'Date is Accurate' Tab and Out of Season obs

I’ve been thinking about a hypothetical yet plausible situation and was wondering what peoples thoughts about it were.

Lets say, hypothetically, there is a species of insect whose adult form is only active during the spring months. This insect happens to find its way into someones home, lets say the basement, where it promptly dies. The body of the insect remains intact in the basement for several months until it is found by someone cleaning out their basement in the fall. The person takes a picture of it and uploads it to inat.

Now, the question I have is: would the ‘Date is Accurate’ tab have to be checked as ‘no’ and made casual grade, since this insect is normally found in the Spring? Or, would it be checked as ‘yes’, even though it would be inaccurate to the insects phenology?

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the date of the observation would be accurate. you could annotate the organism as dead though.

there are lots of things (ex. biobltzes) that could make seasonality and phenology data skewed in iNat, and researchers and others relying on that data should always view the data with the idea that it won’t be perfect. one observation with an odd observed date shouldn’t affect most taxa much.


Totally agree. The “Date is accurate” field applies specifically to whether the date of the observation itself is accurate.

This same issue can arise with any remains really (bones, tracks, beehives, etc.) where the date of the observation does not indicate that the organism itself was present at that date. It’s the responsibility of the data users to interpret the date data appropriately.


Agreed - that’s what I would do. The out-of-season observations where I use “date is inaccurate” are those that show e.g. lush summer greenery and blooming plants posted with dates in the middle of winter. Often upon further investigation, these also turn out to be not the observers pictures or photos of printed pictures in books or on computer screens etc.