Research Grade Qualification - Organism is wild - Yes or No

When looking atany observation, down the bottom left side is the ‘Data Quality Assessment’ section. One of the things listed there is ‘Organism is wild’ Yes or No’.

When I click the Info Button, this is the description:
‘the organism isn’t wild/naturalized (e.g. captive or cultivated by humans or intelligent space aliens)’.

My question is … does this mean pinned insect specimens are ‘Casual Observations’ since obviously they are not wild? Is it proper to click the ‘NO’ to the question on pinned insect observations?

Would like to clarify that … thanks … Jim

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The idea is whether the organism was wild when the observation was made. For pinned insects, we usually act as if the observation represents the interaction implicit in the label data. So assuming you’re not pinning the pet cockroach you reared from captive stock, the insect was likely wild when it was collected and therefore remains research grade eligible. This also applies for insects photographed inside a vial or whatnot. Please don’t click No for the wildness DQA question on most insect observations.


Hi @jdee - there is a bit more information provided at the FAQ. Principally:

Checking captive / cultivated means that the observation is of an organism that exists in the time and place it was observed because humans intended it to be then and there. Likewise, wild / naturalized organisms exist in particular times and places because they intended to do so (or because of intention of another wild organism). The main reason we try to mark things like this is because iNat is primarily about observing wild organisms, not animals in zoos, garden plants, specimens in drawers, etc., and our scientific data partners are often not interested in (or downright alarmed by) observations of captive or cultivated organisms.

Since this tends to be kind of a gray area, here are some concrete examples:

Captive / cultivated (planted):


  • butterfly mounted in a display case and not appropriately marked with date and location of original collection




  • your museum/herbarium specimens that are appropriately marked with date and location of original collection



Thanks @bouteloua and @bouteloua … thats answers my question perfectly, I understand. I won’t click ‘NO’ for pinned insects that were caught ‘wild’. But I’ll tell you I was thinking about it … good thing I asked for a clarification first.

Onward … Jim