iNatters of tumblr's Journal

October 07, 2021

Did I do it?

I think there's a new feature that makes me not have to add everybody by hand. I hope I did it right. If so, then just joining the project is enough to be added to it.

Posted on October 07, 2021 15:08 by kuchipatchis kuchipatchis | 0 comments | Leave a comment

October 16, 2019

Boosting: Continental Mycoblitz 2019

Since it looks like a great event, I'm boosting something I learned about from a post @honeymushroom made on tumblr.

You can find the official page here:

Welcome to the first online, continental-scale mushroom foray to take place on Planet Earth! It is part of our efforts to document all of the macrofungi that exist in North America. Funded partly by the National Geographic Society, the Continental Mycoblitz, Part 2 will be conducted from October 20-27, 2019. To participate just review the online training, post your observations to the iNaturalist project during the foray week, and submit your ten most interesting collections to our processing facility. Over 2,000 specimens from the event will be selected for DNA sequencing. Your most interesting finds can help us to understand the mushrooms of North America. We look forward to discovering fungi with you!

What is a mycoblitz?

You may have heard of a "bioblitz" - an intense, and usually time limited survey of all of the organisms living in a given geographic area. A mycoblitz is a similar survey, but with the focus solely on fungi. Participants work to catalog as many species as they can from the survey area, during the survey time period.

Bringing in 2,000+ new sequenced specimens (and counting....)

With the help of the foray partners, this event will bring over 2,000 new specimens - all DNA "barcoded" - into professional herbaria. You and your organization can contribute by taking an active role in reviewing local specimens and/or contributing funds to DNA sequence more specimens from your particular region, or of your particular taxonomic group of interest.

Overview of the Process

The 2019 Continental Mycoblitz is open to anyone who is willing to make scientifically valuable collections of mushrooms - including photography, field notes, and submitting a dried specimen. Any individual or organization can submit up to 10 of their most unique/interesting/exciting collections from the foray week to the project. Mycologists and foray partners will examine each collection and will perform DNA sequencing on 2,000 of the specimens that are submitted. The best collections will have geotagged color photographs of the mushroom from multiple angles, a completed field data slip, and properly dried mushrooms. You have the chance to make a significant contribution to our knowledge of fungi from North America by submitting specimens to this project!

How to Participate

Before Foray Week

1. Review the online training documents - Become familiar with the process to submit collections to this project: Collecting Mushrooms for Science and iNaturalist Mycoblitz Protocols.

2. Download Field Data Slips - Download your field data slips online. These field data slips are individually numbered and should be filled out for each collection you make.

3. Download the iNaturalist Mobile App - Both Android and IOS versions are available. Check your preferred app store for the download. If you do not have a mobile device, you can participate by utilizing the web interface to report your observations.

4. Join the "Continental Mycoblitz 2019" project in iNaturalist - You can join from the mobile app or now from your favorite web browser. You can join this project at any time.

During Foray Week

1. Create new observations of mushrooms you encounter. This can be done through the iNaturalist mobile app in the field (with cell service) or the web interface at home. With each new observation, be sure to select the project for your event and whether you collected the specimen. The mobile app uploads the photos to the reports online.

Take multiple photos of the mushrooms with your cell phone or camera in the field. Your photos are most valuable to science if they include GPS location data: make sure it is turned on! Take a nice image near ground level from the side, as well as an image of the top, the stem, and the spore bearing surface (gills or pores on the underside of the cap).

If you think you might submit the specimen, take an image of a field data slip with the specimen. This will help to ensure you can associate the images with the correct specimens.

Enter the field data slip number into the "Voucher number(s)" field in the mobile app.

2. Collect the specimen. Store your field slip (or the portion with the number) with the specimen.

Back at home, dry the specimens with a dehydrator or fan - Use the duplicate number at the bottom portion of the voucher slip to organize collections as they are being dried. Once they are cracker dry (usually 1-2 days) put the voucher slip and the specimen in a ziplock bag. Please put the iNaturalist number (in the URL of your observations) and the species name on the voucher slips. This will save us a huge amount of time once we receive the collections

3. Mail in your dried specimens - Mail your top ten specimens to our processing facility. The top specimens that are selected as a part of this event will have their DNA "sequenced" or examined. We are likely to find multiple species that are new to science during this event. Your collections could be part of this.

4. As a reminder, we are looking for:

Specimens with complete metadata - color images from multiple angles (including the spore bearing surface), a filled out field data slip, and fully dried specimens.

Locally uncommon, rare, or otherwise interesting species.

Try to make a few of your specimens from one of the following groups for this event: Cortinarius, Inocybe, Amanita sect. Vaginatae, and/or the Marasmiaceae.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How are determinations made about which mushrooms are selected for sequencing?

There are three primary factors that will influence whether a specimen is selected for sequencing or not. The first is that the metadata is complete for the specimen and the quality of that data is high (geotagged color images from multiple angles, completely filled out field data slip, properly dried specimens, and the specimens are well organized). Secondly, we are looking for specimens from specific taxonomic groups and geographical regions that are undersampled. (An uncommon species from North Dakota is more likely to be sequenced than the same uncommon species from Colorado. We will also have a bias to specimens of Cortinarius, Inocybe, Amanita sect. Vaginatae, and the Marasmiaceae for this event. Roughly 20-30% of the specimens will come from these groups.) Finally, the overall interest of the particular species at a specific location by our partner mycologists will produce the final determination. The more uncommon/interesting a particular species is, the higher the chance it will be sequenced.

