Published papers that use iNaturalist data - wiki 1 (up to 2019)

Just added this one to the list:
Sanford, E., Sones, J.L., García-Reyes, M. et al. Widespread shifts in the coastal biota of northern California during the 2014–2016 marine heatwaves. Sci Rep 9, 4216 (2019). [The Supplementary Information lists many iNaturalist observations and often also cites the observer.]

Two more added to the list:

van der Heyden, T. (2020) First record of Leptoglossus cartagoensis Brailovsky & Barrera, 1998 (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Coreidae) for Panama. Boletín del Museo Nacional de Historia Natural del Paraguay 24(2): 55–56.

van der Heyden, T. (2020) Confirmation of the presence of Spilostethus furcula (Herrich-Schäffer, 1850) (Heteroptera: Lygaeidae) on the Balearic Islands (Spain). Revista gaditana de Entomología XI: 133-135.

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For all of you adding comments, just a friendly reminder that you can simply edit the top wiki post :)

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Just added the following paper to the list (see above):

van der Heyden, T. & Grosso-Silva, J. M. (2020) First record of Zelus renardii Kolenati, 1856 in Portugal (Heteroptera: Reduviidae: Harpactorinae). Arquivos Entomolóxicos 22: 347–349.


I will when I am sure that the paper has been published. For now, I will say that if the iNat data is accurate, it represents a range expansion for the species in question.

Added to the list above:
van der Heyden, T. (2020) First record of Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann, 1910 (Hemiptera: Coreidae) in Andorra. Arquivos Entomolóxicos 22: 377–378.

One more paper added to the list:
van der Heyden, T. (2020) First record of Sphedanolestes cingulatus (Fieber, 1864) (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Reduviidae) in Greece. Journal of the Heteroptera of Turkey 2(2): 148–149.

Just added the first entry for 2021:
van der Heyden, T. (2021) First records of Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann, 1910 (Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Coreidae) in Estonia and Belarus. Heteroptera Poloniae – Acta Faunistica 15: 5–6.

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Hernandez, Jason P. 2020. Scientific Note: Observations on the life history of Hyalurga vinosa (Lepidoptera: Erebidae). Tropical Lepidoptera Research 30(2): 90-92.


When communicating iNaturalist to the media, it would be nice to point out cases where iNat-observations led to the description of a new species. One can finde these instances going through the paper list, blog posts or specific forum threads, but I don’t think there is already a dedicated forum topic, is there?
@carrieseltzer Is the spreadsheet you provided still being updated?

van der Heyden, T. (2021) Erstfund von Zelus renardii KOLENATI, 1856 in Deutschland (Heteroptera: Reduviidae). Heteropteron 61: 31–32.

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We seem to have reached the character limit, so here’s my addition

Reyes, F. O., Landestoy T., M. A., & Jiménez, L., (2020). Geographic distribution: Gymnophthalmus underwoodi (b) Herpetol. Rev., 51 (3), 539-540. [Observation]

And perhaps re-descriptions…

Vink, C. & Curtis, K. M. (2020). A redescription of Philoponella congregabilis , an Australian hackled orb weaver spider (Uloboridae) now found in Christchurch, New Zealand. Records of the Canterbury Museum 34 : 85-94

The paper shows a map with iNaturalist observations, along with additional pins showing physical vouchered specimens examined for the paper. I have to say I appreciate the mapped version of the occurrence records, vs the text list forms usually found in the literature!

[not added to the list at top]

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Interesting combination of iNat data, NABA data and Art Shapiro records to study the decline of butterflies in the U.S. west:

M. L. Forister, C. A. Halsch, C. C. Nice, J. A. Fordyce, T. E. Dilts, J. C. Oliver, K. L. Prudic, A. M. Shapiro, J. K. Wilson, J. Glassberg Fewer butterflies seen by community scientists across the warming and drying landscapes of the American West
SCIENCE 05 MAR 2021 : 1042-1045

given the character limit, should we start a new thread for post-2020 articles?

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Good idea @dkaposi. I have started a new wiki here: and added the most recent publications that wouldn’t fit here.

Can a moderator please edit the title of this post to read “Published papers that use iNaturalist data - wiki 1 (up to 2019)”? I no longer seem to have the ability to change it.

@deboas: the wiki is a great idea, thanks for starting it! I would like to add two publications of mine (from 2017 and 2019), but (although newly registered in the formum) I don’t seem to have the permission to edit the wiki (I don’t see the edit button).

Any hints on how to do it?

Hi @redhat I’m not sure what you need to do to get permission to edit. Have you scrolled to the bottom of the wiki post? There should be a link saying “Edit” there, at bottom right. If you don’t see that, feel free to reply with the publication details and I will add them

Hi @deboas, thank you very much for your answer. I think that maybe I am too “fresh” in the forum for edit rights… So I take your offer and give the details of the publications here (both open access):

Jacobs C. and A. Zipf (2017): Completeness of Citizen Science Biodiversity Data from a Volunteered Geographic Information Perspective. Geo-Spatial information Science 20(1): 3-13. DOI: 10.1080/10095020.2017.1288424.

Jacobs, C. (2019): Data Quality of Citizen Science Observations of Organisms: Plausibility Estimation Based on Volunteered Geographic Information Context. Dissertation, Heidelberg University. DOI:

Both publications used iNat observations from the USA.

Thank you very much for your help in listing them in your Wiki!

No worries, I’ve added both. I don’t think it will take too long for you to be granted more rights on the forum, so you can add further publications.

Wow that’s a really important paper. Thanks for posting! I’ve been interested to see if anyone could figure out to use the iNat data to quantify population trends. It’s a challenge due to very uneven observation effort. This is the best (maybe the first) analysis in this regard that I’ve seen using iNat.

I posted about this in Nature Talk:

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