Bugs, and Insects

Hi, do you catch bugs and take pictures or just observe them in the wild? We have a lot of different species of ants in our area that I notice during early in the morning, or before and after a rain. Since it’s hard to take a photo of them, is it within the guideline to catch them and take photos? I was planning on setting up a net trap and start from there.


You can really use any technique to observe critters. Catching them can be a good way to get clearer photos, and often makes it easier for identifiers.

Observing organisms naturally involves the least amount of disturbance and stress to the insect, so some people stick with that. Either way is completely fine


As you said, a lot of insects can’t reliably be identified from just a shot of them out in the wild. In my opinion, totally fine to catch temporarily to get some better pictures. I do it a lot, sometime I even take them home to get some shots under a microscope. I just make an effort to do it without injuring them, and to quickly release them back where I caught them after I’m done.


I generally just take photos of the insects and bugs as I see them in the wild. This often means that I miss an opportunity or the pic is blurry. The most I do is sometimes use a blacklight to attract a moth or two or take a picture of a crayfish or fish my little nephew has caught anyway (he is always supervised–often by me). But, a lot of observers catch and release for better photos, and I think that is OK too. You do what feels right for you.


As an iNat curator and someone who specialize in ants, I will say that iNat has no rule restricting catching of organisms for observations. The only rule is that the date and location of the observation must be the data and location where the organism was found, which, if the organism is caught, may not be the same as the date and location it was photographed.

That said, do be aware of local regulations on collecting insects, many parks may restrict or prohibit this, and protected species may be illegal to disturb even on your own property. While not against iNat rules, it is a bad idea to publicly post yourself breaking the law, as someone could report it.

I catch ants often to take pictures, iNat has nothing against this, and you often need to see them really close up to ID them


Thank you so much for the responses guys. 'ppreciate ya’ll. I do notice that ants moves slower when you introduce them to low temperatures but not enough to kill them. I found it’s easier to take a photo in many angles when they are slow. Especially Yellow Crazy Ants (Anoplolepis sp).