#IdentiFriday is the happiest day of the week

Well, I did mention that I left a few as wild, if I saw what looked like evidence that they were.

Think of turning on the nostalgia radio station – whichever era that is for you. And then there’s that song. That song that you may have liked at one time, but it has been so overplayed that you’re over it and you don’t want to hear it anymore. That’s what Bougainvillea is like for me.


I remember there was a project fro hard-to-id or unrecognized organisms, could someone tell me its name?

Marina, here’s a link to Needs ID insects in the Philippines from the 2022 City Nature Challenge, from class Insecta down to family level: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?taxon_id=47158&hrank=class&lrank=family&place_id=6873&project_id=117404

I hope at least a few of these are interesting to you!

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Thank you! I’m already finishing the African ones now.)

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Into The Great Unknown, maybe?

It was a traditional project, similar to https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/beach-blobs, but about everything, not just beach life. It was linked in recent discussions, but I don’t remember the topic. It’s not an urgent question though.

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Yes, likely this one!


Now it needs some experts too, there’re so many users who use each other’s photos, one caterpillar I saw 7 or 8 times now and each page now consists of something I’ve already seen. So experts will have easy time with iding those, id 1 specimen = 10 observations done.)

Unfortunately, many of the former Unknowns were duplicates or one of several photos of the same organism taken at the same time by the same person, but uploaded as separate observations. I didn’t think it was worth it to ask the observers to delete duplicate or consolidate photos of the same organism, not eight months after the observations, so I figured the positive values of clearing Unknowns and possibly giving the computer vision more to work with out-weighed the negative values of the duplicates. I wish there was a DQA criterion to check for duplicates, but absent that, I just ID duplicate observations and move one, at least for older observations like these.

And thank you so much for all your finer IDs on my generalized IDs! You really added a lot!

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I’ll finish them all tomorrow, there’re more “let’s upload his photos but with lower resolution”, do it twice and you get from normal photo to “what these pixels are”?

Wow! I just woke up to 417 notifications - a normal night might leave me 50 or so - and I bet at least 300 were from you - thank you so much! I wish I knew half what you do about insects.


If someone ever feels bored… there are 355 pages of Araniella observations in Europe in “needs ID”… many already with several IDs and a lot of those even with a comment by a spider-IDer explaining why it cannot be IDed further. I think most of those can be driven out of the pile by using “cannot be IDed further” :-)

I am not sure if one can filter for only those observtions with a least two IDs and/or a comment somehow to make it easier?

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it seems like there’s still some controversy at least in some cases. ex: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/146484251.

you’d probably have to use the API to get all the observations and then filter those yourself by your criteria. i could probably get you a list of Observation IDs with at least 2 IDs, if you’re interested. it would probably take a little more work to get comments, since i don’t have anything existing that could handle that.


These discussions on whether the abdominal spots are a valid tool for identification go on since literally decades now and I think there is a lot of wishful thinking involved.

In fact, there even has been a paper just about that:
Sacher P (1990) Untersuchungen über Zahl, Anordnung und taxonomischen Wert der dorso-lateralen Abdominalpunkte in der Gattung Araniella (Arachnida: Araneae). Acta Zoologica Fennica 190: 345-349


The present studies are based on a rich supply of material (n= 1093) from several regions of Europe, and also from North America and Asia. The examination showed
constant results in the case of the following species: A. inconspicua - without spots, A.opisthographa and A. maderiana - 5 pairs of spots. This finding is not unreservedly
applicable for the differentiation of all species because in the other Araniella species the number of paired spots varies considerably. In fact A. alpica and A. proxima can
sometimes be without spots and, on the other hand, A. cucurbitina frequently (10%) and A. displicata rarely (2%) have 5 pairs of spots. Moreover, in the case of A. proxima and A. displicata it is necessary to take into consideration their remarkable geographical distribution which provides differences. The investigations illustrated the low taxonomical value of the dorso-Iateral abdominal spots.

