Published papers that use iNaturalist data - wiki

The aim of this wiki is to provide a user-curated list of scientific publications that use iNaturalist data (from this discussion. Please add to it, including, where possible (1) a link to the paper itself, (2) a link to the observation filter that encompasses as closely as possible what was used by the paper, and (3) contact details for the author(s) in cases where the paper is not open access.

This is intended to complement the list of papers that cite GBIF data including iNaturalist exports so papers already on that list need not be included here.

Barve, V., L. Brenskelle, D., Daijiang, B. Stucky, N. Barve, M. Hantak, B. McLean, D. Paluh, J. Oswald, M. Belitz, R. A. Folk, & R. P. Guralnick (2019) Methods for broad-scale plant phenology assessments using citizen scientists’ photographs.

De Roux, J. M., E. Noguera-Urbano & H. Ramírez-Chaves (2019) The vulnerable colombian weasel Mustela felipei (Carnivora): new record from Colombia and a review of its distribution in protected areas. Therya 10: 10.12933/therya-19-776 [Observation]

Jain, A., S. K. M. Chan, M. Soh & L. Chow (2019) Rediscovery of the orange gull butterfly, Cepora iudith malaya, in Singapore. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2019: 22–23. [Observations]

Martoni, F. & K. F. Armstrong (2019) Acizzia errabunda sp. nov. and Ctenarytaina insularis sp. nov.: Descriptions of two new species of psyllids (Hemiptera: Psylloidea) discovered on exotic host plants in New Zealand. PLoS ONE 14: e0214220. [Observations: Acizzia, Ctenarytaina]

Richart, C. H., L. F. Chichester, B. Boyer, & T. A. Pearce (2018) Rediscovery of the Southern California Endemic American Keeled Slug Anadenulus cockerelli (Hemphill, 1890) after a 68-Year Hiatus. Journal of Natural History, 2018, 1–17. Observations: | | | | |

Rowley, J. J. L., C. T. Callaghan,T. Cutajar, C. Portway, K. Potter, S. Mahony, D. F. Trembath, P. Flemons & A. Woods (2019) FrogID: citizen scientists provide validated biodiversity data on frogs of Australia. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 14(1): 155–170. [2017 Observations]

van der Heyden, T. (2019) First record of Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann (Heteroptera: Coreidae: Coreinae: Anisoscelini) in Costa Rica. Revista Chilena de Entomología 45(1): 51–53. [Observation]


Atha, D. (2018) First report of Rumex cristatus (Polygonaceae) for New York State. Phytoneuron 48: 1–3. [Observation]

Atha, D. & B. Boom (2018) State of New York City’s Plants 2018. The New York Botanical Garden, Bronx, New York. [Observations]

Atha, D., R.V. Alvarez & K. Chaya (2018) First report of Sagina apetala (Caryophyllaceae) for New York. Phytoneuron 34: 1–2. [Observations]

Atha, D., D. Wijesinghe & V. Lazzeri (2018) First report of Stellaria pallida (Caryophyllaceae) for New York State. Phytoneuron 64: 1–8. [Observations]

Barbato, J. & C. Thawley (2018) Geographic distribution: Anolis distichus (Bark Anole). Herpetological Review 49(4): 714. [Observation]

Campbell N., C. Thawley & J. T. Stroud (2018) Anolis cristatellus (Puerto Rican Crested Anole). Cannibalism. Herpetological Review 49: 115–116. [Observation]

Schmidt, B. C. (2018) Cryptic species among bumblebee mimics: an unrecognized Hemaris hawkmoth (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae) in eastern North America. Zootaxa 4399(1): 32-48. [Observations: 1 2]

Trageser, S. J., A. Wiscovitch & J. K. Foon (2018) Discovery of Myxostoma petiverianum Wood, 1828 (Gastropoda: Caenogastropoda: Cyclophoroidea: Cyclophoridae) on Hòn Cau, Vietnam. The Festivus 50(2): 110–113. [Observation]

Vásquez-Restrepo, J. D. & Y. Lapwong (2018) Confirming the presence of a fourth species of non-native house gecko of the genus Hemidactylus Oken, 1817 (Squamata, Gekkonidae) in Colombia. Check List 14(4): 665. [Observation]


Agarwal, M. (2017) First record of Dendronotus orientalis (Baba, 1932) (Nudibranchia: Dendronotidae) in the temperate Eastern Pacific. BioInvasions Records 6(2): 135–138. [Observation]

Atha, D., B. Boom, A. Thornbrough, J. Kurtz, L. McIntyre, M. Hagen, J.A. Schuler, L. Rohleder, S. J. Hewitt & J. Kelly (2017) Arum italicum (Araceae) is invasive in New York. Phytoneuron 31: 1–18. [Observations]

Center for Biological Diversity (2017) Petition to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to protect the San Gabriel Chestnut Snail under the Endangered Species Act. Portland, Oregon. [Observations]

Hewitt, S. J. (2017) Additions to the marine mollusk checklist for the island of Saba, Leeward Islands, West Indies. Vita Malacologica 16: 40–43. [Observations: 1 2 3 4]

Pauly, G. B. & K. S. Delaney (2017) Late-season reproduction in Western Toads (Bufo boreas). Bulletin of the Southern California Academy of Sciences 116: 147–151. [Observation]

