I’ve been wondering about this lately, and I don’t think anyone’s asked about this before. How would you determine when microorganisms (and related organisms) you bring inside to observe become captive/cultivated?
To elaborate, I like to take samples from the environment (water samples, soil samples, herbivore dung, sometimes pieces of wood, etc) and see what pops up (mushrooms, microorganisms, springtails, etc). To a certain degree, that means that some of the things I see will inevitably not be representative of what is out in nature at that particular time. For example, some microorganisms could have potentially hatched or emerged from a resting state in the time they were indoors before I was able to take a look at them. However, marking them as captive seems a little unreasonable to me. Nobody really looks at (some of) those types of organisms in the wild anyway, and the fact that they are present in a particular region (even if not in an active state) is potentially important information. It seems like a shame to exclude those observations, don’t you think? The question is, what criteria do you use to draw the line? The other day I found some thrips among the duckweed I have in one of my aquaria. I certainly didn’t purposefully culture them (although I DO add food for the snails/shrimp/fish that I AM “cultivating”), and I have no idea where they came from, but they must have arrived either on their own from the environment, or possibly in some of the samples I’ve taken. Another example is an oomycete I found on an exuvia from a mosquito I raised indoors (see the 9th photo here: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/42691073), or some green stentor (a single-celled, filter-feeding organism) that popped up after a couple of days in one of my jars (which I actively feed).