeller con observaciones alrededor de la capital de Asunción. Varios otros observadores importantes como @joaquinmovia (voluntario en el Museo Nacional de Historia Natural del Paraguay) y @emiliobuongermini (biólogo involucrado en una ONG dedicada a mejorar el conocimiento de la biodiversidad paraguaya) y @titolahaye. Otros observadores principales como @elacroix-carignan (estudiante de biología en la Universidad de Sherbrooke en Quebec), @rob21, @mfaucher tienen observaciones agrupadas alrededor de Loma Plata en el Chaco paraguayo. @watarumatsunaga tiene observaciones agrupadas a lo largo de la frontera del río Paraná con Argentina y las observaciones de @ammartin se encuentran en un gran transecto en todo el país. @alee4 no aparece en el mapa (que fue procesado el 1 de septiembre) pero tiene muchas observaciones nuevas en la mitad sur del país y ahora es el décimo en la tabla de clasificación de observadores.


Observations seem to have ticked up in 2019. The peak in April 2017 was driven by @jaykeller while the peak in Jan-Mar 2019 was largely driven by @joaquinmovia, @elacroix-carignan, and @rob21.

Las observaciones parecen haber aumentado en 2019. El pico en abril 2017 fue impulsado por @jaykeller mientras que el pico en Enero-marzo de 2019 fue impulsado en gran medida por @joaquinmovia, @elacroix-carignan y @rob21.


@nicoolejnik from nearby Argentina is the top identifier and leads in birds, arachnids, and mollusks. Top observer @joaquinmovia leads in insect and plant IDs and top observer @emiliobuongermini leads in herp and mammal IDs. Thanks to other top identifiers such as @jbroadhead and @john8.

@nicoolejnik, de la vecina Argentina, es el principal identificador y es líder en aves, arácnidos y moluscos. El observador superior @joaquinmovia lidera en identificaciones de insectos y plantas y el observador superior @emiliobuongermini lidera en identificaciones de herpes y mamíferos. Gracias a otros identificadores principales como @jbroadhead y @john8.


What can we do to get more people in Paraguay using iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

¿Qué podemos hacer para que más personas en Paraguay utilicen iNaturalist? Comparta sus pensamientos a continuación o en este hilo del foro.

@jaykeller @joaquinmovia @emiliobuongermini @elacroix-carignan @titolahaye @rob21 @watarumatsunaga @nicoolejnik @jbroadhead @john8

We’ll be back tomorrow in Saint Kitts and Nevis!

¡Volveremos mañana en Saint Kitts y Nevis!

Posted on October 04, 2019 23:48 by loarie loarie | 0 comments | Leave a comment

New Caledonia - iNaturalist World Tour

New Caledonia the 102nd stop on the iNaturalist World Tour. @lisa_bennett is the top observer and unusually has observations clustered on Ouvéa Island, one of the smaller Loyalty Islands. @harryrosenthal also has observations clustered on the Loyalty Islands. Most of the other top observers have observations on the largest island of Grande Terre. Many top observers such as @damienbr have observations clustered around the capital of Nouméa. Other top observers on Grande Terre include @vmoser,, @leonperrie, @jakob, @freddesmoulins, @lennarthud, @nataliemhowe, and @mazancourt.


The graph of observations per month shows an increasing since mid 2018.


@maractwin is the top identifier and leads in fish. @jakob leads in insects and @whimbrelbirder leads in birds, @phelsumas4life leads in other animals, @leonperrie leads in plants and @susanhewitt leads in mollusks. Thanks to other identifiers such as @rfoster.


What can we do to get more people in New Caledonia using iNaturalist? Please share your thoughts below or on this forum thread.

@lisa_bennett @damienbr @leonperrie @vmoser @jakob @freddesmoulins @maractwin @whimbrelbirder @rfoster @phelsumas4life

We’ll be back tomorrow in Paraguay!

Posted on October 04, 2019 07:40 by loarie loarie | 4 comments | Leave a comment