In researching rare and localized species in my area (northeastern Oklahoma) for targeted trips, I was fairly surprised to see that there haven’t been any iNat observations of Prairie Mole Cricket (Gryllotalpa major) so far. This species has been the subject of targeted conservation efforts at well-visited public locations, forms leks during the breeding season that can be heard from 400 meters away, has informative signs denoting their presence on a particular trail of a local preserve, has a citizen-science database dedicated to recording their calls within the state, and is a fairly charismatic species (though perhaps not among the general public). While there are obvious factors that help to explain this lacuna (it’s a fossorial, nocturnal, range-restricted species), I still expected at least one nerdy iNatter (a bit redundant I know) to have uploaded an audio recording of these guys by now.
While there are other local species I would expect to have at least one observation from researchers or field biologists who use iNaturalist, I was surprised that this relatively accessible and publicized species doesn’t have at least one observation (though hopefully that will change this year). Which species or taxa are you most surprised are missing observations on iNat? Are there species you have specifically targeted to add to the database?
During a BioBlitz people may deliberately go after a wish list. (I prefer to ID)
I recently recorded a plume moth from the genus Megalorrhipida, which I was surprised to see was the first record of this genus on the site, despite occurring in North America and being associated with common weedy plants.
Update: as spotted by @kuchipatchis there were two versions of this name in the database, and I’d used the wrong one, so there are existing observations of the genus.
is there a difference between the genus name with one R and two Rs?
because ive observed something like that quite often but its been IDed with one R
It is the same with birding. Some people do surveys of what is out there in certain places, and some people try for numbers or specific target/rare species. I don’t think either is a bad thing. Responsible enthusiasm for nature is a good thing.
Well spotted! Looks like both versions are in the database, and should be merged. I’ll flag. Thank you!
We need all the different skill sets to weave together (it wasn’t a criticism)
It happens now and then, although it is discouraged. In the butterflies, Archaeoprepona demophon and Archaeoprepona demophoon are two different species.
Apparently, I haphazardly observed the first Confused Ground Cricket (Eunemobius confusus) of iNaturalist, walking through the university woods on my college campus (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/57055199). These are some of the absolute most common singing insects in late summer here; they have weird, drunken buzzing sounds; often hundreds of them singing simultaneously and hopping through the leaf litter.
Funny thing is, they were named because their calls sounded like a “confused” version of another common species, after being overlooked for years before description. I guess insects (Orthopterans?) have a pretty low representation amongst iNat finds, at least proportionally.
iNat is still missing tons of common North American fish; only got it’s first observation of Bloater (Coregonus hoyi) a few months ago, despite the species being present in all 5 the Great Lakes.
Access is probably the biggest reason for that. How many could a person easily photograph without going scuba diving? From what I understand, the Great Lakes can be very cold even in the late summer. I suppose people who fish could catch, photograph and release.
I could take photos of the fish at the local nature center in the aquarium that came from the surrounding parks. They would be legitimate species. Unfortunately, the nature centers are currently closed.
Simultaneously hilarious and frustrating. Now I’m going to look them up to see if the actual butterflies look similar, too!
Edit: Oh my, they are the “One-spotted Prepona” and “Two-spotted Prepona” — this is starting to feel like it was done intentionally.
one spot, one “o”. two spots, two "o"s
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