Captive bred insects

Hi all
I am often in Ghana doing light trapping. If a female of an interesting moth species comes to light, I let her lay eggs and take them home. If I have success with breeding, I try to document this. Therefore I have a considerable collection of pictures of different stages of different species. Since I brought them myself I know exactly where they are from. It would be great if such pictures could also be included in iNaturalist.
I use iNaturalist very often to identify unknown species or at least to recognize which group they belong to. With caterpillars or even larvae of other insects it is difficult to make a determination with the help of iNaturalist. Larvae are not often observed and therefore there are much less pictures on iNaturalist.
Any idea?

Translated with (free version)


Hi @togbui, welcome to the iNat Forum! Uploading captive larva and other organisms that you are rearing indoors is acceptable, and can provide helpful photos for other users to reference. Just but sure to document each life stage separately and mark the observations as “captive/cultivated” (also known as “not wild”).


I would just mark as captive and you could provide an explanation/background information in the notes section of the observation. I personally would be really interested in seeing observations like this so I hope to see them soon, if you decide it’s what you want to do!

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South Africa has a project for caterpillar rearing


The problem of marking them captive of course is that fewer people will see these particularly interesting observations and your notes on the rearing process. One way around this would be to make an observation of the eggs, or the female who laid them, at the time and location of capture - which does not have to be marked captive - then link to the subsequent captive stages from that observation.


I think this does make more sense too, actually. Especially because technically while the eggs are actively captive, they weren’t laid while in captivity, so I feel like maybe it’s arguably not even necessary to mark as captive. I know that’s all debatable stuff though so some people won’t agree with that.

This multiple observation of a bug in South Africa seems to me to be a good way of documenting the progression - Genus Narina from Pringle Bay, 7196, South Africa on August 06, 2017 at 09:37 PM by magriet b. Ambush life in a tub I collected an adult ambush bug with 10 eggs … ·

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They also have a Facebook page - (2) Caterpillar Rearing Group - Africa | Facebook. A lot of information is available under ‘Files’. For some reason, South Africans have taken to this in a big way!

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Use one of these fields to create a group of related observations.
To assign a value to the field, use the observation ID of the first observation in the group.


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the reasons are a group of enthusiastic people who <3 caterpillars


Please write up a scientific paper for publication.

Great, I did not know about this functionality. This seems like a correct answer (at least if I was getting data from iNat for moth research this would be the preferred style of such observation recording).

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Would this do? (paywall protected).

Hi all
I have done 2 entries as an example. What do you think?

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