2. Do I have to send 10 specimens in order to participate?

No. Even if you only want to take images and do not want to submit specimens, the observations you provide to the project can still be extremely valuable. Observational data helps us better understand the range and seasonality of even common species. You can also send less than 10 specimens to the event. For each person that submits 10 specimens, we will guarantee that at least one of your specimens are selected for sequencing.

3. Do I have to fill out a data slip for each mushroom I see?

No, only for specimens you are collecting. If you are simply taking an image of a mushroom to document the species at a particular location, you do not need to fill out a field data slip for it. We do not need 100 collections of Turkey Tails (Trametes versicolor) or Dryad's Saddle (Polyporus squamosus). If you know the mushroom is common, a picture will suffice. Just be sure to take nice, close images from several angles. No need to collect it. But many mushrooms cannot be identified from a picture alone. We also cannot get DNA results from pictures. Saving interesting specimens allows us the potential to study them further.

4. Should I collect a mushroom if I cannot identify it?

Yes! Unidentified mushrooms are often the most interesting ones. Just call it "Fungi" on the iNaturalist observation and someone will come along and identify it for you.

5. What if a mushroom is very large. Do I have to collect the whole thing?

No, just collect a small portion, such as 1/4 of the cap. The best part to save is the top part with the gills/pores, as well as a cross-section of the stem.

6. Do I need the field data slips in order to participate?

Yes, mushrooms will only be accepted at the processing facility if they have a mycoflora number from the field data slip that is associated with an iNaturalist observation. Standard NAMP field slips are also ok to use if you have them.

7. What if I run out of field data slips?

You can download more slips online at any time.

8. What do I need to fill out on each field data slip?

The requested minimum information to fill out is the date, your name as the collector (you can use initials), the site name, and ecological information (substrate, habitat, etc.). The field for Foray ID is not being used for this event. The more information you are willing to save, the more valuable the report/specimen will be for science. Once your specimens are dry, please put the iNaturalist number for each collection on your voucher slips.

9. Do I need to smell and taste each mushroom?

No, but this information is important for certain groups of mushrooms. These sections of the field data slip are optional, but encouraged. Also keep in mind that taste does not equal swallow. You can taste any mushroom without fear. Just gently chew a small bit of the mushroom and let it sit on your tongue for a few seconds to see if any specific taste starts to develop. Then spit the flesh out.

10. What are the numbers on the bottom of the field data slip for?

The "Voucher Label for Drying" can be torn off and stored in your tackle box or basket with the specimen. This will allow you to keep the specimens organized with the pictures you take (be sure to take a picture of the field data slip with each specimen for the number and the scale bar on the side of the slip). The "Tissue Label" is not something we will be using as a part of this project. Please keep it attached to the field data slip with the specimens you send in. This section will be attached to the tissue sample tube that will be used for looking at the DNA of your specimens.

11. Do I have to upload the photos using the mobile app?

You have several options to get your images/reports onto iNaturalist. 1. You can create reports using the mobile app in the field as you go along. If you do not have cell service, the app will store the individual reports until your phone is connected. 2. You could take pictures in the field without using the mobile app, and upload to individual iNaturalist observations later once you are back at home. (This is often the suggested method, as you don't have to fuss with a mobile app in the field and can spend more time enjoying nature.) Finally, 3. You could take images with a regular camera and upload individual reports on the iNaturalist website through your computer browser.

12. I am interested in photographing and collecting, but I will not be able to upload to iNaturalist until after the event week. Can I still participate?

Yes! We anticipate processing specimens for several months after the foray ends. We ask that you upload your observations to iNaturalist and mail in your samples as soon after foray week as possible, but if it takes a few extra weeks, that will still be acceptable. The longer it takes, however, the fewer open sequencing spots will be left, so getting your specimens in early will give you the best chance for getting some of your specimens sequenced.

13. Can I use online platforms other than iNaturalist to upload my observations for this event?

The funding for this event was provided by National Geographic, who is now a partner with iNaturalist. The funding was provided on the basis of utilizing iNaturalist for this event. Thus, we will only be accepting specimens for sequencing consideration that have an observation posted with an iNaturalist link. You are always free to duplicate your observations on other platforms.

14. Can you return the specimens that are sent in?

Unfortunately, we will not be able to return any specimens that are submitted. If you would like to ensure your specimens are retained, please only send a "split" or a portion of the collection to the processing facility. You are welcome to retain the remainder of your collection and submit it to a local herbarium.

15. What if a new species is discovered?

Who gets the credit? iNaturalist has a "Collector's name" field that can be filled out when submitting an observation, if the name of the collector is different than the person submitting the observation. The credit for the collection of a new species would go to the person who submitted the iNaturalist observation or the name of the individual in the Collector's name field.