However, there are still people claiming IDs mainly based on those spots. One of the reasons I am usually not disagreeing with finer Araniella observations… or actually in fact I am not even IDing them at all… just don´t like those discussions


hmmm… ok… well, here are the observations currently with >=4 identifications exactly at genus: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?id=3156153,5939323,6506892,8886684,12395726,24674471,28128728,45505100,12153079,12642820,12795740,13236212,15130724,19492696,19659588,20446744,20539299,20876831,22144424,22991633,23704704,26867530,26871902,27619650,28048231,29438718,35699615,35751694,35771984,36151314,36261578,37892562,38197874,43352529,44726441,44777221,45253233,45377770,45665806,45701069,45805505,45854960,45860704,46059487,46382223,47858773,47959682,48637398,49488637,57316044,61665629,62722560,81232688,82916143,84454286,3305243,5391652,6217760,6357746,6429354,6579503,6744222,7201260,7642370,9250164,10111425,10700724,11935728,12126222,12346230,12570964,12619703,12638863,12672227,13080701,14040307,14884016,15068222,15316578,19986683,20917939,21293433,21695200,22635119,22662070,22991362,22992992,23628065,24741846,25096700,25396143,25429577,25503328,25550740,25721631,25735751,26164969,26333506,26429710,26616692,26953798,27089508,27332415,27343700,27518433,27687079,27690468,28243036,28373849,28605937,29210578,29433368,29914721,30232945,30244314,30679136,33095168,33964295,34732748,37954258,38186798,38262735,39053287,39173019,39234674,39530168,40533583,40765325,41790292,41822361,42013077,42108268,42516134,42832744,42942012,42942076,42942112,43045236,43412599,44097155,44609608,45006074,45252640,45259130,45268916,45338852,45384029,45392589,45457452,45579391,45675384,45680152,45729377,45784623,45852323,46101759,46227653,46357671,46360744,46362557,46414987,46524597,46581519,46621524,46761425,46782460,46820107,46825138,46879030,46941778,47395199,47958457,47977668,47977945,47985188,48004301,48120218,48130207,48281622,48332379,48465171,48555150,48677754,48750147,48823238,49105832,49128190,49244986,49611181,49809211,50458455,50550547,50580807,50777041,51339135,52037106,52195295,53577515,56543914,58011906,62180478,63758596,63771575,63966711,63967290,64778167,66492997,73199598,73834429,74498273,76375133,76519038,78711538,79007681,79170044,79330842,79381128,79809621,79900812,81161021,81207659,81695676,82811956,82859878,83420547,83522033,83754015,84090338,84436797,84565722,85875855,86474950,86590346,87619556,88855718,91516810,93989791,99207848,99966334,104135759,105091692,105156224,105422118,106689620,107059454,110006264,115094382,115425276,115756489,116256730,116957629,117117271,117315573,119257064,120406228,123715108,124545008,131883461,140657854,142623813,142809160,146484351


My thoughts on this genus it can’t be ided without view on genitals/pedipals, right?

Guilty as charged, but I’ve reformed and now only id my own to genus.


There might be instances where more is possible. Males for example can be somewhat easier. Or depending on where in Europe one is there mith be possibilities to go by process of elimination (e.g. if you find an Araniella without 5 pairs of abdominal spots, it cannot be A. opisthographa, as the always show them according to said paper)… so if you ID in northern ireland, where only to species are reported (A. cucurbitina and A.opisthographa) and there is a Araniella with only 3 pairs of spots… well in those rare instances the case is clear.

In the vast mayority of cases (in Europe) it is impossible to tell… it really bugs me that there are over 600 A. cucurbitina in Germany alone (over 3000 if you extent to all of Europe). At least over 500 of them are at “needs ID”, so it is just what observers suggested not knowing or caring that it is impossible to tell… spiderIDers do not bother going in that mess… maybe at some point, when I am really really calm in my ZENcentre I will attack those again… might take some time :-)


Wanted this week to post new project, but in area of 60+ villages there’re only 5 observations! Ugh, so, today I just ask you to help with the general project for Ryazan’ Oblast, I asked about it last spring, so there’re new things from this year https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?project_id=bioraznoobrazie-ryazanskoy-oblasti

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