Reith, M. (2017) Piltdown in the Caribbean? A comparison of Kurt Johnson’s and Albert Schwartz’s contribution to the butterfly fauna of Hispaniola. Conference: IX Congreso de Biodiversidad Caribeña. Santo Domingo (República Dominicana). [Observations: Haiti, Dominican Republic]

Spear, D. M., G. B. Pauly & K. Kaiser (2017) Citizen science as a tool for augmenting museum collection data from urban areas. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 5: 86. [Project]

Yadav, S., V. Patil & V. A. Ismavel (2017) Report of Platythomisus octomaculatus (CL Koch, 1845) and Platythomisus sudeepi Biswas, 1977 from India (Araneae, Thomisidae). Biodiversity Data Journal 5: e10294. [Observation]


Winkleman, R. S. & A. R. Backlin (2016) Geographic distribution: USA, California: Aspidoscelis flagellicauda/sonorae complex. Herpetological Review 47: 256–257. [Observation]


Pauly, G. B., G. S. Yoshida, & R. Worrell (2015) Geographic distribution: USA, California: Hemidactylus garnotii. Herpetological Review 46(4): 569. [Observations]

Pollock, N.B., N. Howe, I. Irizarry, N. Lorusso, A. Kruger, K. Himmler & L. Struwe (2015) Personal BioBlitz: A New Way to Encourage Biodiversity Discovery and Knowledge in K-99 Education and Outreach BioScience 65(12): 1154–1164.


Amezquita, A., R. Marquez, R. Medina, D. Mejia-Vargas, T. R. Kahn, G. Suarez & L. Mazariegos (2013) A new species of Andean poison frog, Andinobates (Anura: Dendrobatidae), from the northwestern Andes of Colombia. Zootaxa 3620(1): 163–178. [Observation]


I’m not sure if this is in the right category, so others please feel free to move or modify it as appropriate.

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Thanks, @deboas. I’ve been meaning to start a wiki like this. There’s also this spreadsheet that has captured some publications. If anyone wants to start adding them to the wiki, go for it. I know I won’t be able to get to it today but wanted to get the link in here since it has some useful information.


Carrie, do you still have the big list of ‘other inaturalists’? That might be something nice to have in a wiki here too if it’s something you can share.

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I do, but seems that should be a different topic and/or just added to the spreadsheet (may lend itself to that better than a wiki). Here’s my original journal post on the topic, with a link to the spreadsheet of platforms similar to iNaturalist (it’s now far out of date, but I suppose now that makes it a source of historical data).


I’ve started to add these, and for now the list is in alphabetical order by author. Please holler in these comments as the list grows if you would prefer to arrange it by year or some other system. Where there are discoveries without a publication yet, I haven’t included them.


I’ve now updated the publication list with everything from the spreadsheet (except those that have not yet resulted in a publication). I had to remove the user tags as it’s only possible to tag up to 10 users in one post, so it didn’t make sense to have some users tagged and others not. I also reorganised by year, as the list was starting to get quite long - this makes it easier to see the most recent articles.


There are many papers to add from 2019 alone, found simply by searching “iNaturalist” in Google Scholar. Some are based on individual observations, such as first records or rediscoveries in a state or country (e.g. Jain et al., 2019. Rediscovery of the orange gull butterfly, Cepora iudith malaya, in Singapore, and Van der Heyden, 2019. First record of Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann (Heteroptera: Coreidae: Coreinae: Anisoscelini) in Costa Rica), while others glean trends from bulk analysis of observations (e.g. Rowley et al. 2019. FrogID: CItIzen ScientIsts Provide validated Biodiversity Data on Frogs of Australia, which notes “6% of the 892 photographic submissions of frogs from Australia in 2017 submitted to iNaturalist showed frogs being handled with bare hands” and “only 5%… of the submissions from Australia [were] identified to species in iNaturalist in 2017”). From casual browsing it looks like some iNaturalist observers are co-authors on papers, which is very nice. I think there’s a discussion to be had regarding the strengths and weaknesses of publishing based on citizen science photographs alone, and other ethical considerations, but I’ll leave that to a different time and place.


Great, thanks for that. I have added those three publications to the list. Feel free to add others if you have time and inclination, and/or to start a thread on the strengths and weaknesses of publishing based on photos - could be an interesting discussion!

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Greetings y’all,

I am interested in this forum as I will soon be presenting (2019 World Congress of Malacology) and subsequently publishing a paper on the Molluscan Mycophagy project.

Please add our rediscovery of Anadenulus paper to this list that used iNaturalist data (send me a message for a PDF):

Richart, C. H., L. F. Chichester, B. Boyer, & T. A. Pearce (2018) Rediscovery of the Southern California Endemic American Keeled Slug Anadenulus cockerelli (Hemphill, 1890) after a 68-Year Hiatus. Journal of Natural History, 2018, 1–17. Observations: | | | | |

@deboas, in the first sentence of this forum you have “this discussion” written, and the text is blue, but there doesn’t appear to be a link associated with it. I would like to see that link. Perhaps it was closed after months of inactivity?


@pileated, the top post is a Wiki, so anyone can edit it. Just click on “Edit” in the lower right-hand corner:

The link in the first post’s first paragraph has been fixed, there was an error in the markup code.

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