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Chauliognathus marginatus

Closeup of a beetle on the white petals of a daisy flower. The beetle has a long body with narrow wing covers, which are yellow-orange in color except for a dark oval covering the bottom quarter of each wing cover.

Researchers behind a new study evaluating the potential for photo observations from iNaturalist to answer species-specific behavior and ecological questions say the associated metadata offers a rich understanding of the subject matter at hand. “Each photo or video documents a subject’s interaction with its environment, habitat, conspecifics, predators, prey, etc., occurring at the moment of the recording,” says Katlyn Catron, Ph.D. “Instead of a dead specimen in a box with a (potentially very informative) label, you get a literal snapshot of that organism’s life and what was happening around it, which can be equally as informative as a traditional specimen.” (Photo by Lisa Benjamin via iNaturalist, CC BY-NC 4.0)

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