16. Does harvesting mushrooms hurt the environment?

The short answer is no. It is misguided to think of harvesting mushrooms in the same terms as harvesting plants or other organisms. There have been multiple studies to explore this topic and none of found harvesting to have a negative impact on the mushrooms being harvested. Mushrooms are only the reproductive structure of the organism, like an apple on a tree. The main body of the organism lives under the ground or in the wood that you are harvesting the mushroom from. Walking through the woods off trail (ground compaction) is likely to have a greater impact on the environment than harvesting mushrooms. If harvesting large numbers of mushroom species had any detrimental impacts to the organism, we would be the first organization to discourage large-scale collecting.

So, if you're interested, check it out!

Their iNat project can be found here:

Also, on another note, if anyone is willing to let me repost their images of observations from the scavenger hunt on my blog and/or a journal post here so I can maybe make a little conclusion post, let me know!

Posted on October 16, 2019 03:29 by kuchipatchis kuchipatchis | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 21, 2019

Scavenger Hunt Check-In

Hey, how are we all doing?

The scavenger hunt has been in for a little while now, but if you haven't started, theres still time for you to jump on in while still earning the highest level badges!

Speaking of badges, for those who haven't noticed, I updated the badges page to make it easier for you to post the images. I had mine on my user profile page, but moved them into a journal post.

In the comments of this post, I invite you all to post your lists, your favorite observations made during the challenge, anything like that.

Here's my journal so far:
I'm nearly done but still have a handful left.
I also decided to add all the observations i used for the list as associated observations on the journal post. The tool to do that is located right next to the journal editing tool, but its very tedious. I, however, like tedious so I had fun doing it, but you don't have to do that. If you do, you just check off all the observations you want to add, and hit the "next" button to keep scrolling through your observations.

Don't forget I set up a quick survey so I can assess the strengths and weaknesses of how this was executed. I've got some ideas for other events so input would be really appreciated!

So, how's it going?? :D

Posted on September 21, 2019 03:28 by kuchipatchis kuchipatchis | 11 comments | Leave a comment

August 30, 2019

A Scavenger Hunt! (and a couple other things)

Hey everyone! I was going to post this a little later, but I've got a hurricane coming my way and would like to get this out before I get knocked off for however long. So, here's iNatters of tumblr's first scavenger hunt! If it's successful, we may do other events in the future! Below are the rules and guidelines, the scavenger hunt list, and other relevant information.

First though, couple other things, mostly reiterations in case you missed it: I'm @kuchipatchis and I'm a co-admin on this project now. I recently put out badges that you might want to check out. If you scroll just past the scavenger hunt list, there are badges you can earn for this event! Also, as a reminder, if you want to join iNatters of tumblr, in order for you to actually have your observations featured on the project, you can't just click the little "Join" button in the corner of the main project page. That allows you to watch the project, but in order for you to actually have your observations featured, message @kuchipatchis or @nanofishology on here, or on our respective blogs, pterygota and nanonaturalist, to let us know you would like to be added so we can do that for you.

And, if you wouldn't mind, please consider eventually filling out a quick survey so I know how people feel about the activities I've put out so far. Thank you!

Rules and Guidelines

You can post the scavenger hunt list with links to your corresponding observations for each item on your tumblr blog and/or iNaturalist journal. Please note that posting your observations to tumblr may mean giving out personal location information to a larger audience, so use discretion if posting to there.

The scavenger hunt will run for the next two months, with the lowest level time completion badge being set at November 1, 2019. There is no required date for any individual list item.

The list does not have to be completed in order.

Only observations made after this announcement count toward the hunt.

All observations must be your own. It's only fair that be a rule for a scavenger hunt, but it is also an iNaturalist rule; you cannot upload other people's media.

Avoid uploading organisms that are not wild - a feral animal or volunteer plant is acceptable, a pet or intentionally cultivated plant is not.

A single observation can count for multiple items on the list as long as it fulfills the requirements (for example, a bumblebee can potentially count for "Something fuzzy", "Something yellow and black", and "A bee native to your area").

Exercise safe and responsible behavior - don't endanger yourself or any organisms you come across!

We may make posts featuring observations from the scavenger hunt, but will check with you for permission before doing so.

The Scavenger Hunt List:

  1. An example of camouflage
  2. A plant growing out from the water
  3. A mushroom
  4. A fish
  5. A pupa
  6. Something fuzzy
  7. Something spiky
  8. Something having a meal
  9. A symbiotic relationship
  10. Something growing on or out of a man-made object
  11. An animal with more than 8 legs
  12. An animal with no legs
  13. Something that lives in a shell
  14. Something yellow and black
  15. Something brown and white
  16. Something purple and green
  17. Something really common in your area
  18. Something not native to your area
  19. A bee native to your area
    (Try to avoid honeybees - they're not native to most places in the world.)

  20. Something classified as a threatened species
    These species will have a little button on their observation page identifying them as such. This example shows a wood stork with a button identifying it as endangered. This example shows a gopher tortoise with a button identifying it as vulnerable (and also one identifying it as endemic!)

  21. A feather
    You can add any feather observations to the project Found Feathers.

  22. An animal track
    For examples, you can check out North American Animal Tracking Database. And, if you are North American, you can add your finds to the project.

  23. Mating behavior
    You can add any mating behavior to the project, Mating behaviour.

  24. A plant gall
    For examples of what these look like, look at the project Galls of North America. You can only add to them if you are North American, however.

