Igor Balashov Curator

Joined: May 21, 2020 Last Active: Apr 17, 2024 iNaturalist

Zoologist from Ukraine, competent in terrestrial molluscs of Europe, western, central and northern Asia.

As a rule, I no longer identify observations without precisely indicated coordinates. Observations with exact coordinates are incomparably more valuable, and it requires minimal effort to make them (see more explanations below). Refrain from tagging me if the coordinate accuracy of your observation is not at least 1000 m, and not at least 100 m if you're using the iNat app (good enough if the accuracy isn't indicated, but coordinates are present in the photo's metadata). If you're using the app you should enable it to access your phone's geodata, allowing to create high-quality, verifiable observations with a coordinate accuracy of 10 meters.

My basic suggestions on how to photograph molluscs for iNat

Мої базові рекомендації фотографування молюсків для iNat українською

1,000,000 iNat observations from Ukraine: summary and some stats

What I like the most about iNat is its phone app that allows anyone to document nature easily at the scientific value level (with auto-detected coordinates and date). So that's what I'm mainly uploading here: the photos from my phone taken directly through the iNat app, not necessarily good photos, but photos that only intended to demonstrate the organism's characters required for the identification. Though I also like to "collect" taxa.

My phone is Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro (till March 2021 - Xiaomi Redmi 3S, often with a cheap macro lens, iLens clip, now it's not needed with 10 Pro, great macro camera here). Also have Canon A650 and Nikon D7100, but not using them often to upload something here. I mainly use my Nikon with a macro lens (Nikkor 60 f/2.8D) for molluscs, not in the field, and nearly never uploading those photos here (with some exceptions like 1➚, 2➚, 3➚), but in November 2022 I've got an old Nikkor 75-300 and now occasionally using it to take some pics for iNat, sometimes even not too ugly ones, like 1➚, 2➚, 3➚ (since January 2023 also have a Tamron MC7 2x tele-converter, but using it rather rarely).

What I don't like is when people are adding observations without precise coordinates. Please try to indicate coordinates with accuracy at least within 100 m when possible and make sure that it's correct and will not mislead someone later. Your observations could be interesting to scientists and it's possible that someone will try to rediscover some species following your observations or will even use your observations in some sort of study. "Confirmed" iNat observations with a "Research Grade" mark are being transferred to GBIF, which is used in science and nature conservation. Because of the imprecise and "cloaked" locations transferred from iNat some threatened species can appear to be more widely distributed than they actually are and their conservation statuses can be wrongly assessed as not threatened (LC), so there will be no effort to protect such species as a result (see paper in this regard).

Thanks to iNat I've become fascinated with 3 very different groups of organisms that I was nearly ignoring earlier: lichens, leafhoppers (Cicadellidae) and leaf miners (mostly moths and flies-agromyzids). While I'm at a very basic level of identifying the first two groups, I'm trying to ID the leaf mines more seriously using the keys and descriptions from bladmineerders.nl (same with galls), but of course it's still at the amateur level, I'm nowhere near to be an expert in this.

I've published 3 scientific papers based largely on the data from iNaturalist, all about expansions of the invasive terrestrial molluscs in Eastern Europe and elsewhere:

My favorite observations with iNat app:

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