Identify: Taxon selected but cannot save

  • Head to taxon page pop-up modal
  • Type in a taxon name to suggest an ID
  • Select the taxon in the dropdown (click or down-arrow/enter)
  • Navigate to a different tab on the modal or go to a different browser tab
  • Come back to the ID and try to press Save, ID will not save
  • Have to select taxon in dropdown again in order for it to save

I think this has been the case for years, but when using slower internet it’s much more frustrating. ;)


The same issue does not occur when making IDs from the observation detail page.


I have been running into this also, but didn’t have it characterized so nicely. I just thought of it as “sometimes you have to select the taxon again”.

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Lately, using Chrome, I’ve noticed that when I go back to the main tab (step 5 in bouteloua’s list) I see this:

So at least it’s sort of telling me I need to re-choose the taxon. Anyone else getting it?

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This behavior is also consistent for me in Chrome when identifying. Changing tabs and then returning to the identify modal requires reselecting the taxon from the list. I just take this as “the way the modal dialog box works.” The modal apparently does not, or maybe cannot, retain state. If I anticipate needing to change tabs, I leave taxon selection as my last step.

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The same thing happens if you select the taxa, click on any other field, and then re-click into the taxa field. The taxa still shows, but it is waiting for you to select from the list again, as if you had started typing. It must be that when you go to another tab, and then back to the identify tab, the browser must have remembered where had focus and it puts the focus back there again, so effectively behaves like you have just clicked on the taxa entry box again.


well, seems like something similar is happening, since this thread was closed:

It’s also the same when adding commentary to an observation.
I’ve experienced it this way:

  1. You type in a comment or make an ID, but don’t click “Done” yet.
  2. You open another tab in your browser (for a reference for example).
  3. You are back at ID/comment page and now “Done” button is not clickable.
  4. You close quick-view window (Identify mode) and open needed observation again or refresh the page (Observation page) and it works again.

Minor problem, but kinda annoying.

I keep playing with this in Chrome and the only work-around appears to be to not touch the mouse while in the browser tab with the identify modal, and this does not always work. My sometimes functioning work around involves my need to access a text file of comments that support an identification. I press i to start the ID, type the ID, usually just the first four letters of the genus and first four of the species is sufficient, then I wait for the drop down list to appear.

I use the down arrow key to move down to the ID I want. I press Enter. The ID appears in the species text box. I press tab to move to the comments.

I use alt-tab (Chrome, Windows, command-tab on OSX) to change windows to my text editor. In my text editor I can use the mouse and control-c to copy text without losing state back in the browser window.

Then I alt-tab to return again to the browser where my cursor remains where I left it in the comment box. I use ctrl-v to keyboard paste into the comment box. I press tab again to land on the Save button. I then press enter. I then use the right arrow to move to the next identification. As long as I do not touch the mouse while in the browser window, this often (but not always) works. Just don’t touch the mouse!

Mouseless browser window tab changing shortcuts exist also (ctrl-tab and shift-ctrl-tab in Chrome), but, again, no touching the mouse while in the tab with the identify modal. I do seem, on a good day, to get away with “touching” and using the mouse on another tab in the browser, as long as I ctrl-tab, or ctrl-shift-tab back to the identify tab. Remember to “leave” the comment dialog box with the tab key, not the mouse! Don’t touch the mouse… Use the enter key when one has tabbed onto the Save button.

Perhaps this will help suggest to someone what is happening in that identify dialog box.

This issue happens to me all the time. For example, I was doing a lot of camera trap photos that didn’t have any original ID from the observer. So for each one, there was nothing to agree to, I had to type in the taxon. I was using the Identify Modal and I would hit i to add ID. Then type the first few letters of the taxon, use the arrows to select from the drop down, hit enter to choose my taxon, then enter again to save. Probably half the time it would just clear the taxon box and I would have to do the whole thing again. If I waited after the first enter, then the drop down would often reappear and I could select again. The issue had to do with whether the previous ID from the previous photo had been saved yet or not. So if I had already seen the refresh in the background of the page (a quick flicker), it would definitely work. If it hadn’t finished saving the previous ID, it might work, or it might not. But it was rather tedious, especially because waiting for the previous ID to save might take 5-10 seconds and I was going through hundreds of photos.


Thanks! That explains the taxon box clearing behavior you describe and for which I had not figured out why that sometimes happens. I am on a long latency connection in a remote part of the work, so saving can exceed ten seconds at times. I have a habit of moving to the next observation using the right arrow while the green “saving” spinner is still spinning. I know from experience that the identification will save, I had not realized that the ongoing background save was what cleared the taxon box in that next observation. Thanks for sharing that, now I know to wait for the save to commit and register before moving on.

I’ve had similar issues adding fields and then clicking to the next observation before the field saves properly or something.

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I have also been having this problem quite often when IDing, and within the past few days I keep getting this odd situation where I type in a name, a whole bunch of other unrelated names come up, and I cannot make them go away or have the correct name appear. I have to either reset the filters or just close and reopen the tab completely. Pretty annoying when trying to go through and ID a bunch of stuff.

A post was merged into an existing topic: Searching for taxon on Identify stalls out

This seems to happen when the system is searching for a match. It happens to me when I accidentally click the box after selecting the ID, which “hangs” the process even though the ID appears to be selected.

Sometimes when I select the ID, then type an attached comment, that popdown menu suddenly reappears and obscures the comment field, and I still can’t save the ID/comment.


I’ve had that happen too, and I have a sneaky suspicion it happens when the letter “i” is typed… sometimes it takes it as a shortcut key, but I haven’t been able to figure out what causes it to do that… it is certainly not EVERY letter “i” typed that does it!

Not in my case. The only keys used are tab, down arrow, ctrl, v, and enter.

It’s possibly related to continuing to the next observation before the previous one has completely saved.

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ah, a sort of delayed or “late” focus setting… actually that makes a lot of sense because I do strike it more when the system is slow to take up the previous ID, and I have right arrowed on to the next…

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Is anyone still experiencing this issue as of today? We released some fixes for the taxon autocomplete chooser and the identify page yesterday, and I’m curious if that addresses this issue as well


I tried @kastani’s steps from May 29 just now, and couldn’t reproduce any problem.

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