  25. A leaf mine
    For examples of what these look like, look at the project Leafminers of North America. Again, you can only add to them if you are North American.


There are special badges you can earn from this! Here they are:

List Checker

Level 1: Get 10 items off of the list

Level 2: Get 18 items off of the list

Level 3: Complete the entire list

Time Master

Level 1: Complete the entire list on or before November 1, 2019

Level 2: Complete the entire list on or before October 16, 2019

Level 3: Complete the entire list on or before October 1, 2019

Helpful Hints

Think outside of the box! A lot of these have a lot of different possible ways to go about it. For example, i would say all three of these count as fuzzy:

Always be on the lookout! No matter how short an errand you may be running, nature is always out there. You never know what you might see when or where you least expect it!

Learning is good! Don't know something? Don't be afraid to look it up or ask questions, which you are welcome to do in the comments! On that note, something that might be useful is the Places feature - scroll down just a little more to learn about that!

Need help using inaturalist? Here's some tutorials for uploading observations:
App Tutorial
Website Tutorial

The Places Feature (impromptu tutorial)

iNaturalist has a feature called "Places" that can be useful for browsing, well, places. You can use it to see what you can expect in your area (or any area!)

Here's how to use it:

First, find it on the toolbar at the top of the site. It's under the "More" dropdown.

Once there, you'll be brought to the places screen. You can then search for a place. I'm going to be looking for what i can find in my state, but if I really wanted to, I could narrow down the search much more (I like to keep track of how well I'm doing in my county). Be warned, not everywhere is given a "place", but they can be added.

After that's done, it will bring you to a screen of lots of things that match your search. You can then pick which one you wanted to look at. I'm looking for the whole state right now, so I want to choose that.

Now, it will take us to the page for Florida. It happens to be found at so that's an easy url to refer back to. The default should show the species found in the place, but if you landed on a different thing, just click the tab that says "Species".

Down the lefthand side is a tree of different taxa. Clicking on them will only show members of that taxa on the screen. Above the species icons are some search options that might be helpful to get ideas of what to look for.

First, let's look at the "Colors" box. Clicking on it will show some color choices to select, and then it will show organisms that match the color.

There we go. Now, I don't always agree with their claims about animal coloring, and I'm pretty sure they leave out some animals that fit the color, but nothing is perfect, and this is just for getting ideas. But the American Coot looks like a great candidate for "Something yellow and black" because they have big yellow feet and black feathers. Maybe I'll keep an eye out for one if none of my black and yellow colored syrphid flies show up.

Next, let's have a look at the "Establishment" box. Clicking on it, you can choose "Native", "Endemic", and "Introduced". Native organisms are those that naturally occur in an area. Endemic organisms are native organisms that also appear nowhere else. Introduced organisms are organisms that are not native to a place, but can now be found there anyway. That's something on the list, so we will look at that.

See those little pink "!" buttons in the corner of the icons? That identifies organisms that have been introduced to an area through human activity. So, anything here is something I could get for that one. Again, this database isn't perfect, but it's good enough.

Finally, let's look at the "Threatened" checkbox. Clicking it will only show species that have conservation concerns.

There it is! Notice the buttons in the corner of each observation. The majority of the top row has the button "NT" which means Near Threatened. Accept that Near Threatened is considered under Threatened. The only two on the top row that have different buttons are the Whooping Crane with "EN" for ENdangered, and, strangely, the Passenger Pigeon with "EX" for EXtinct. I didn't expect that to show up. I think it's safe to assume I won't be getting that one for the scavenger hunt. Anyway, I can now browse this for organisms to keep an eye out for (or not....)

So, if you need any ideas on what you might be able to find in your area, try that out!

Posted on August 30, 2019 05:24 by kuchipatchis kuchipatchis | 11 comments | Leave a comment

August 27, 2019

Introducing Badges!

Hello, everyone! I thought that objective-based activities would be both fun and helpful for getting people more into iNaturalist, so I am introducing badges! So far, badges are split into 3 categories (Task, Event, and Taxa), and each badge has 3 levels - Level 1 is the lowest level, represented by a brown background, Level 2 is the middle level, represented by a beige background, and Level 3 is the highest level, represented by a green background.

There are no hard guidelines on how to use badges you earn, its up to you. Once you earn a badge by meeting the minimum requirement, you can do whatever you want with it: reposting it on your profile, saving it and editing it, printing it, just listing "[badge] level [x]" on your profile, nothing at all, whatever you want. You don't need anyone to verify that you deserve the badge, you can just claim it once you know you earned it. Whether you want to line up all the levels, or only display the highest level you've earned, it's your call. As long as you're having fun reaching goals.

More badges will probably be added with time. I am open to any suggestions!

I also want to announce that a scavenger hunt is currently in the works, and I'm shooting for putting it out in September! There will be special badges for it!

To add badges to your profile page or a journal post, use this html:

<img src="insert image url here">

You can see a comprehensive list of html tutorials for inaturalist here. I'll also put the code under each badge for easy copy/paste

Task Badges

These badges are based off of your iNaturalist activity.

