iNaturalist May News Highlights

We're excited to share our May News Highlights! If you missed last month’s highlights, you can catch up here.

Species Discoveries

A. In Ecuador, zoology student @abigaildt's photo of a butterfly caught the attention of @rhopal, @cadeou, @kwillmott and colleagues resulting in the description of a new species. You can read news coverage here and a Spanish version of our video here.

Distributions and Range Extensions

iNaturalist is helping scientists understand species distributions and how they are changing at in real time. Here are three examples from this month:

B. In Thailand, this paper documents a major range extension of the Himalayan giant honey bee with the help of this observation by @wuttipon.

C. In Honduras, this paper documents range extensions of the Golden Silk Spider within Honduras thanks to observations like this one by @oliverkomar.

D. In far northern Canada, this story recounts @anthcolangelo’s out of range encounter with a Golden-belted bumble bee.

Invasive Species and Climate Change Science

E. In Italy, @benjamin189 posted the first occurrence of the invasive Asian needle ant in Italy. @lynxrufa and colleagues were able to visit the site and collect specimens as recounted in their recent paper.

F. In Canada, this story explains why climate change is suspected as playing a role of the arrival of this invasive catfish documented by @ecota55.

G. In Massachusetts, this Boston Globe story describes work by @karro_frost and @jformanorth to keep invasive pears at bay like this one observed by @maurabarry.

Conservation Science

H. This great article in Nature Africa describes how the iNaturalist and Wikipedia communities are helping scale biodiversity information in Africa and highlights work by @marojejy, @daverichardson, @tonyrebelo, @possumpete and many others.

I. In California, this exciting new study by @joeycurti3, @mtingley and colleagues that uses iNaturalist data to understand how urbanization impacts species is getting media coverage in places like Science Friday, Science Daily, and Popular Science.

J. In Canada, this story describes @asper’s discovery of an endangered snail thought to have disappeared from most of Canada.


iNaturalist is useful for understanding phenology which is the study of the timing of natural history events.

K. In Hong Kong, a paper by @johnt77 (seen here describing the project) and colleagues describes their Hong Kong Jellyfish project and how it is helping understand the timing of when jellyfish like this one observed by @lily_yeung are found in the water.

L. In Canada, this paper by @stephanieaverygomm and colleagues examined the strengths and weaknesses of using their iNaturalist project and observations like this one by @cara112 to detect a mass bird mortality event caused by avian flu.

M. There continue to be many articles about iNaturalist and the cicada emergence underway in parts of the United States. We're highlighting this one because of its focus on using iNaturalist to record cicada sounds such as this observation by @sam_hartzler. And if you’ve had your fill of stories about iNaturalist and cicadas from the United States, here’s one from Australia!


In the emerging field of iEcology or Imageomics, we’re highlighting three stories of scientists finding interesting ecological patterns in iNaturalist photographs.

N. In the United States, this study used iNaturalist images showing mites on beetles like this one by @bertharris to better understand this interaction.

O. Similarly, this study in Ecuador used this observation by @bosquenublado to understand beetles that live in bee nests and use the bees themselves as taxis.

P. Also in Ecuador, this study used observations like this one by @fundacionmadreyumboec to understand how house wrens are incorporating human materials like plastic into their nests.

Bioblitzes and Events

Q. There were many articles on last month’s City Nature Challenge including this great Washington Post article on why you should participate that featured this relaxed toad observed by @ripley_k.

R. In Mexico, the 2024 Border Bioblitz got a lot of news coverage including this article quoting @sulavanderplank, @jrebman and others. This photo by Tamayo Vazquez shows @jorgehvaldez’s with an endangered red coachwhip and the border wall in the background. You can read more about the Border Bioblitz here.

S. In Jamaica, don’t miss this great video summarizing the recent Holywell Bioblitz posted by and featuring @damionwhyte.

iNaturalist and Human Health

T. iNaturalist is useful for better understanding species like bananas that are important to humanity. This paper by @chris971 and colleagues from CIRAD in France leveraged their iNaturalist project to better understand this important food source.

On the topic of growing plants, there were a pair of articles in the Washington Post this month that mention how iNaturalist can help keep invasive plants and also pests out of your garden.

iNaturalist’s Education Impact

With the school year wrapping up we saw iNaturalist being used in many student projects this month ranging from this study in Chennai, India featuring observations from @jomijose and others to this study by @emma2311 in California in which she coordinated collecting physical samples of hydras from iNaturalist observers to better understand their evolution and distribution.

Following up on their herping guide last month, @coreytcallaghan and colleagues at the University of Florida have released an excellent guide to mothing using iNaturalist.

iNatters in the News

U. In Massachusetts, @natemarchessault wrote a wonderful article describing how he uses iNaturalist to stay connected to nature.

V. In California, we loved this video where @charlotteseid explains why tuna crabs are being seen north of their usual range in San Diego.

W. In New Zealand, this article recounts how this photo won @frankashwood the “most inspiring invertebrate” award during the Ōtautahi/Christchurch City Nature Challenge last month.

Lastly, don’t miss this great podcast in which @jodyallair and @birdizlife discuss how iNaturalist can spark an interest in nature beyond birding.

Thank you to everyone who participated on iNaturalist this May! You can become an iNaturalist supporter by clicking the link below:

Donate to iNaturalist

Publicado el mayo 31, 2024 09:10 TARDE por loarie loarie


well, totally in love with this News Highlights format. have missed the previous month, but now I'm a fan!

Publicado por diegoalmendras hace alrededor de 1 mes

Cool! I look forward to these every month. :)

Publicado por rockcollector hace alrededor de 1 mes

I have no idea how you found my article for our little local newspaper, but I'm glad you did since I had no idea these updates existed. These are awesome, I'm excited to start reading them every month!

Publicado por natemarchessault hace alrededor de 1 mes

Very inspirational reads...well done!

Publicado por derrell_d hace alrededor de 1 mes

Months are diverse in every region and you have done a fabulous thing on capturing this Rare month

Publicado por suheelahmad99 hace alrededor de 1 mes

@natemarchessault Your article was very well-written! You should be proud of it. I'm jealous of your discoveries; I've still yet to uncover anything like that, however minor...

Publicado por pinefrog hace alrededor de 1 mes

Inspiring! Locked Zootaxa article is sad.

Publicado por rafapsilva hace alrededor de 1 mes

@mbwildlife thank you! You will find cool stuff eventually, it just takes time and a curious eye. Stay curious!

Publicado por natemarchessault hace alrededor de 1 mes

Entertaining and dynamic way to highlight relevant events that happen on Planet iNat, making room for all members.
Congratulations and Thank you!

Publicado por orlandomontes hace alrededor de 1 mes

This is great. I want to see more of these monthly summaries!

Publicado por sonorabee hace alrededor de 1 mes

Contenido oculto

hace alrededor de 1 mes

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