Mounted Animal Observations

I’ve noticed on iNaturalist that people sometimes post pictures of mountain specimens they have seen. Since they are not living animals, I suppose they don’t count as an observation and should be listed as casual. Then again, people post pictures of roadkill. It is an interesting discussion to bring up.

They are valid if the date and location entered matches where the specimen was ‘acquired’ for want of a better term. Effectively the same rules as museum specimens etc.


Object shouldn’t be alive to count as observation. If person saw that insect or was the one who caught it (so he was on the spot of initial oservation), nothing can stop them from posting it with correct initial dates.

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Echoing @fffffffff , several people I know post observations of spread, pinned moths. Collection and other relative details are provided. These count as valid observations.

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It’s valid if all the collecting data are there— date, location, collector. But an atypical way to add observations as they aren’t the observer’s unless that person actually collected the specimen. One could go into a research collection and build quite a life list just by photoing preserved specimens taken by others.

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True. People could do that, but a collection date of 1903 may raise some eyebrows. I’ve got some pinned moths from the mid 1980’s, but they are labelled with me as the collector. I think the risk is small, but I also do not see why a person would post a preserved specimen that they have not collected.

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I could see doing it for historical and scientific reasons such as a rare specimen, especially if not curated in a museum. A photo on iNat would be a way to get it documented. I recall seeing some rare cougar records from eastern North America documented on iNat.


Sadly many do that, instead of submitting photos to other platforms that iNat can use, look up at the oldest records, it’s a pain to meet those hundred-years lizards all the time not marked casual.

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