Identifying tips

Maybe this could go into feature request section.
When I photograph a lifeform I am often unsure of the specific parts of the plant or animal that help people identify it from similar species.
Likewise, when I am IDing other people’s observations, I often comment on what parts of the lifeform they should photograph in helping to ID it.
I don’t know how it would work but it would be extremely useful to have a section on this site under every species, family, or class that have at least basic tips for what parts and angles to photograph of each species useful to identifiers.
I often comb through wikipedia about pages with fail on differentiating species which then brings me to internet searches and on and on.
I guess the only “risk” is ending up with too many observations of only specific plant or animal parts/angles or novices thinking they can ID things they aren’t actually qualified to do so.


You can search forum, there’s a similar post and as I remember it’s a request you can vote for.


Further to this, it would actually be really useful to be able to tag photos based on the view taken (e.g. dorsal, ventral) and making these tags filterable. Especially when trawling through hundreds of photos trying to identify spiders from a certain angle, this would be a real time saver!


Yes we are waiting patiently for iNat to enable annotating single photos.
Much more useful to be able to filter for ‘photos of fruit - end of’

Instead of what we have now - all the photos from obs which include fruit. But you still have to hunt down the photos of actual fruit.

Plus it is all dependent on observers or identifiers bothering to annotate for fruit.


One of the most under-identified kingdoms is Fungi, so if one wants to help any identifiers, please include good photos of all parts of a mushroom or bracket - cap, gills, stem, underside pore surface. Also include in the comments any other features such as type of wood surface, description of habitat, odor, etc. This would help those of us who ID fungi and increase the opportunity for fungi observations to be properly identified and/or attain research grade.


That is one thing I have learned the hard way on here and only thanks to someone leaving comments in my fungi observations. It’s one reason I posted this (even if it has been posted before but I didn’t see that it had).

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To help get an unknown gall IDed I recommend at least the first 3 shots here;

  1. Upper surface of gall
  2. Lower surface of gall (even if there appears to be nothing there, sometimes that is a clue)
  3. Context - a more zoomed out shot with leaf or twig that the gall is on
  4. If unsure of host ID, a shot of other host characteristics (bark, fruit, etc) that could help the IDer.
  5. A cross-section is important for some species (Caryomyia on hickories come to mind).

Maybe if we can per photo annotations, we could have multiple life stages or multiple sexes in animalia observations with multiple photos featuring more than one individual!

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