Astute Observer

Level 1: Have 10 observations
<img src="">
Level 2: Have 50 observations
<img src="">
Level 3: Have 500 observations
<img src="">

On Fire

To calculate this, use this site! Input your username, and it will tell you what your longest consecutive streaks of using iNaturalist every day are.

Level 1: Have a 7 day streak
<img src="">
Level 2: Have a 30 day streak
<img src="">
Level 3: Have a 90 day streak
<img src="">

Event Badges

First Scavenger Hunt

List Checker

Level 1: Get 10 items off of the list
<img src="">
Level 2: Get 18 items off of the list
<img src="">
Level 3: Complete the entire list
<img src="">

Time Master

Level 1: Complete the entire list on or before November 1, 2019
<img src="">
Level 2: Complete the entire list on or before October 16, 2019
<img src="">
Level 3: Complete the entire list on or before October 1, 2019
<img src="">

Taxa Badges

You can see a list of species you've observed using this url, edited for your username:[your username here]

Amphibians Abound

Level 1: Have observed 3 different species of amphibian
<img src="">
Level 2: Have observed 10 different species of amphibian
<img src="">
Level 3: Have observed 20 different species of amphibian
<img src="">

Arachnid Admirer

Level 1: Have observed 5 different species of arachnid
<img src="">
Level 2: Have observed 20 different species of arachnid
<img src="">
Level 3: Have observed 50 different species of arachnid
<img src="">

Bird Nerd

Level 1: Have observed 10 different species of bird
<img src="">
Level 2: Have observed 50 different species of bird
<img src="">
Level 3: Have observed 100 different species of bird
<img src="">

Fish Friend

Level 1: Have observed 3 different species of ray-finned fish
<img src="">
Level 2: Have observed 15 different species of ray-finned fish
<img src="">
Level 3: Have observed 45 different species of ray-finned fish
<img src="">

Fun with Fungi

Level 1: Have observed 5 different species of fungi including lichens
<img src="">
Level 2: Have observed 10 different species of fungi including lichens
<img src="">
Level 3: Have observed 40 different species of fungi including lichens
<img src="">

Insect Interest

Level 1: Have observed 10 different species of insect
<img src="">
Level 2: Have observed 50 different species of insect
<img src="">
Level 3: Have observed 120 different species of insect
<img src="">

Mammal Master

Level 1: Have observed 5 different species of mammal
<img src="">
Level 2: Have observed 15 different species of mammal
<img src="">
Level 3: Have observed 30 different species of mammal
<img src="">

Shell Seeker

Level 1: Have observed 5 different species of mollusk
<img src="">
Level 2: Have observed 15 different species of mollusk
<img src="">
Level 3: Have observed 40 different species of mollusk
<img src="">

Flora Explorer

Level 1: Have observed 10 different species of plant
<img src="">
Level 2: Have observed 40 different species of plant
<img src="">
Level 3: Have observed 100 different species of plant
<img src="">

Lizard Wizard

Level 1: Have observed 5 different species of reptile
<img src="">
Level 2: Have observed 15 different species of reptile
<img src="">
Level 3: Have observed 45 different species of reptile
<img src="">

Posted on August 27, 2019 23:47 by kuchipatchis kuchipatchis | 8 comments | Leave a comment

August 21, 2019

Using iNaturalist Tutorial 2: Making Observations (Website)

Hi everyone, I'm a new admin on this project! I love inaturalist and hope you all do, too. So, here's a tutorial for uploading observations if you aren't using the app (honestly, I prefer the app, but sometimes you gotta use the website - I find its the only way to successfully upload audio files and animated .gif images - which yes, you can do!)

Look here if you want a tutorial for uploading from the app.

Getting Started

So, step one. On the website, you will find there are a lot of ways to do the same thing. Pick whichever upload button tickles your fancy.

Once there, we're going to get this screen:

Drag your files, or click the "Choose files" button to select from a window. Again, whichever tickles your fancy. If you are uploading multiple files for one observation, they will have to be combined into one single observation. More on that at the bottom of this tutorial.

Once a file(s) are added, we will see this:

Great! But, there's a lot going on here! Let's take it a little at a time.

Filling Out the Important Details

First, let's identify what I found here. To do that, we need to click on either of these boxes:

And the computer vision will add suggestions. It's not perfect, but it's a good starter. Let's see what it's suggesting:

Great, I thought so! I'll click there on that suggestion, so it's now identified as a Viceroy!

Now, the observation should have the date it was taken.

This was on a trip, so although it will automatically suggest the current date and time, i need to pick the right date on the calendar provided, or type it in the text box.

Now that that's done, the observation needs a location - where did I find this butterfly?

There's a couple ways I can record this. Since it was a named location, the easiest thing would be for me to type the location into the text box.

Alternatively, I can play around on the map, zoom in, and click on the approximate location I was in.

The border of the red circle can be expanded or shrunk as a sort of margin of error, saying the observation took place somewhere in this circle. As long as the observation was in fact inside of the circle, the location is considered accurate.

Now, after the location, what's left is all optional, but can help give context to our observation.

Optional Details

The "Description" text box is there for you to add any commentary you want.

