iNat suggested identifications match ID name in filename

Platform (Android, iOS, Website): Website

Browser, if a website issue (Firefox, Chrome, etc) : Chrome

I’m not sure if this is the correct Forum topic, so I can move it if necessary.

I include my ID or best guess ID as part of the file name with all of the images I submit to iNat; I always try to identify everything before submitting observations. What I’ve noticed when I submit images is that with few exceptions, iNat’s suggested ID is the same as the ID name I include at the beginning of my filename. I would like to think that all of my IDs are correct, but that would be far from correct. As an example, I just submitted images of a Leafhopper ( Since I was having trouble identifying it, I first loaded one of the images (filename: Dikraneurini_Typical Leafhoppers_01Nov2022_03b.jpg) to see what iNat’s suggestion would be, and iNat’s suggestion was Dikraneurini. Since I had found a possible alternative identification prior to loading the image, I was skeptical of iNat’s suggestion. In the meantime, someone in another invertebrate identification group suggested a different ID that I felt was a better fit, so I changed the file name to reflect that. I loaded the images to iNat which then identified it as the same genus in my updated file name (filename: Chlorotettix_Typical Leafhoppers_01Nov2022_03b.jpg). Is this an iNat “bug” or is it something that is part of the AI, in which case, it would be best if I submitted images without the ID’d name when uncertain of my identification?

Hi @smithjg1954 - it’s not part of iNaturalist’s computer vision, but yes it’s an intentional feature that the web uploader reads the filename to attempt to match it to a taxon in the iNaturalist database.

If you’re not quite sure which genus, perhaps you could use a coarser taxon rank in the filename, e.g. Cicadellidae instead of Dikraneurini? Or, as you say, exclude taxon names in your filenames altogether if that ends up being more convenient for you.

And, you can always click the little (x) to remove the taxon name, or change it, before submitting your observations. (Or change them afterwards by adding a new ID to your existing observations.)



Thank you. I’ve wondered about that for awhile now, but I only just decided to ask about it.

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