Linguistic problem?

I am identifiing Xylocopa - carpenter bees in Europe and keep writing this sentence. “Xylocopa violacea and X. valga are very similar. Only the males of X. violacea have a yellow band near the end of the antennae. If you don’t see this, you cannot be sure of the species.” Usually people write Xylocopa violacea and I have to tell them, soryy, you can’t teill. Then this message pops up
Of course the evidence provided is not enough, otherwise I wouldn’t have to disagree. So I am wondering what to choose. Maybe it’s my lack of insight into a not native language. I tend to choose I don’t know, because it might be X. violacea. Still I find the question doesn’t make much sense.


Its ok - this doesn’t make much sense to native speakers either… :)
… and it’s going to be changed soon.

I just use the no button to actively push it back to genus.
The other button if not sure.


There’s a very long discussion here:

Not everyone in the community agrees on how these buttons should be used. I would say that if the observer has a photo that doesn’t show the required feature, but a description that says something like “I saw the yellow band on the antennae”, it would be reasonable to use the green button. If the observer didn’t put anything in a comment/description and you ask them about the antennae and they either don’t respond or respond that they don’t know/didn’t see, then the orange button is appropriate.


It’s a confusing question. Rather than trying to understand what it means, let’s explain what happens when you choose each option. The top button, the green one, will input your ID as genus Xylocopa, but the community ID will stay at Xylocopa violacea because someone before you has put that species. Your ID will neither agree nor disagree with this finer species ID.
The bottom, yellow option is called the “explicit disagreement,” and if you choose that option, your ID will be genus Xylocopa AND the community ID will bump back to genus Xylocopa. Basically you disagree with the species ID so much you do not want it to “count.”

Sorry sbushes I didn’t mean to reply to you specifically, just the thread in general.


I think OP also means females don’t have the band, so for observed females there would be less likelyhood of someone saying they saw an antennal band, and asking what they should choose in that case.

Ah, if the question is what to do when the photo shows the antennae and there is no yellow band, meaning it could the be female of either species, then you should choose the orange button.


The observation ID will stay, the community ID will be the genus. With explicit disagreement, the observation ID will be set to genus. The community ID will be genus on either case.

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Ok, thanks everybody. So, it’s the orange button for me. Which makes me wonder though, when to use the green button. If somebody identifies something that I don’t know, I shouldn’t interfere with the ID at all, should I?

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Oh hmm, I don’t think I know the difference between the community ID and the observation ID. I mean the one across the top of the page.

That’s the observation id. The community id is displayed to the right of the comments/ids.


One possible situation:

The observation is stuck at a higher taxon like “Anthophila” or some such, because one person said the image was Bombus and another person says Xylocopa violacea. (Maybe those aren’t the best example species, but I know very few bees off the top of my head. It could happen, especially with new users or bad computer vision suggestions.) You come along and you aren’t very skilled at identifying genus Xylocopa so you can’t say for sure if it is Xylocopa violacea or not, but you’re sure it’s some kind of Xylocopa and you want to lead the observation in that direction.

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I wasn’t aware they could differ. I’ll have to keep my eye out.

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No, it’s a green button, yes, you won’t “cross out” the other, more specific id, but as you can’t id it further you can’t disagree with the species, try explaining the observer it’s ok to leave the genus id and probably it will be withdrawned.

If you can’t identify it to species, I would say you should click the green button. You may think the other person can’t identify it to species, but they evidently think they can identify it to species. I don’t think you have the right to tell them that they can’t identify it to species when YOU can’t see the field mark YOU require to take it to species. I’ve been identifying plants, animals and fungi most of my life, and often find that I have learned to recognize a species without some field mark a book, or a key, says I need. I could be right, or wrong, but I don’t think you can tell me I am wrong, if you can’t say what species it is.

I’m now again reading what iNaturalist says in this box. “Is the evidence provided enough to confirm this is xxxx?” I don’t think iNaturalist should ask this question. You may not think there is enough evidence to identify it to species, but the observer, and potentially others who know the species, might believe there is enough evidence to identify it as that species. I think iNaturalist should ask:
“Do you know that this is Xylocopa, but don’t know which species it is?” and make that the green box,
“While you know this species is in the genus Xylocopa, are sure it is not Xylocopa violacea?” and make that the orange box

Since (I think) the OP is satisfied with the answers presented here, I’m going to close this and suggest any more general discussion be on the thread I mentioned earlier.