Is Discussing How To Identify Allowed?

I understand that that the forum isn’t for identifying purposes, like “What is this plant?” With an image of a plant, when you should just use iNaturalist’s observation function for that. However, is it allowed to discuss identifying? Such as how to distinguish between species, helpful identifying characteristics, how to recognize a certain genus and such?


Of course you can disuss such things, either create a topic of one theme or separate ones, but better not too many, if you have certain questions about your observations it may be easier to just tag experts in the taxon and ask for explanation on how they did that.
CV should be used as a tool to a. fast adding of id you know anyway b. looking up suggestions, checking what other similar groups there are and if it’s possible to id it yourself at certain level. It shouldn’t be taken as correct suggestion without check.


yes, those discussion are very welcome, so long as they are not centered on particular observations :)
please try to make your title as descriptive as possible, to make sorting/navigation/search easier.

here are some existing threads:
Help me identify (non-experts welcome)
Strategies to filter-search and organize efforts to identify bees and wasps
How can I identify birds when they’re flying


Not much to add to what has been said above except welcome to the Forum! This is an interesting place to discuss methods of identification of various taxa. Or other stuff - I recently asked if snakes could be vaccinated, and got very interesting responses.


Thank you for your replies!

Just to clarify, are you asking about ID request threads in the forum?

Or “tips to ID species/genera/family X” as a forum topic?

Or in the main part of the website where ID is in progress and discussion goes into “I think this is similar species A because [reasons]” and someone else says “Maybe similar species B because [reasons]” ?

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we do not allow forum users to ask advice for the identification of any individual records on iNaturalist or elsewhere.

we do allow discussions of general / common scenarios, although we ask you be careful not to link to any observations in a negative light.

we also allow tips about the identification of species, genera, and the like – sometimes collected under a category, other times one thread per taxon, whatever floats your boat.

any time you want to discuss differences between taxa in relation to a specific observation, please hold that conversation on the observation. A little cross-linking is acceptable.


Thank you for clarifying.


(Moved to #forum-feedback)

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Welcome! Apart from the other inputs on this thread I have found that the comments section works very well for discussing IDs on iNaturalist. You can leave a higher level identification, till the taxonomic level that you are sure of and someone will suggest a finer ID. As you get to know regular identifiers and experts, you can @tag them in the comments to get clarification. Most folks on iNat are very helpful and share links to help you understand the ID or even put an explanation directly in the comments.


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