Is it possible to have all my IDs withdrawn from a species group?

The group of plants formerly all in the Mimulus genus have recently had a ton of taxonomic changes. I actually think it’s really neat the level of speciation that has been demonstrated in this group, but i wish they had been divided out as subspecies instead of species. But instead the species and genus have been really divided very heavily. Be that what it is, pretty much all of my IDs to the species group previously known as Mimulus are now wrong. For instance i have tons of IDs to M. guttatus that are now a bunch of different neat little Erythranthes that i don’t know the difference from.

So, setting aside my normal taxonomic gripes, is there a way to just delete all my IDs to that group of species? Or turn them into non-disagreeing genus level groups? I don’t know the species well enough to fix my IDs and as i don’t live in California where the IDs apply any more, i don’t think trying to learn them all is realistic for me now.


I’m not sure what’s going on here… Could you explain a bit more? Is this a taxon change that has not been made yet? Which IDs are you afraid might not be automatically converted in the normal way? You currently have just over 130 IDs in Erythranthe and about 50 in Mimulus.

I’ve got lots of things identified to say, E. guttatus that i keep getting people now classifying to the new taxonomy. At the time i identified them I think E guttatus (or Mimulus guttatus if back far enough) were at the time correct but now aren’t. Somehow they are still there at Guttatus and aren’t withdrawn to genus level. That may just be a factor of that one genus but i also feel like with how taxonomy is, i don’t really want my IDs still being used if i am not using the same taxonomy iNat is using and don’t really have the ability to switch my IDs all to it. Another one is Opuntia. I identified a bunch under my understanding at the time but since then that genus is so split up into cryptic spies under the iNat rules that pretty much any species level Opuntia ID i’ve ever made is no longer acceptable by those standards


The taxon change process should take care of this for you, although in cases where iNat has lots of observations it might take a little while.


So it sounds like someone has made new taxa and started reidentifying old observations to the new taxa, instead of doing a proper taxon split of E guttata. I suppose this should be possible to put right … I don’t really want to be the person to do it though as I’m completely unfamiliar with the taxa, so I’m unqualified to investigate the details and implement the most appropriate solution. I wonder if @bouteloua could help or delegate to an appropriate person (or correct my understanding entirely!)


If I understand correctly, even though the taxon change takes care of things, I don’t know if I feel comfortable being given credit (even though labelled as through that change) for a bunch of species of which I have no knowledge. Even more so ending up in some top position of a leader board.

1 Like

Best to start a flag on the taxon, so a curator can take a look at it and do a proper taxon swap.

1 Like

yeah, someone should flag the species to see if it should be split, which would kick the IDs up a rank automatically, or reassign them to various species if range differentiation is clear. (In the one example I see with a still-active Erythranthe guttata ID, the E. guttata ID was made 2 years after the taxon E. nasuta was added to iNaturalist, so I’m not sure it makes sense to split it or not without further research myself either.)

Probably the same discussion needs to be had with whichever Opuntia spp. you’re referring to if it hasn’t already.

There’s no feature to do this and I doubt it would be built into the site since staff prefer each action on the site be individually reviewed vs. done en masse.

The fastest way I can think to review and adjust your IDs would be a URL something like this where XXXXX is the species IDs you want to review (not perfect, includes IDs by other people) or and scan the list to see where the name in the “observation” column doesn’t match the species name, open in new tabs.

1 Like

with opuntia, literally all of them in California. People are identifying them using a totally different species framework from the one i learned. Granted I learned them circa 2001 and am not trying to say my knowledge of the species is better than the new one, just i don’t understand the new taxonomy at all and it honestly seems to be used differently by different people.

that makes sense, but i probably won’t do it, to be honest. I’ve got zero spoons to deal with iNat’s taxonomy system any more since i’ve had so much frustration with it. Honestly, i’d almost ask for all my IDs to be deleted, because i’ve got so much issue with how iNat taxonomy works these days, but i don’t want my observations deleted, and maybe deleting all IDs is a bit extreme.


I work on Erythranthe IDs, and the principle source of misidentifications is definitely people putting E. guttata when the plant in question is actually some other species in the subgenus Simiolus. Part of the confusion may be that old observations from back in the days of “Mimulus guttatus” appear to have automatically taxon swapped to “Erythranthe guttata” when in reality Mimulus guttatus was split into several Erythranthe species. In my opinion it would have been better if the Mimulus guttatus taxon swap had gone to the subgenus Simiolus.

That said, I think this is a relatively small source of misidentifications-- since the taxonomic revision, people are still quick to assume they’re looking at E. guttata by default when they have one of the other similar Erythranthe species. Finding observations so old that they were originally identified as M. guttatus is uncommon.


yeah, i stopped identifying these years ago so i do believe my initial IDs were Mimulus guttatus. Maybe there aren’t that many and they have all been found.

if the taxon change isn’t handling this automatically, it is possible to use the API to withdraw a given set of IDs, using a process similar to the process noted in this post and subsequent posts in that same thread (related to batch adding observations to a project):

the relevant template command for withdrawing an identification would be this:
curl "" -X "PUT" -H "Content-Type: application/json" -H "Accept: application/json" -H "Authorization: %jwt%" -d "{\"identification\":{\"current\":false}}"

and suppose this was the set of identifications you wanted to withdraw:

… then this would be the template for getting a list of identification ids:

1 Like

More and more of us feel that way. #IdentiFriday is no longer the happiest day of the week.

1 Like

Sorry to be off topic, but we lost steam quickly on that thread

Perhaps because identifiers need to work hard every single day in order to feel that any progress is being made. (Where “progress” is defined as barely keeping up, come to think of it.)


No. I gave up on ‘keeping up’ with CNC22.
I want to get back to African Unknowns, but I have 4K I barely touch.
Sidetracked by the Pre-Mavericks first.
And … CNC23 looms!!!

iNat is happy to encourage hundreds, and thousands! of obs - but needs to encourage those observers to pull their weight with identifying. Without IDs iNat will become Pretty Pictures on social media, like Facebook and Instagram.


It is sobering to realize that without the efforts of identifiers, iNaturalist would just be pretty photos.

1 Like

No, because we constantly see our “leading” IDs being turned into disagreeing ones seemingly overnight.

This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.