"Construction" annotation

I noticed today for the first time that there is a new (or at least newly available in spiders) value for the “Evidence of Presence” annotation: Construction. I like it! This will be very useful in the future.

However, in the past I’ve annotated many (probably well over a thousand) observations of spider webs, silk retreats, etc. with no spider visible, as “Track” because that was the closest I could come with the available options. All these would be better as “Construction” but there’s no easy way for me to find them all now, even if I had time, which I don’t.

So, what to do? Just leave the “tracks” alone and go on from here?

Also, another new annotation change is that “egg” is now visible in “Evidence of Presence” in addition to its traditional place in “Life Stage”. I don’t quite get that. Egg isn’t a super-appropriate term for spider observations anyway, since what one sees is the egg sac, not often the egg itself. But considered as evidence of presence, surely the egg is an organism?


You can find observations identified by you and annotated with “track” using the following URL:

For more information on editting the search URLs, if you wish to filter observations in the future, see:


Oooooh! Construction? We’ve needed this annotation for a l-o-n-g time! Thanks for adding it.


See https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/lets-talk-annotations/627/677 and the relevant journal post it links to. It goes over Construction, Egg, and toher other new values for Evidence of Presence.

If you mouseover an annotation and value, you’ll see its definition. It’s very tempting to add an annotation even if it’s not a great fit, but it’s best to not add an annotation if its definition doesn’t fit the observation. Many observations will not meet an annotation’s definition and that’s OK.


@tiwane Thanks for clarification! That journal post makes it sound like I should also be using “construction” instead of “organism” for egg sacs that are only presumed to contain eggs? That adds another large class of past annotations that I’ll probably never have time to fine-tune!

You can use both, or all three if you like. I think they all fit.


I suppose a mantis ootheca is a construction since often we dont know if it is empty, contains eggs or tiny nymphs and we dont want to be destructive and tear it to pieces. I do want to see a special project on mantis oothecae ( probably sic). I hope we shall now be able to use an annotation to automatically create such a collection project.


Here’s an interesting case

The egg collar is from a moon snail but the eggs are from a different snail. The observation is for the moon snail therefore it is annotated as construction but not as egg
Whereas this is both
Usually collars don’t have eggs when people find them though so they should ideally be just construction. About half of them are also marked as egg even though there’re no eggs ( I’m guilty of doing this but I think I’ve removed most of my annotations for it). I’ve been marking them with the new egg annotations so now you can actually sort for the eggs without seeing empty collars!

That could also apply to cocoons which are only presumed to contain pupae; although in the case of this Polyphemus cocoon, the insect had clearly already departed.

Sorry to revive this, but it is somewhat related.

I’ve been trying to fix the Track annotations in South America with the new Construction and leafmine annotations and I’ve stumbled into some situations where I had to stop and think: “O.K is this still a Track? And if not, is it a Construction?”

They are things like:

  • an armadillo burrow entrance (same for some spiders, tuco-tuco, lizards, crabs etc)
  • the tunnels that mole crickets do
  • Claw marks on trees (i suppose this is ok for Construction)
  • signs an animal laid down to rest on a pasture (deer usually)
  • teeth marks on leaves used to make a tent for sleeping (bats)

and even weird situations like “the imprint on the glass a pigeon made after collided” or “the goo trail from slugs” and “stone tools used by monkeys to open seeds/fruits”

I've also noticed several observations that were submitted via app where all the annotations were added to the observation. Now, I don't know if it is user-made or a bug, but it is worth checking it out. I rarely use the app to submit anything so I usually add my own annotations after things are uploaded in the computer, but yeah I suppose you can add the annotations during this process in the app.

There were really a lot of them (for both iOS and Android) some old and some new. Just a few examples:


1 Like

Burrow and tunnel = Construction. IMO

Claw and teeth marks, flattened plants - still need a suitable annotation ?


I’d definitely call a deer bed a construction, though the deer just lay there – not much effort in construction.

1 Like

Goo trail from a slug would be a track.


I agree that tunnels/burrows are definitely constructions - “excavation” is included as a criterion for the annotation. These also often have tracks in front of the tunnel/burrow though, so I would look closely, as it could be both.

I also agree that slug trails are tracks.

Claw/teeth marks, unless they are making something, I would probably not use construction. The exception would be if it was clear that the thing gnawed on was used by the animal in some way, like the bats making sleeping tents. If they are just tooth marks from sharpening/predation, it isn’t really about the thing made. If they are claw marks in soil/mud, etc those could definitely be tracks.

I’m not sure about the pigeon imprint, but definitely not construction.
If the monkeys altered the stones in anyway, I think they would definitely be a construction. If not, they probably aren’t as they need to be “created” to meet the definition.