Labelling as "arrived by anthropogenic means" - is it misleading?

I am not a scientist but have identified two organisms new to New Zealand. Scientists who received the specimens (a fishing spider and a cuckoo wasp) said it was most likely they arrived on upper level jet stream currents through natural means - and yet the Fishing Spider (Dolomedes facetus) has been labelled “introduced by anthropogenic means” which is therefore misleading and adds to a false impression of human-created foreign species introduction. The cuckoo wasp (Primeouchrous relegatus) has yet to be labelled - so who decides, and what have they based it on?


Go to the relevant taxon page.
Click flag for curation.
And you can pick up the discussion there.

The spider seems wrong to me - but on the flag you will get informed opinions.


Anyone can edit these statuses from the place checklist listed on the taxon page. Some listings (ideally all) will have a comment with a source or explanation. It’s also possible the spider has been introduced, but occasionally may show up through non-human causes.

As mentioned by others, the status you see is tied to the Establishment Means set for the species for the relevant area. For example, if you navigate to the taxon page for D. facetus ( and click the Status tab, you’ll see that for “New Zealand” (and for some smaller subsets of New Zealand) the Establishment Means is set to “Introduced”.

If you then click “View” in the Details column for any of these areas, you can see (among other things) the Establishment Means of this species for the relevant checklist area. In this case, it looks like the user who added this species to the New Zealand checklist also marked it as “Introduced” and added a note with a source.

The link to the source no longer works, but I was able to track down one that does:

That publication was from 2018. Anyone who is confident that the current consensus is that the species in fact meets iNaturalist’s definition of “Native” (evolved in this region or arrived by non-anthropogenic means) more than its definition of “Introduced” (arrived in the region via anthropogenic means) should feel free to edit the Establishment Means on that page and flip it to “Native” and add a comment explaining what they’re doing and their reasoning.


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