San Diego Reader Story

This is Tom Larson, writer for the San Diego Reader. I’m interested in our local bugs (insects and arachnids) and the citizen scientists of SD (& iNaturalist) who study them. I’m writing about how climate change is affecting SoCal insects. Which of our county populations are changing? How are these changes studied and measured? How much stress is there because of heat and drought, the degradation of their habitats, etc.?

If you would like to follow up with me, please do. I’m especially curious about bee, butterfly, and beetle populations, asking the question, What is happening with pollinating bugs in SD county?

Since I can’t interview the insects or know how to find them, I need citizen entomologists who do, especially those of you who go into the field and would let me tag along, whether to photograph or do research.

Many thanks,

Good place to start would be looking at the top observers and identifiers here and perhaps trying to contact them. Good luck :)


Bookkeeping note - moved this to the Nature Talk category, since the topic is not directly about iNaturalist.

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Additional bookkeeping note: I clarified the post title because I thought “SD Reader Story” was going to be an epic account of an SD card fail from being eaten by an SD card reader.


Shameless plug/ request: Please consider focusing on a mix of insects that are pollinators in your research and reporting. While “pretty” butterflies get a lot of attention, along with more common bee species, other pollinators are also hugely important to the ecosystem and are hard-working. Many lesser known Lepidoptera pollinate day and night and could stand from a bit of popularity. Wasps and other Hymenoptera play a big role as do Syrphidae.

Thanks! Best of luck in your research and reporting.


Hi Mira,

Are you a person I can talk to about the topic? You sound quite knowledgeable. Or can you recommend someone?


I’m on the east coast and very newly referring to myself as an amateur (micro)lepidopterist but if you think I have something to offer I’m happy to chat with you. I don’t have any connections to / suggestions of specific west coast people but if you’d like, I can reach out to the insect people on iNat that I do know and ask them.

If you send me a private message on the forum or iNat we can go from there :)

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That would be helpful as I can’t message anyone unless they message me. Yes my focus is on Southern California. I’d love to get the amateur naturalist’s POV into the story. Thanks, TL

nosralmat --[reverse]–> tamlarson
tamlarson != tomlarson
did you misspell your name on purpose? (i would never misspell my own name.)

If you would like to message people, just make 3 observations on iNaturalist. It can be anything, a weed in the parking lot, a pigeon, doesn’t need to be something fancy. It’s just to weed out some of the spammers.

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Mira, I’m very busy right now speaking to entomologists. I’ll get back to you this weekend. Please send again your PM. TL

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