The dropdown box saying "Location is public" shows the privacy settings of the observation. If this was at my home, I would select the dropdown box and either select to obscure the location (meaning the location is placed randomly in a big box similarly to the circle discussed earlier - the true location of the observation is inside the box, but no one knows where) or make it private (theres no knowing where the observation was). I prefer obscured, because the information is still useful if its just a handful of kilometers off.

To quote the app tutorial:

If you are wondering, “Why is location even important? Why should I bother?” There are a couple answers! First, there are very few species present worldwide. For the most part, in order to identify something, it is essentially to know where it was. Sometimes, you can be vague, and just stating the country is good enough detail to identify something (common for larger animals, like birds and mammals, and larger plants like trees). But other times, you need to be extremely specific. Some insects look nearly identical to each other, but there will be different species living on one side of a mountain range vs the other side, even if they are only 20 miles apart. And also, researchers who are tracking the movement of species in response to climate change can benefit from having access to accurate data–showing that a species of plant is appearing even several miles north each year is crucial to understanding how to manage environmental stewardship.

The "Captive/Cultivated" checkbox should be selected if your observation is not of a wild organism. Pets, zoo animals, and garden plants would fit into this category. Insects you catch from the outside and rear indoors would not count, and are still considered wild.

Now, let's take a look at these things that are sort of hidden away:

(Tags aren't used much, so we're just going to skip that one.)

First, let's have a look at Projects.

If you've been added to this project, all of your observations will be added automatically. But, some projects need observations that fit their theme to be manually added.

When you click on the box, all the projects you joined will show up as suggestions. You can click to choose any project(s) you would like to add your observation to, but despite all the dead [x] projects, I'm not a part of one for butterflies, so it looks like this observation won't be added to any projects at this time.

Moving on, let's look at Fields:

These aren't used often, but they can be really useful on the right observations. I could probably fill some out for this one if I wanted, but I don't know how it died, and I don't really think it's important to say unknown. This one will also go without fields. Unlike projects, you dont need to "join" any fields to add them, but they are more likely to show up once you have used them before. You can just start typing and see what pops up (from my understanding, that is a bit of a peeve some people have with the feature)

Here's some examples of observations with fields:
With these, it shows what the host of the organism being observed is.
With these, the project "Dead Birds" requests a field filled out for cause of death for any added observations.

Hope that clears that up! Most observations don't make use of that, but it's good to know.

What if I have multiple files for my observation?

Great question! It's important to make sure that all of your files for one observation get put together, otherwise, you'll end up spamming and your observation won't be complete on top of that. Unfortunately, inaturalist doesn't automatically combine them, fortunately, its an easy fix.

So, let's add an open wing picture of my butterfly.

Click "Add" in the top left corner, then choose "Photos or sounds" from the dropdown. Alternatively, drag your files right into the window. If you do it right, it should look like this:

Now, if I post this, I'll end up getting two separate observations, which i don't want, because this is all for the same thing. To combine them, there is a checkbox at the top that says "Select All". When clicked, all the boxes should have a green border (see the difference between the first and second pictures in the above image). Then, by clicking "Combine", they will merge. Alternatively (like I said, there's a lot of ways to do things), you can click and drag one box onto the other to merge them one at a time.

When done successfully, it should look like this:

The images are now stacked! You can tell it didn't go away because there are arrows to look through the stack, and that "2/2" underneath the image that shows how many files are there.

Got all that?

All thats left is to publish, which can be found in the top right corner.

Click that button, and it's done! Yay!

What if I have multiple things I want to upload at once?

That can be done! For this, I'll be uploading some photos I took testing a trail camera. This might be a bit advanced, make sure you read the previous sections first.

First, I just uploaded a set of Egyptian Geese, just like I did with my viceroy, but with four images this time.

There's a way to edit all these individual ones before combining.

The difference between editing on the side and editing in the observation boxes matters when you're dealing with a lot of observation boxes. I want to name these all Egyptian Goose. So, instead of doing it in the box (which would edit a single observation) I can do it on the side, and then every selected box will change accordingly.

Nice! That's not always necessary, though, because once they are all combined they will share information. Let's get them combined (again, by click and drag, or by selecting and clicking "Combine") so I can move on and add more observations.

Great, all combined! Now let's click "Add" to add more stuff. This time, it'll be a common gallinule.

I did the same thing I did with the Egyptian Goose, but if i selected all and combined all, then the geese and the gallinule would merge, and we don't want that. So, instead of selecting all, use the Shift key to only select the observation boxes you want to select, by clicking on them. Then you can hit "Combine" so that only the selected ones combine. Alternatively, you can click and drag to stack at will.

If done successfully, it should look something like this below. This can be done for as many observations as you want.

Don't worry if you accidentally do stack observations, you can fix it.

I accidentally merged two different species of ducks, so i had to click on the arrows on either side of the thumbnail, and drag the thumbnails of the other duck out to make it its own observation again. Tedious, but not the end of the world. Then you can resume what you were doing.

In the end, I made 9 different observations. Make sure to keep an eye on the button where it says "Submit [x] observations", so you know if you are merging properly (make sure if you observed one thing and have 3 pictures, it says "Submit 1 observations" and not "Submit 3 observations"!). Once you know it all checks out, you can click on it.

Then, all of them will upload at once, nice!

