Do cuttings from wild plants count as cultivated?

I know of a Homalomena cultivar growing on a roadside in the Dominican Republic, not near any houses. Undoubtedly, it originated from discarded yard trimmings, as frequently happens there. So now i guess I’ll have to start a whole new thread discussing at great length whether this counts as wild or cultivated, and whether it is where a human intended it to be. Because that’s what we do with every possible edge case we can think of.



Staff has noted previously that taking a wild specimen to another location (including home) to photograph is ok and counts as wild, as long as collection location and date/time are given as those where the collection occurred. The guidelines say that “your museum/herbarium specimens that are appropriately marked with date and location of original collection” are wild, so there shouldn’t be any wiggle room in interpretation for this type of observation.

I think that there are two issues with multiple observations of organisms like caterpillars after collection. The first observation taken at home under conditions above certainly counts as wild under iNat’s guidelines (though the caveats you noted above about explaining why it should be wild to identifiers apply).

  1. If there are multiple observations of the same individual organism designated at the same time and place (collection locality), this isn’t allowed. So subsequent observations would essentially be duplicates if given the collecting date/locality.

  2. If the caterpillar is metamorphosing, then assigning later stages (like a pupa) to the original date aren’t correct and could throw off information about phenology. We also don’t have a way to know if the observed individual would have survived until that time or not as it is now being cared for and protected by a human.

A good way to deal with both of these scenarios is to leave future observations as casual (captive) but link them to the original in descriptions, comments, etc. For instance, if a metamorphosed adult allows identification of an original caterpillar observation to species, that’s great and the captive observation of the adult can be linked to in the original observation of the caterpillar to help IDers verify.

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The reason we keep having threads like this is because people want wiggle room. We like increasing our species count; we don’t like our observations being casual; so we look for any way to spin something to accomplish the first while avoiding the second.

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If you check out the context of the post that you quote, I said that there’s no wiggle room for interpretation because observations in that scenario are definitely wild, not casual.


Okay… I guess I needed to post it in the “Semi-cultivated plants?” thread.

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Not sure that’s why people dislike casual grade, at least from reading:

I think there being only two options (captive/casual -or- wild) reinforces black-and-white, yes-or-no, right-or-wrong thinking to some degree, which maybe drives discussions about these edge cases? The lack of consensus in discussion about these edge cases maybe highlights the need for a 3rd option (captive/casual, wild -or- unsure) which might put an end to these topics?

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Nah, it’s like making out reasons to post it, casual grades are the easiet things you can post, it’s people who post them by thousands try to justify that, your time spent on photographing lilies in your yard would be better spent on something wild living there.

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Although some cultivated species should be documented. Especially birds, as they escape with relative ease

Escaped birds are wild on iNat.

Thank you, I meant to say captive.

I don’t see much value in observing captive animals of any kind other than personal feelings of observer which are valid.

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Observing captive birds is very useful, with the amount of captive birds that escape it can be quite nice to know exactly where the bird came from and whether or not that bird is the only one that escaped. Things like this can help prevent invasive and feral populations of species from arising.

I doubt this actually can work like that, plus if bird is distinctive, birders’ community find out where it’s from. Anyway, observing wild animals is helpful, observing captive ones is a waste of time that one can agree to do, you can do what you want, but I won’t change my mind on that.

When looking at unknowns, it’s a bit of fun whenever there’s a dog (Canis familiaris) to note as either Canis familiaris ‘Good Boy’ or Canis familiaris ‘Good Girl’ in the ID remark. I think maybe people upload dogs to get the breed though?

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What if there was a taxon for each breed?

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I think anyone can create an iNat taxon for each breed, but not sure if there’s enough interest from curators since iNat focus is on wildlife. I’d also be a little worried about cross-breeds and how many taxons would be needed. I guess if someone wants to identify down to breed, they could leave a link to the breed from AKC?