Home

“If you will stay close to nature, to its simplicity, to the small things hardly noticeable, those things can unexpectedly become great and immeasurable”,

Rainer Marie Rilke – Letters to a young poet.

This is a personal site for displaying my observations of nature in Cambodia. Unless otherwise stated (i.e. when I am showing contented created by others), all content (including photos) is copyrighted using Creative Commons By Attribution (CC BY), which means it is free to use, as long as you attribute it to me. I hope you will find the site interesting, informative and useful.

The site includes:

  • A filterable list of observations
  • A number of checklists of my observations
  • Most recently added taxa
  • A search/navigation facility for taxa.

Background

I am Gerard Chartier (a.k.a. Gee) and I am a very keen (some might say, “obsessed”) amateur naturalist. I am an Englishman, who has been living in Cambodia since 2009. I have always had an interest in nature but it did not really develop until I came to Cambodia and was so immersed in nature at Rainbow Lodge (an eco-lodge in Tatai Commune, Koh Kong Province), where I lived for eight years. I was first attracted by the beautiful butterflies here and started photographing them. My curiosity was piqued and I wanted to find out what species they all are. That was the start of my efforts to learn about and document as much of the nature around here as I can. I have been doing so ever since.

In late 2017, I started using iNaturalist for recording my observations, but I was a very casual user, recording only 51 observations in the first two years. In June 2019, I started added more concertedly, but only moths, following a request to add to the Moths of Cambodia project. In September 2019, I started adding new observations and later that year I decided to make iNaturalist the primary platform for recording my observations, and I started working on my backlog. I have over 60000 nature photos and I am still taking new ones, so there is still so much to be done!

After making the decision to focus on iNaturalist, I also decided to develop a WordPress plugin to allow me to show my iNaturalist content on this site (I was a software engineer prior to moving to Cambodia). This now means that my website will always be up-to-date with the observations I post in iNaturalist (updated automatically on a daily basis).

As the data shown here are sourced from iNaturalist, the taxonomy here also matches that of iNaturalist. This is not always what I would choose to use but it enables me to keep my website going without a huge investment of time and effort (aside from all the work I have already put into developing the plugin), which I can then use to try to get more of my photos identified and more observations uploaded to iNaturalist, and, therefore, to this site.

There are not many checklists on the site at the moment and a couple of those are incomplete because I am still adding the data to iNaturalist. I hope to complete those checklists soon, and I will be adding more over time. I find them very useful for comparing similar species and I hope you do, too.

The site supports subscription to taxa. So, if you are interested in a particularly taxon, you can subscribe to it and you will receive a daily digest of changes to that taxon and all of its descendent taxa (if any changes have occurred).

Please share

Acknowledgements

There are way too many people who have helped me with identifications over the years for me to name them all here. I will always be grateful for their input.

There are some people who have been instrumental in my nature-related work and I would like to publicly acknowledge that here.

Steve Brown (from Australia) was a customer at Rainbow Lodge, where I lived for 8 years. He was the first to inspire me to want to know what everything is. So, in some ways, it’s all his fault!

Les Day (a fellow Englishman, living on Koh Samui) saw a post I had added to a butterfly forum and reached out to offer me more general help. He has helped me enormously over the years with butterfly identifications.

Oleg Kosterin (from Russia) has helped massively with Odonata (dragonflies and damselflies). He has also included me as co-author of some of his papers on the Odonata of Cambodia. Recently, we have collaborated to produce a checklist of Cambodian butterflies. We intend doing further work on this with the aim of getting it published.

Jerome Constant has been a big help with Hemiptera (true bugs), in particularly Fulgoroidea (planthoppers). He has even named a species (Sogana chartieri) after me! He also introduced me to stick insect, praying mantis, cicada and beetle experts.

Tek Lin SEOW has been an incredible (and very patient) help with identification of some very difficult butterflies and with tips to enable me to identify them myself.

Roger Kendrick was the catalyst to my usage of iNaturalist. He has also been very helpful with moth identifications. For several years, I said I would not get into moths because they are too hard. Now, thanks to Roger’s inspiration, very few nights go by when I do not photograph at least one moth. They are still too hard, though!

I have had much help from many members of many forums (mostly on Facebook, these days), and, more recently, from members of the iNaturalist community. Where I have been given identifications by others, I try to acknowledge that on the observations themselves but I confess that I have forgotten on some of the older ones, though the main people who helped with those are listed above. I do not explicitly give ID credits for identifications made on iNaturalist because I show all identifications and comments on my site.

Please share

Scientific Collaboration

During my time in Cambodia, I have studying the fauna and flora of the area in which I live and guide tours. Some of my findings have been used in publications in scientific journals.

Papers I have authored

For the moment the plural in the title is unnecessary because I have only one paper to date:

Chartier, G. (2019) Discovery of the genus Hidari Distant, 1886 (Lepidoptera: Hesperiidae: Hesperiinae) in Cambodia and life cycle of Hidari bhawani de Nicéville [1889]. Cambodian Journal of Natural History, 2019, 121–127.

Papers on which I am listed as a co-author

In reverse chronological order:

Kosterin & Chartier (2018). More Odonata found at the Cardamonean foothills in Koh Kong Province of Cambodia in 2014 – 2018. International Dragonfly Fund Report 123.

Kosterin & Chartier (2017). Update of 2014 and 2016 to Odonata found at the marshy coast of SW Cambodia including three species added for the country. International Dragonfly Fund Report 101.

Ascher et al (2016). A report on the bees (Hymenoptera: Apoidea: Anthophila) of Cambodia. Cambodia Journal of Natural History Vol. 2016 No.1 : 23-39.

Kosterin & Chartier (2014). Two more Odonata species recorded from Cambodia. Cambodian Journal of Natural History Vol. 2014 No. 1 : 8-11.

Kosterin et al (2012). New records of Odonata from Cambodia, based mostly on photographs. Cambodian Journal of Natural History Vol. 2012 No. 2 : 150-163.

Other papers that have used my data and photos

Constant et al (2016). Updating lanternflies biodiversity knowledge in Cambodia (Hemiptera: Fulgoromorpha: Fulgoridae) by optimizing field work surveys with citizen science involvement through Facebook networking and data access in FLOW website. Belgian Journal of Entomology 37 : 1-16.

Constant & Grootaert (2016). Final Report: Fostering Entomodiversity research in Southeast Asia. Global Taxonomy Initiative.

Please share