Posted on August 21, 2019 20:16 by kuchipatchis kuchipatchis | 1 comment | Leave a comment

July 19, 2019

Welcome New People!

Hello everybody!

I have been woefully neglectful of this wonderful project. I hope you have enjoyed using iNaturalist and exploring the app and website a little. I haven't had the time to nurture a loving community here, but I wanted to make two announcements!

If you have "joined" the project by clicking the "join" button in the top corner, but you have not personally contacted me asking to be added, then your observations are not being included! Easy way to check, scroll down and see if your name is in the list of observers. If it's not, just send me a note and let me know! If your iNat account is new and you're not able to send messages, feel free to DM me on tumblr:

Second, if you need a little more "community," iNat has a Discord server! I am on there (sometimes), and there are lots of active users, some of whom are also in this group! Feel free to join and introduce yourself, and you can get lots of help using iNat, learning about nature, taking better photos, all sorts of things:

Hot tip: If you have an observation that you need help getting an ID for, you can @ people! Don't be shy, worst case scenario, they don't reply!

Have fun!

Posted on July 19, 2019 19:33 by nanofishology nanofishology | 0 comments | Leave a comment

September 19, 2018

Using iNaturalist Tutorial 1: Making Observations (Mobile App)

Note: I copied and pasted the code directly from tumblr so OF COURSE it's a total mess and the photos are tiny and horrible. BUT I wanted to have this up here. I'll rehost the FULL SIZE images and fix this post's formatting later.

Using iNaturalist Tutorial 1:
Making Observations (Mobile App)

Welcome to the first part in a series of tutorials on using the world-wide citizen science website/app/paradise that is iNaturalist [link]. They have their own tutorials on using the website [link], but coughs they haven’t been updated in a while and the interface changed a little

I’m trying to encourage tumblr peeps to try out iNaturalist, so I created an “iNatters of tumblr” group [link] for us all to see what everybody else encounters, help each other ID things, and otherwise just have a fun time while contributing to science! Want to join us? Just create an account on iNaturalist, and either send me your username (on tumblr or on iNat!) and/or follow the group (click the button in the top right corner of the group page). I will add you to the list of identifiers, and all of your observations, past and present, will be added to the group! Check out my tagged posts about this project! [link]

Figuring out any new website or app can be confusing and frustrating, and I hope these tutorials will make it easier to start using iNaturalist. If anything I say is unclear, confusing, or doesn’t match what you see, just let me know and I will update this tutorial with a better explanation. 

These tutorials are image-heavy and kinda long, so they will be under a cut. Note: I have the iPhone version of the app, so you may see a slightly different interface on another device.

Observation Tutorial Part 1: Making Observations with the Mobile App

First Thing’s First! Let’s check out your settings!


Most of these settings are self-explanatory.
Automatic Upload
The app defaults to automatic upload, which means it will start uploading your observations as soon as you save them. If you are doing a bioblitz, or are in an area with limited cell reception, this option can slow down the app and drain your battery. If you turn off this option, you will need to push the “upload” button to post your observations so others can see them.

Suggest Species
This option is MAGICAL. It was first rolled out about a year ago, and HOLY CARP it’s pretty good! But, it does have limitations. First, it requires a good signal and can slow you down and eat up your battery. Also, it works based off a machine-learning system from observations previously uploaded and verified on iNaturalist. What this means: The identify tool can only successfully identify things that have been observed and identified by other real humans. Also, it only uses your main photo (the first one), and it can get thrown off if it was taken at a weird angle, or if there is lots of other stuff in the background (like plants, rocks, other bugs). And, very important to note: it does not take your location into consideration. There is a very heavy user-base in New Zealand, so it is fairly common for species that only occur in New Zealand to be suggested. So, use your best judgement. If you think something is a Booger Beetle, but the app suggests Snot Weevil, ignore the app. OR, you can stick to a higher classification (Beetles) and come back to it later. You can always change your mind!

iNaturalist Network
You don’t really need to worry about this too much. There are a bunch of “flavors” of iNaturalist, and which network you select is the one your data will stick to in the event that the iNaturalist Network breaks up. They are more or less regional. More information about the networks here [link]

Okay, let’s take some photos!


Wow, nice! You have two options for making observations with the mobile app. 
Option 1: Take the photo now, worry about iNat later
Option 2: Take the photo using the iNat app

I recommend choosing Option 1 if you are taking photos of things that may move, because the app has a bit of a delay, and the quality tends to not be as good. I use Option 1 almost exclusively, because it’s easier to take my photos and do bulk uploads when I’m inside and not being chased by mosquitos. Option 2 is better if your subject isn’t moving too fast, and if you are just observing a couple things (and also if you don’t want to build up a several-month-long backlog of photos on your phone…).

You can take and select multiple photos! Try to get different angles, and photograph different parts of your subject to help with IDs later.

Advanced iNatter Option
If you take photos with your phone to upload later, you have the option of annotating your photos! This is helpful if you have more than one specimen in the photo, or if your specimen is well camouflaged. You can also point out important features, like I did below. Any edits you do to your photos before you upload them can really help out people who do IDs!image

Regardless of which option you choose, you will end up at your observation page!

Adding identifications to your observations


From your observation page (on the left above), you can add more photos, add an ID, write notes, and edit time and location information. More on those options later! First, let’s click “What did you see?” to get to the ID page. 

