I have a general question about identifying “unknowns”. I will use a recent observation for discussion: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/163395655. nf4t’s comment outlines my question. I realize that some observations cannot be identified to a species level without specialists working in laboratories. However, how should I identify this observation so that its inherent information does not get lost. The three suggestions offered by nf4t are in different taxa kingdoms. Usually I try to go to the lowest common taxon, which would be “State of matter Life”. Do I keep it at Columnaris, which is possibly incorrect, or maybe leave it at Western Mosquitofish, which doesn’t convey the information that the fish is infected with something, or State of matter Life? I personally do not know how to classify this observation.
as @nf4t mentioned, the best way to make sure pathogens / parasites and the like are looked at is by including them in a relevant Traditional project, and/or by adding Observation Fields such as “host organism” to indicate what the observation is about.
unfortunately, the ID itself may be stuck at Life for some time.
what you can also do is add an observation for the fish, and make a comment on each observation linking to the other one. There’s also a way to do this with Observation Fields but I forget the specifics.