Correlate 2 different kinds of observations?

Apologies if this has already been asked. So we are setting up a butterfly observation project and want to encourage people to record the butterflies. More importantly we want people to record the plants that the butterflies are using for nectar. We would then want to correlate the two to see which plants attract the butterflies (and which butterflies) the most.
Is this at all possible???
Thank you so much

There is the similar observation set field, though I think that is usually used for multiple observations of the same organism, I have used it for a series of observations of toads in the same pond during their lifecycle.

See: Using the field “Similar Observation Set” for linking observations of lepidoptera when raising on

I’ve seen projects use observation fields to record this kind of extra info but that would be a single observation of a butterfly with a field like “feeding on = Buddleja davidii” rather than linking to the observation which it is feeding on.

I think the ideal would be “feeding on = observation id” and then have it display the community id of the plant it was feeding on (but I’m fairly sure that’s not possible currently).

you can either upload both butterflies and plants, and link relevant observations, or only record the butterflies and add an observation field for the plant. each approach has advantages and disadvantages.
it is definitely possible to make such a project!


There’re already many pollinator projects that you can collaborate with:
Lots of them have created a myriad of observation fields that makes collating information much more difficult - a common problem with observation fields which are not curated:

So I would suggest that you look into what has already been created by searching the projects and observation fields as in the links above and either use an existing project or, if you create a new project, use established observation fields. One established observation field seems to be “Nectar plant”:
specified in more than 30,000 observations as can be seen in this search:


Thank you! This is beginning to make sense, but I am confused. Taking as an example from above, it is based on people filling in the field “Nectar Plant”. When I open up my app on my smartphone to make an observation, there is no field called “Nectar Plant” to fill in. Are the results from the above based on ‘traditional’ projects where someone has forced the use of that field… and not collections?
any help greatly appreciated.

I am assuming I need to create a traditional project and get people to add the required fields?
Thanks for responding.

I think @danaleeling can answer you better than I can.

The mobile apps have a simplified interface and functionality. Currently there’s no way to enter observation fields with the mobile app as has been stated here:
You can make observations with the app and later add the fields at the website

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With all due regrets, I do not have any experience with projects. I found a way as an instructor to track all of my students without resorting to a project using a URL. Exonie has already said what I would have noted:

I do not know a way to access the observations fields from the app. I upload plant observations using the app and then later use a desktop to add observation fields. I am not familiar with projects, but I gather that filters can be set for collection projects to collect observations based on a variety of criteria. If you choose to go the route of a traditional project, then you will have to have 50 verifiable observations before you can create a traditional project. I hope this helps!

The way to get to observation fields in the app is through a traditional project. If you make a traditional with some optional (or required) observation fields associated, when someone adds an observation to the project in mobile they associated fields will pop up for them to fill in. Hope that helps.



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Just saying but I created a ‘traditional’ 'project and added a field “feeding on”. Now when using the app (iPhone) and you select the traditional project, it will automatically ask you to add the plant the butterfly is ‘feeding on’. I can then run reports to do the correlation in terms of what plants are attracting which butterflies.


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