Block a selected taxon when posting an observation

Not all observations are of the most obvious lifeform in a photograph. There may be smaller creatures sitting adjacent to larger ones. In some cases, the subject of an observation may be a parasite or infection of a much larger creature. In such cases, erroneous IDs are often given of the larger species (I guess this follows Gestalt principles).

The first and most obvious measure to stop such false IDs is to be specific in the written comments as to exactly what the observation relates to. Unfortunately, this is often insufficient to stop IDs for the wrong species being given. When this happens, it can create work in trying to get people to revisit their IDs. However, identifiers do not always respond, in which case getting an observation to research grade can be very tricky.

Where such confusion could occur, it would be useful to have the facility to put a block on the taxon of the host or larger species in the photo. If this could be combined with a pop-up message explaining why, so much the better.

Thank you for considering this.

You can provide cropped photos to focus on the organism you want to ID. And reorder the photos so that the cropped ones are the first ones. This will help the identifiers to understand what your observation is about.

Cf. also:

Provide Cropped Photo

Would recommend only using this with new users and only if the organism is actually unidentifiable. Users are not required to provide cropped photos.

It’s helpful if you can crop the photo more closely to the subject. iNaturalist resizes images, so while we can zoom in to try to see it closer, the image does lose some resolution. Cropping usually makes it easier to get an identification too.


You can reject CID for a particular observation, where the wrong species has been chosen.


In addition to judicious cropping, I’ve found that marking the photo to point out the organism of interest (arrow, circle, etc.) is usually helpful. Of course, this is more tricky if the observation is for something like a virus causing abnormal growth or coloration on a plant where the organism is not physically discrete from its host.

I can see some potential issues with blocking IDers from selecting certain taxa – for example, sometimes observers are wrong about what is going on in the image, or the observer has incorrectly ID’d the organism of interest and the actual ID falls within the blocked taxa.


What comes to mind is plants suffering from nutrient deficiencies where the observer wants to identfy the “virus.”


Exactly. Rejecting the community ID effectively blocks all IDs that disagree with the observer’s, so I don’t see the need for new functionality.


I think this is likely to be misused to prevent correct IDs. I don’t want to see Aphaenogaster picea obs becoming RG because the observer blocked A. rudis so only the people who think it’s A. picea can ID it

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Thank you for considering this and for your responses. I fully understand why you do not want to implement this, but I would like to make it clear that my idea was not to be able to put a blanket-block on any other IDs, rather just to stop people who hadn’t read the accompanying text from going down the wrong path.

Thanks also for the alternative suggestions. In future I will make more of an effort to edit and annotate my images (particularly first in set) to minimise minimise this issue.

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This request has 0 votes and while I understand the desire for something like this, I’m going to decline it. There are tools to handle some of these situations, I don’t think the utililty will outweight the likely costs.