How many species have you observed?

A lot more than what’s listed in my observations. A significant portion of my observations haven’t been identified to species yet.


Right now I have 2416 taxa, 1786 research grade. This is a nice number, maybe I will hit 2500 this year.
I have been inatting for a few years now, with a lot of observations I have been saving before I knew inaturalist.
I am interested in insects and fungi, two kingdoms that have a lot of species there.
As for my RG count, sometimes I go through a specific genus I have observed or a family and try to tag somebody who could help me with ID.
Remember that if you are sure the observation cannot be IDed to a species level, you can mark that it couldn’t be improved further. This will put such observation in RG if it’s a genus.

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Intresting, its much clearer now, thanks !

I have 6595 species according to my iNat profile. Tips? That will depend upon expense (monetary):

  1. almost no additional expense:
  • Learn to look at more things than you are used to. Check through local lists on iNat and the projects what can be observed in your area.
  1. additional expense (some quite significant):
  • travel to different places
  • get yourself camera (s) that will capture tiny things and things that are quite far away (e.g., birds or mammals). I usually carry two - one with 50x zoom and one with microscope function. Regretfully, there is no camera to include both.

I have 1,100 species out of 2,200 total observations. 750 of those species are literally from my backyard!

The biggest contributor to my ability to observe species is my macro lens that I carry around everywhere with me clipped to my phone. I might as we have glued it to my phone because it almost never leaves it!


453 species so far!

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I should get a macro lens! Does one size fit all with those?

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Here’s a cool tool that allows you to search for the most commonly observed species around you that you haven’t observed yet. Just replace the place_id= with the place_id that you’re located in and replace the user_id= with your user ID.

In my example, I can see that many of the top species I haven’t observed are birds and odonata (dragonflies and damselflies), so if I want to observe new species in my area, I should focus more on observing those groups.


Yes, one size fits all. this is what I have but I don’t use the wide lens (it’s two lenses screwed together). I’ve dropped it several times and it has never shattered.

I did not know you could do this, that’s super cool. Thanks for sharing. I’ll be putting it to use!

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I have made 1478 observations on iNaturalist with 1406 species. However, I have actively searched and observed 2684 (or there abouts) species in total throughout the last 10 years.

I am always on the hunt for something new, so if I was to recommend a way of finding more species is by not overlooking the lesser known species such as many the invertebrates as well as fungi and lichens.
This year alone I have tried to focus on observing as many new insect & arachnid species and therefore has led me to discovering 150 species previously unknown to me.


@starnosemole Here’s a link of all the most observed species in the UK that you haven’t observed yet:

And here’s a link of the most observed arthropods (which includes insects and arachnids) in the UK you haven’t observed yet:

You can start “hunting” for species near the tops of these lists. See where many others have been observing them, and maybe you can find them nearby as well and get some new observations there!

Good Luck!

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From the ‘Your Observations’ overview page, my species count is 1,823 while my observations count is 9,573 for a ratio of 5.25.

As others have mentioned, looking more closely at insects - and spiders - can be a great way to increase your number of species. Those two groups make up the bulk of my observation and species count (7,042 observations and 1,221 species). Of course, if there’s no one around to identify what you’ve seen it will be more difficult to boost your numbers – though if you can find helpful resources and put the work in yourself it’s not an insurmountable obstacle.

Also mentioned was checking out a variety of different habitats – woods, cultivated land, ponds, etc. Some of the places I frequently visit are the river that runs through the middle of town, a wooded hill on the edge of the city, a forested mountain that’s approaching the DMZ/border with North Korea, and a fishing pond on the edge of town that is now surrounded by land being developed for high-rise apartments. I’ve also had luck finding new species while visiting a nearby national park, an iris garden in the nation’s capital, and attending soccer matches at stadiums across the country. (Not only insects and spiders, too. I photographed a bird flying over a stadium once that turned out to be a life list first!)

Yet another detail to consider is visiting the same location at different times of the year. Some pollinators will be easier to observe in the early spring, others in the middle or end of spring, etc. The same is true for Hemipterans and Lepidopterans that can be easier to encounter after their host plant has grown. I have yet to upload the photos to iNaturalist, but I spent a couple of weeks visiting the same tunnel in the morning and spotted several different moth species resting inside. There’s a mudflat on the coast (Incheon) that has a few tiger beetle species present in the summer that I need to go and look for at some point. Some species have very short lifespans that make it harder to see them unless the timing works out just right.

Similarly, consider looking at bird migration patterns and where others have observed transient species. If you have access to the ocean, visit after the tide has gone out or when it’s starting to return for hiding critters or those in tide pools. Consider going out observing early in the morning for some species or staying out late at night for others. And if you ever hear a kid - or adult - exclaim that they’ve found something interesting, wander over to check it out. I’ve gotten to see a large red-headed centipede (a new species for my life list) and a mitten crab that way.

Other than that, poke around plants to see what moves or what looks different. Sometimes I’ve tried to follow a damselfly to get a photo only to find that I’m scaring away moths and flies from the nearby plants. Some spiders and beetles camouflage themselves to look like bird droppings so it doesn’t hurt to take a second look at that, either, if you’re up for it.


@whaichi Great Tips!

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@pwilson96 I learned about this around 1-1.5 years ago and look at it regularly. I’ve already knocked off about a dozen species from near the top of the list since I discovered it. I saved it to my profile so I can quickly reference it whenever I want.

nice! Will be adding to my wishlist. Thanks!

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That’s an interesting one. As someone who pursued the magic 1,000 species quite vigorously, like OP, I was a bit shocked to see only 656 of my 1172 observed species were RG when I just checked. However, I suppose that ratio is pretty normal if I compare it to yours.

I imagine the focus on RG as opposed to general species might push us to take better/more ID’able pictures and ultimately increase the data quality on the platform. At the same time it can limit the species we actually pay attention to (e.g. by omitting those who are most likely to get stuck at genus level or those who are lacking knowledge/active local experts to review them) and it can get quite frustrating being dependent on the ability of others to confirm your observations when you are in an area with few active identifiers. Regardless, I am personally intrigued by this goal you have.

Outside of new places and new habitats, another way to find new species I found effective is to simply come back at a different time of year. This might be most relevant for plants and fungi, but is certainly impactful for birds too!


1,369 species according to my Observations page for all my observations. If we go by ‘research-grade’ status only, then I have 1,008 species from RG observations, which tells me the 360-odd species are most likely obscure invertebrates or small plants that are difficult to identify from photographs alone, with a casual-grade observation here and there.

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that would be a win win!


I am currently sitting at 1,051 RG Species
If you want to observe more species, I would definitely recommend going to observe at a new location to you. It doesn’t necessarily have to be too far from your home, I’ve found that just going a little ways can get you new species. I would also recommend trying to pay attention to groups of organisms you haven’t paid that much attention to in the past. I also think that trying to go outside during different parts of the day can help, like if you are more of a mid-day observer maybe try to go outside during dawn or dusk.