"Casual" instead of "Needs ID"

Please fill out the following sections to the best of your ability, it will help us investigate bugs if we have this information at the outset. Screenshots are especially helpful, so please provide those if you can.

Platform (Android, iOS, Website):

Browser, if a website issue (Firefox, Chrome, etc) :
Firefox 93 on Windows 7

URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages:
e.g. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/131589242

Description of problem (please provide a set of steps we can use to replicate the issue, and make as many as you need.):
Some observations show up as “Casual” though all things necessary for a “needs ID” observation are available, and all the “Data Quality” things are also compatible with “needs ID”.
I found it already on several occasions. In one case, I could agree with the existing identification at species level, and it correctly changed to “RG”.
It is not an internationalization / globalization issue, as changing the language from German to English does not change that.

I think this is because someone checked the ID is as good as it can be but the community taxon is at too high of a level (in your example, superfamily).


In your example, someone has marked “No” for whether the photo can be identified farther. I think for Genus and down that remains research grade, but at higher taxa levels it gets marked as casual. If you don’t agree that the ID can’t be improved, you can check “Yes” instead. This is under Data Quality Assessment and the question is at the bottom. “Based on the evidence, can the Community Taxon still be confirmed or improved?”


The cut off is at family. Something at family cannot become research grade but at subfamily it can.


thanks for the clarification!

If you look at the DQA section on the website it tells you what more is needed to be research grade - and there is also a red cross next to requirement that is not met. In this case the requirement not met is ‘Community taxon is precise’. This means exactly what people have said above - the community taxon must be better than Family to be RG. If the community taxon is Family or broader then if someone clicks that the ID cannot be improved the observation will become Casual rather than RG.

1 Like

Thanks, that’s the solution in this case.
While browsing lots of fresh observations, I did not stumble upon another case today. But next time, I’ll take a look at that place, too.

Keep in mind it is possible that experts in the taxon have intentionally marked that box because it really cannot be improved from there :) I understand that it’s frustrating to get something end up as “casual”, but if anything, people should be using that box more when they’re fairly sure, to get things that can’t be improved further (tons of flies, for example) out of the “needs id” pool.