If you have “Suggest species” turned on, the app guesses what you saw. Clicking the information symbol to the right will show you more information on each species to help you decide if that ID is a good fit. Feel free to pick whatever you think is closest, and other people will agree with you OR suggest other identifications later.image

If you know what you saw, or if you have a guess, go ahead and type it into the search bar. If you have autocomplete on, it will (guess what!) autocomplete what you are typing. If you have a slow connection, LOOK OUT because you might accidentally select the wrong ID due to lag.

Editing Location and Privacy

Depending on your phone’s privacy settings, your photos will automatically have a GPS stamp on them, so if you are adding photos to iNat later, you usually don’t need to worry about remembering where you took them. If you have this feature turned off for your phone, that’s fine! Or, if you have that option turned on, and your photos are GPS tagged, you can still protect your privacy while keeping the location data useful for scientists and researchers.

If you are wondering, “Why is location even important? Why should I bother?” There are a couple answers! First, there are very few species present worldwide. For the most part, in order to identify something, it is essentially to know where it was. Sometimes, you can be vague, and just stating the country is good enough detail to identify something (common for larger animals, like birds and mammals, and larger plants like trees). But other times, you need to be extremely specific. Some insects look nearly identical to each other, but there will be different species living on one side of a mountain range vs the other side, even if they are only 20 miles apart. And also, researchers who are tracking the movement of species in response to climate change can benefit from having access to accurate data–showing that a species of plant is appearing even several miles north each year is crucial to understanding how to manage environmental stewardship.

If you are out and about, and have GPS phototagging on, you don’t really need to edit your location (unless you want to!). If you have GPS tagging off, or the location data was a little off, OR you want to protect your privacy (observations at your house, for example), here’s what ya do:image

Click the area on your observation page with location (I blanked those details out of my screencap). You will be taken to a map. Clicking the green arrow takes you to your current location. You can zoom in or out of the map (unfortunately, you can’t just type in an address on the mobile app, but you CAN on the website, and you CAN edit posts you made from the mobile app on the website later!). When the location you want is centered on the map, zoom in or out to set your accuracy (if you can’t remember where you were, but you KNOW you were somewhere in Austin, you would basically do what I have above in my map). 

If you don’t want to edit the location, but you don’t want the entire world to know where your photos were taken, you can change the GeoPrivacy setting (kinda cut off in the screencap, but it’s directly underneath location). You can select three options: 
Open: Everybody can see where your observations were made
Obscured: iNaturalist will create large square that contains your true location at some random point within the square. All observations with obscured coordinates will be randomly assigned to one point in that square. Only you can see those coordinates (one exception is if you join a very specific type of project, and you have opted-in to let project curators see obscured coordinates).
Private: No location information is shared. You may select this option if you want, BUT keep in mind it will be very difficult for people to help identify your observations!
For more information on GeoPrivacy, iNaturalist provides more information here [link]

Adding Observations to Projects

iNaturalist has many different kinds of projects [link]. The “iNatters of tumblr” project is a “collection” project type, which automatically adds observations meeting specific criteria (in our case, all observations made by users I have added to the project). Another type of of project, the “traditional” project type, was originally the only type of project available. It’s great for collecting some very specific observations that you can’t really search for. Two of my favorites are “Mating Behaviour” and “Animated Observations” [both are links]. The downside of these kinds of projects is somebody has to manually add each observation to the project. If you have joined one of these kinds of projects, you can link them to your observation before you save it. You can also add observations to projects any time later.image

To link your observation with a project, you must have joined a project first. Afterwards, just click the button and you’re done!

Saving and Uploading

You’re almost done! Just ONE final step. Save!!! Click the big green SAVE button at the bottom, and you see your beautiful observation:image

If you have Auto Uploads turned off, you need to click the upload button to start uploading. That’s it! Congratulations!

If you take your photos with a camera, or if you want to upload a BUNCH of observations at one time, you will want to make your observations on the website, rather than the mobile app. Making observations on the iNaturalist website will be the subject of Tutorial 2!

September 18, 2018

Posted on September 19, 2018 01:24 by nanofishology nanofishology | 5 comments | Leave a comment

September 04, 2018


Hello everybody, welcome to our project, and if you are a new user, WELCOME TO iNATURALIST!!!

This is one of iNat's fancy new project types--every observation made by every member of this group will automatically be added. BUT! (this part is a little confusing): the only way to become a member of this group is to be manually added by me. Following the project is a great way to stay up to date with it, but following does not add you to the group.

Since we are just getting started, I am assuming that everybody who follows this project wants to be added as a member, so I am adding all the new followers. If you are not a tumblr person and are just following this project because it looks interesting, and you don't want your observations added to the project, just let me know and I'll remove you! And if you want to be added to the project, but you don't want to follow it (that's fine!), or if you follow and I don't add you to the group, let me know and I'll add you!

If you have any questions about iNaturalist, how the website or app works, how the project works, just let me know! You can send me a message, or you can @ me in your observation page and it will notify me.

Thanks for joining, and let's have fun!

Posted on September 04, 2018 00:36 by nanofishology nanofishology | 3 comments | Leave a comment