What is the RAREST animal/plant you have ever seen

Oxytelini has only been seen four times in Argentina and zero times in my city (well now only once, after my observation).

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Calochortus tiburonensis is an amazing lily that’s known only from a single population in a popular Bay Area park, and I made my sort of annual trek there to see it yesterday. Thankfully it’s quite easy to see next to trails and there are a lot of docents and signs there to reduce off-trail wandering. The docents I talked to said trampling was much lower this year. Hopefully that trend continues.

It’s not “rare” on iNat, though, there are nearly 850 observations of it. Amazing to think it wasn’t described until 1973.

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I was lucky enough to document the first “arrival” of an invasive seed on an island where they had not been observed, as it washed up from the sea one stormy evening. I believe the salt water had killed the seed, thankfully, but still an interesting note.

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Probably freshwater sponge! There are only 2 observations in my state, but they may just be under-observed. I wonder what species this is… haven’t gotten a spicule sample yet as I’ve been busy, but I fear these may be gone by the next time I get to this place again. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/165634299

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You all need to visit Cape Town. Lots of rares. It is not the plant extinction capital of the world for nothing.

Take Protea odorata
11 people have observed the last 13 plants remaining. The latest from Erica (8 years old).
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?verifiable=true&taxon_id=592528&place_id=113055

@botaneek probably has the record in our area (southern Africa) for the most plant species only recorded on iNaturalist by one person. Is there an easy way to filter for these to try and find out?

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Three Birds Orchid, in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, on the trail to Spruce Flats Falls in Tremont. (pre-iNat days) It was August, and we had already seen four other species of orchid. I am an avid reader of field guides, always hoping that if I familiarize myself with the pictures and names, I will recognize them when/if I see them. While my husband was marveling at the delicate pink flowers all around us, I was waving my arms saying, “I know it! I know it!” It happens to be the last picture in our favorite field guide to this area. People scoff when I say I read through field guides (Do you also read the dictionary? yes.), but it paid off that day.

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Do you have a picture? I loved finding those when I lived in the north east!

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But… I read through field guides…

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california condor for sure!! unfortunately i couldn’t get a picture… it flew away so fast, but enough for us to see its wings…!

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That is an interesting website! I just used it on myself. Nothing as rare as yours, but still somewhat rare. Where did you find that website from?
https://elias.pschernig.com/wildflower/leastobserved.html?user=alana_mullen

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The butterfly Psychonotis waihuru from Solomon Islands, which doesn’t even appear on iNat. Known from one male, one female specimen. Of course, I’ve seen other undescribed butterflies which I suppose makes them rare.

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Mine would be this ant https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/161350911 which if I ID’d it right is the only Leptothorax retractus on inat, and the only NY state record of this species I know of ever

My rarest RG obs is this group of Formica difficilis eating a caterpillar https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/172442055

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That depends on why they are undescribed. Newly discovered is very different from newly segregated.

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@jasonhernandez74 well right now I’m working toward “newly segregated” though in the past my effort was in new-to-science.

Rare is often subjective. One ssp I discovered is endemic to one small island; there are three specimens in BMNH and one I retain, for a worldwide total of four specimens. Yet they are not rare on that island.

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According to this website https://elias.pschernig.com/wildflower/leastobserved.html?user=mail540 .

It’s either https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/168234733 which has 7 observations or https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/124177451 which has 18. I’ve seen some pretty rare stuff in museum collections like Suuwassea, Hadrosaurus, Carolina parrot, and one of the few intact elephant birds eggs.

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As in skin and all, or just skeleton? What museum was this?

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Didn’t finish my sentence, it was an egg. It was in the ornithology collection at ANSP

Ostrich eggs on the left. Their like basketball sized

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Huh. Turns out that I’m the only iNatter to ever see this little weird wonder.

(https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/166144952)

I saw this back in June. I had honestly forgotten about it. But I only have one IDer wading in so far. Neat.

Tiny flies. (When you’re having fun?)

Nobody else–or almost nobody–seems to be looking for them.

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Based on the amount of observations it has, I think it’s probably this freshwater clamshell I found: http://www.inaturalist.org/observations/182726345
I picked it up thinking it was the more common Musculium lacustre.

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I don’t know if it’s rare, or just overlooked, but I’ve got an inaturalist first and so far only observation.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/131550800

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