Deleting a withdrawn ID marks the observation as unreviewed even though an additional ID was already made

While reviewing IDs I’ve made to reconcile the download data with the website results I found something odd happening with two dozen IDs. All were related to the Painted Lady butterfly and on each of these there was both a withdrawn ID of Painted Lady made by me along with another Painted Lady ID made by me. This wasn’t something I did on my own. I never withdrew these so I deleted the withdrawn ID leaving the suggested ID in place.

Now, when downloading the observations and searching on the web with the following URL the numbers tie out but the 23 observations below don’t appear in the search or in the download using this URL:

Has this behavior been seen before? When I add up the observations displayed on 15 pages it comes to a number without the 23 observations below: 14 pages times 96 observations + 21 on page 15 = 1,365.

PLEASE NOTE THE DUPLICATE OBSERVATIONS FOR #1 & #2. I didn’t find a duplicate for observation #3 & #4 so I stopped searching for these.

These observations previously had the same ID: one withdrawn ID and the same as a suggested ID. Now, after deleting the withdrawn ID these no longer appear in the URL above or in the download I just produced. The web search and download numbers do match:

    — duplicate
    — duplicate
  3. (no duplicate found)
  4. (no duplicate found)

Thanks for any insights on this. I’m sure I can delete the suggested ID and add back the ID again but this is curious and would be great if it could be resolved.

We can take a look, but in the future please don’t edit all of the observations, it’s easier for us to investigate if the bug/issue is still there.

i don’t think this is a bug. sometimes if you suggest an ID and the click the button again before page responds, you’ll get this behavior. or, say, if you open up the same observation on 2 different tabs and then make the same ID on both tabs, you might not realize you’ve made the same ID twice. the second ID will automatically withdraw the first.

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Agree with pisum about the possible causes of double IDs (relevant discussion here). The bit about the observations no longer appearing in the search is likely because it’s filtered on reviewed observations and deleting an ID un-marks an observation as reviewed.


@tiwan Thanks for the follow-up. The bug issue was discovered only after the withdrawn ID was deleted. There was no way to realize there was a bug until I looked at the downloads.

Luckily the bug is still there.

The observation below (8520162) shows that I’ve made an ID that no longer appears in the download or in the count on the website using the following URL … this URL would work outside of my userID if there’s an “identified by” parameter which I’m unaware of but possibly exists:

… the same is true for the 23 observations listed above.

@pisum & @jwidness This makes perfect sense. Thanks for the explanation.

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I can confirm this happens -

-I added an ID of human, then added another ID of human (which withdraws the first ID). I refreshed the page to ensure that the checkbox for “Mark as Reviewed” in the lower right corner was checked.
-I deleted my first, withdrawn ID of human
-The observation is now not marked as reviewed, even though I have an active ID on the observation

I edited the title of your bug report to reflect this unexpected behavior.

You could also try using the URL parameter ident_user_id in the meantime:

and see also this open feature request for better identification searching tools:


It also marks un-reviewed if you delete the newer, still active ID (which un-withdraws the previous ID, so there’s still an active ID on the observation).

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@bouteloua This is the reason! Thanks for researching and spotting the unexpected behavior. I’ve reselected “Mark as reviewed” for all the sightings. Here’s a screenshot showing the ID with the “Mark as reviewed” unchecked before selecting it again.

Huh. Seems wrong that deleting an ID would cause any previous ID to un-withdraw.

Just to clarify. I had an ID and a withdrawn ID (both of the same species). After deleting the withdrawn ID the “Mark as Reviewed” box was deselected. As @bouteloua points out this is unexpected. I would never think to look at and reselect “Mark as Reviewed” since I have an ID in place.

It would be great if the “Mark as Reviewed” checkmark would persist in this situation.

Thanks all for looking into this.


I think I’ve only deleted an ID when I already had a previous ID if the second ID was an accidental duplicate. In those cases, I do want my previous ID restored. That is, if the reason the first ID was withdrawn is because a second ID was added, then I think it makes some sense to roll back the withdrawing action when the second ID is deleted – it was part of the package of adding the second ID.

Yeah, we should definitely continue to have the option to reinstate previous IDs, I just don’t think the system should be deciding that for me.