Adding useful ID info to taxon pages

If I have an identification key for an insect family that could also help other users in the future, where would be the most appropriate location to post this information (or link)? I would expect to find it under the “About” tab on the taxon page, but instead can only see the text imported from the corresponding Wikipedia article.

If a link to an identification key was added to the comments of an observation, it would only be seen if a user opened and read all the observations submitted for that particular taxon. Journal guide entries seem to be buried away as a subset of individual user profile pages and are not linked to from the taxon page. Similar information contained on project pages is even more difficult to stumble across.

As we are aiming to help users identify their own observations, it would help greatly if we could post identification keys to supplement the automatic image identification program.


Other than journal entries there is no place. There is an existing topic about this on the forum I will try and find and link to. It has been much debated, but it is not a small endeavour.

1 Like

I moved these posts to the existing topic on how to present ID information.


@Loopy30 If I understand your question correctly, I have done precisely this type of thing in several cases. I have first written journal ID articles which cover one or a few species, and in one case most of a genus (Cisthene). As a curator, then I can add a link to my journal article in the More Info list under the “About” tab. Below are a few examples; go to the About tab and look in the list for More Info.
“Key to Cisthene in Texas”:
“Notes on Texas Petrophila Identification”:
“Comparing Some Sallows and Daggers”:
This is precisely what prompted me to post the complaint (above) about the multiplicity of links under “More Info” since so many of them are of little/no use and, in my conceit, I think contributions such as mine ought to be easier to find without having to sift through a long list of less-than-useful links.


It looks like the system allows only the curator who created the link to delete it.

In edit mode, each link shows the curator who created it, and provides a comments section down toward the bottom. For links you have issues with, I would recommend @ tagging the link creator in a comment there, and initiating a discussion.

It can be done both ways. In edit mode, if you see any of the template tags ( like [GENUS], [SPECIES], etc. ) in the link URL, and the “Show for descendent taxa” box checked, then it was set up to display for a set of taxa (possibly also restricted to a geographic area, which is another option there). Or it can just be a direct URL for a single taxon.

I agree that links set up for a large taxonomic group can be of varying utility for a particular taxon. It’s the trade-off for efficiency, in not having to individually set up hundreds or thousands of single-taxon links for the most useful ones. I agree that

Thanks @ gcwarbler, I have been slowly working my way through all the linked discussion threads to this topic. Posting a link to a journal article in the “More Info” tab seems to be a workable option for curators to use. For the rest of us though, this method does not appear to be available.

As noted above and in other associated threads, Wikipedia is not a guide, and identification keys are not appropriate material to add there. What I can do however, is post a link (or at least the publication info) of an external reference that contains the identification key. When I found a useful key to identifying the species of the tribe Psenini, I posted the info as an external link on the Wikipedia article under the heading “Further Reading” (as Gittens, 1969). Unfortunately, in this case the article is behind a paywall and is not accessible to everyone.

If there is any iNaturalist user that would like me to help them to do something similar, I can certainly help, just send me a message with the details of what you would like to see added to a specific Wikipedia article.

1 Like

I’ve created a related feature proposal that you can vote on: