Am I able to disagree with an ID?

Sorry if this has been asked, but I’m a new user and haven’t found resources for this question.

Say for example there is a species level ID on an observation, and someone comments reducing the ID to genus without explanation. But I am 100% confident on the ID, having observed the full life cycle of the creature.

I can re-ID it at the species level, but the genus level ID stays as the title and that “Agree” button is still present on the genus level ID.

Is there any way to disagree with someone contesting my ID without comment?


Your existing finer ID already ‘disagrees’ with their coarser ID. Probably the best thing to do is to try to comment and engage them in a conversation about why they don’t agree with your ID. Sometimes IDers just assume that you will ask if you have questions, rather than taking the time to type an explanation up front that you may never read. If they aren’t responsive, you can try tagging other IDers who might be experts in that taxon to see what they think.


IDers often ID observations from people who will never respond and may have already forgotten they have an iNat account. That’s why I don’t always give a comprehensive explanation for disagreeing but I usually say something. Many IDers would be more than happy to explain their reasoning. I know I am. just mention them to see what they say.


I agree with everything @wildskyflower said. Additionally:

An identifier can only verify your ID if you provide them with enough information to do so. For example, say I have an observation of a larval Fictional Caterpillar Moth. Fictional Caterpillar Moths are easy to distinguish from False-fictional Caterpillar Moths as adults, but the larval stages are indistinguishable. Even if I (the observer) raised the caterpillar to adulthood and saw that it was indeed a Fictional Caterpillar Moth, an identifier would be correct in IDing the observation to the highest identifiable taxon and saying “no” in response to the prompt “Is the evidence provided enough to confirm this is Fictional Caterpillar Moth?”. However, I could post a second (captive) observation of the reared moth and link with a comment saying they are the same individual. That way an identifier has all the information they need to independently verify the species. Research Grade observations are meant to be independently verified.

I don’t know if this hypothetical is relevant to your situation, just throwing it out there in case it is.


… assuming that this identifier is right in thinking that “the larval stages are indistinguishable [and therefore you can’t say this is this or that]”. Maybe he is not aware that on this continent, only the Fictional Caterpillar Moth has ever been found in a thousand years, and finding a similar-looking Non-Fictional Caterpillar Moth here is so extraordinarily unlikely as to be concretely impossible. :innocent:
Just a short reminder that IDers can also overlook things, or be needlessly pedantic. While the ‘I don’t know’ answer may sound like an utter lack of confidence and thus self-deprecating, the ‘No’ answer conversely conveys the idea that one is 100% confident in one’s own ID skills in this case. “Pretentious?! moi?!

I agree with this nice hypothetical example of how to document your confidence in the ID,but as an identifier I wouldn’t require the adult photo but would be convinced if you just said “I reared this larva to an adult and it had the bifurcated wing stripes of the Fictional Caterpillar Moth.” If observers provide text descriptions, measurements, etc., I count that as information for the ID.


Exactly why it takes more than one person for an observation to reach RG. I’m not saying that IDers are never “needlessly pedantic”. But that doesn’t negate the fact that there are some complexes that are impossible to ID without additional information (like dissection) and these should not falsely be attributed to a specific species. Again, I have no idea if the hypothetical was relevant to the OP’s situation; nor am I siding with the identifier over the OP. I was just mentioning it as something to consider in case it did apply.

I don’t disagree. I would too. I was mostly expressing the ideal scenario for the sake of the hypothetical.

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That’s a good point, I will include that additional context in the future.


I’m just saying it would take literally five seconds to type a comment that would help me to improve the ID rather than chasing a few more ID points in the next minute of scrolling. I can see people racking up tens or hundreds of thousands of IDs, and it feels a lot like Stack Exchange where people are more occupied with increasing their score than contributing to the knowledge base of the community. Especially for newer users, who are going to get frustrated that nearly all engagement with their contributions is zero-effort or negative.

Let’s assume others mean well - we don’t know anyone’s motivations. Some people do try to really up their score, but others just want to help as much as possible and maybe don’t have the time to add comments, or maybe don’t know how to use various tools like text expanders to add frequently used text. There’s going to always be a tension between adding a lot of IDs and taking time to explain each one. I agree that adding an explanation is ideal but it’s not always something people will or can do, depending on their workflow or situation. I think most identifiers are happy to explain if asked.


yes, you can choose to reject community ID and your ID will be ‘restored’. This option will be available on the right hand side of the observation

however, as everyone else in this thread has discussed, the first port of call should be asking why the user disagreed. I generally only opt out of community ID on individual observations as a last resort if the user has been completely non-responsive (or if I already know them as someone who never responds to comments or messages)


The observer’s picture is ‘just another pretty / blurry photo’
till someone adds an ID.
Identifying adds more to the knowledge base of the community than observing.

We are a team. We work together. There are nowhere near enough identifiers, those that do ID choose how to use their time - as does the observer who doesn’t edit their photos, doesn’t crop, doesn’t leave a note ‘for the bee … or the flower’, just the one photo which is missing enough info for an ID etc. Those volunteer identifiers can put in the extra effort for me!

If you show your interest by asking questions.
And helping to ID what you are interested in.
You will increase your own knowledge, both with the answers you get and then the feedback via notifcations as the ID is narrowed down - and by the practical use of paying it forward as you join Team ID.

For serious taxon specialists who are housekeeping, checking All the bees, or ALL the proteas - adding an explanatory comment every time is not going to happen.
When the ID conversation gets interesting, then you will enjoy the unfolding discussion between the taxon specialists.


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