#IdentiFriday is the happiest day of the week

Well, maybe. But here’s where my discouragement comes from. From way back, I learned that Pereskia was the only Cactaceae with true leaves. So, I’m doing IDs. I see an observation of “Plants” or maybe “Flowering Plants” (since it has a flower), and I can see that it is a Cactaceae with true leaves; I don’t know the species, but I remember what I learned way back when and identify it as Genus Pereskia. Moving it forward, right?

There it sits for months. Until one day, when I had forgotten about it, my notifications tell me that two different people on the same day have given it species-level IDs, which agree with each other, but disagree with me at the genus level.

Now, if the comments said something like, “The Caribbean Pereskia were segregated into Leuenbergeria,” that wouldn’t be so discouraging; that at least would acknowledge that I was thinking along the right lines.

But no. What the comments actually say is, “Pereskia is only found in South America.” Implying that I don’t know my biogeography.

It feels like an Orwellian world where what is true now has always been true. A world in which Pereskia was never found in the Caribbean, and you’d better not remember its having been so.


I sympathize. Too many name changes! And most are unnecessary! (Except the ones I make myself, of course.)


That sucks. I’ve had similar experience with other taxons.
It’s made me a hardnose about leaving full notes with ID’s like that, usually noting the year of the change and linking the full text if I can. If it takes too much time and I do fewer ID’s, fine. For me, it’s about knowledge sharing not about number counts. I know not all agree with that but I really wish it was the expected norm. It’s not like it takes that much extra time.

…were you able to find out if that move from Pereskia to Luenbergeria occured?

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Anyone for palm trees?
We had a problem with iNat offering palmchat (the bird)


Now resolved. Leaving a residue of some problem children. I have cleared what I can from Africa. Still leaves about 150 in foreign.


PS did a sweep thru the foreign ones. Even found some birds. But never an actual palmchat.

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It’s Friday. There is still quite a blanket of snow everywhere around here. The worldwide true Unknowns stand at 228,000 at the moment and I am rejoicing that there are fewer than 230,000 (while despairing of ever getting below 200,000). To remind myself that IDing Unknowns is not only virtuous, but fun, I offer these three former Unknowns that turned out to be very interesting indeed.

A stunning cicada. I want my local cicadas to be as colorful.

An Aristolochia from Mexico, the first observation for iNaturalist.

An orchid from the Philippines, possibly another first for iNat.

And one more, because why not: An orthopteran (I think) from Ecuador. Isn’t it wonderful that we live on a planet where such amazing organisms reside?


That’s very funny. I haven’t experienced that before but what taxa are you talking about? Plants? I guess plants because they are described or some taxon split, some synomy, etc…

I’m so happy because now understand how to differentiate Penthicodes species.Here are the resources:

I compared the species on iNat, which means all species exept P. nicobarica.

To find a pic of P. nicobarica, I used a website named Indiabiodiversity.org, where there was 1 record.


Okay, so here’s what I did yesterday. (#IdentiWednesday?)

Picked one taxon – Red Maple, Acer rubrum, and went through starting with the oldest. There were (and still are) a lot of Red Maple observations uploaded 7 or 8 years ago that are still at Needs ID. In some cases, these were views of the whole tree in winter, or focused just on the trunk, and those I didn’t mess with; but there were surprisingly many where the leaves were clearly visible. No good reason for them to be at Needs ID – just that nobody had gone and looked.

The reason I did this was because I have a three-for-one observation myself: a dragonfly perched on a red maple which was parasitized by a dodder. Of the three observations, only the dragonfly is at Research Grade. The dodder, I can understand, because those are very difficult to get to species; but I see no good reason why the red maple hasn’t reached Research Grade. So I helped a lot of other Red Maples along hoping to inspire someone.


Just a heads-up: On planted trees, it can be tricky to clearly distinguish Acer x freemanii (popular street tree with a variety of cultivars, A. rubrum hybrids) from pure A. rubrum based on leaf shape.

Today’s Friday!

Indeed it is Friday!! A week ago, I was rejoicing because the world-wide true Unknowns were down to 228,000, but now they are back up to 231,093, despite my best efforts (and the valiant efforts of others as well, I assume).

Now, while Unknowns are a very, very minor part of needed identifications, they bug me. (Heh - I said bug.) I see three possible ways to deal with them, and I’d like your opinions on the matter.

First, I could go ID something, anything, else. Red Maples, for example. The spring flowers which will start here in the next week or two - Draba verna, Calla palustris, Veratrum viride, Corylus, etc.

Second, I could paste a comment on every new Unknown, asking the observer to please add even a general ID. I suspect this would annoy greatly those who routinely upload observations before adding IDs, so I would probably wait for, say, two weeks after an observation is uploaded before asking, politely, for an ID to be added.

Third, I could organize some sort of Unknown ID blitz project - maybe for right after the City Nature Challenge event?

Or, since winter is almost over here, I could simply declare a moratorium on all IDing and instead focus on making more observations for the next seven months or so. Go learn sedges, as I’ve been threatening to do for decades. Go dredge for aquatic macro-inverts. Take a moss class and practice.


That. Do that. For you always have the unknowns with you, but you will not always have sedges and mosses and aquatic micro-invertebrates.


True. Plus, I probably only have ten to twenty field seasons left in me, at best. Next winter will come soon enough.


I haven’t looked at Unknowns for a while.
Determined to clear the last bit of Pre-Mavericks!
Then back to Unknowns.

And then, there’s Needs ID …

Can anyone point me to where we had a percentage for how many iNatters identify?
We are probably ALL here among the … nearly 900 comments. Longest living thread in the forum?

I had to cut back on IDing the last 2 weeks… for some minor health thing I am getting nauseous as soon as I am looking at a monitor, so I try to avoid monitors as much as I can… it will pass at some point, but for now I am less active here


That does not sound minor!

It is, no worries. I know what it is and I know it will be over in a few weeks tops :-)


Let us know when you are @mention able again?

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Motion sickness or vertigo? I deal with that a lot.

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Today I’m working on Baldcypress in Louisiana. It’s the #2 needs ID species for the state. That’s not even counting the ones left at genus level.

Edit: I did around 150 and moved it down to #4. I’m done for today.