List of species I am a Top Identifier for

I noticed by chance I am a top identifier for the species Colepia comatacauda when reviewing my observation for this.

Is there a way for me to see all the items that I am a Top Identifier for? A little egotistical I know but what can I say! :blush:



welcome to the forum :)

@pisum this was something Martin was discussing with me earlier; is there a way through the API to extract/view all the species for which you’re the top IDer?

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Observer would be good too *looks guiltily at all the Maratus scutulatus observations*


it’s possible, but (without direct access to the database) it’s not efficient to get an exact answer. you could do a best guess relatively easily though. both processes start off by making a request to /v1/identifications/species_count by user_id:

this gives you your count of identifications by leaf taxon, but it also gives you a total count of all observations with that taxon. so you could do a best guess by just looking to see if there are any cases where your id count makes up a significant proportion of the total obs count. in this case, my best guess would be that martin487 is not the top identifier for any taxa.

to get an exact answer, for each taxon on the list, you would have to either check the taxon page manually, or make a request to /v1/identifications/identifiers to find the top identifiers by taxon. checking manually, you might miss cases where there is a tie, and the system just picks the other guy, while going through the API, you could actually check several identifiers at the top of the list in case they all have the same count.

getting a list of taxa for which you are the top observer would be similar. it’s possible, but it’s not efficient to get an exact answer. however, you could do a best guess relatively easily, and both processes would start with a request to /v1/observations/species_count by user_id: it does look like natashataylor is the top observer for many taxa – definitely double digits, and possibly even triple digits, out of 1000 or so observed.


cheers, I had a feeling there wasn’t an easy/efficient way


I’ve wondered this a lot about top observers, and the only way I was able to really get a good idea of what I was the top observer of was to go to my most observed species, manually click on each one, and check. Majority of my most observed species, I happen to be the top observer for, so maybe that’s just luck. I do wish there was a way for it to just tell you, without having to do hunting for answers. Those links given are helpful, but it leaves a lot of questions too. For example, I know I am the top observer for common reed, but when you look at how many observations I have vs all of them, the fraction that are mine is pretty small, so from that site alone, I couldn’t really get a good idea. It’s nice that it exists though, for reference. It’s very interesting stuff.

Well, there is no easy way to know for sure. I think that this topic could be an interesting addition to the IDs pageScreenshot_2021_1020_060224

IMHO, the page is useless. It doesn’t have any special function that couldn’t be replicated at another page. I just use the search filters to know what are my ids and which status they are instead went to the IDs page.

in some ways, and in my opinion, i think exploring these other questions (related to distributions) is probably more interesting than knowing which taxa i’m the top identifier or observer of.

for someone who really wants to automate this process though, it wouldn’t be particularly hard to code, and it could even be a reasonable project for someone who is learning to code. i’m not going to do it though because i personally don’t see the benefit here, and i think it’s just an ugly / inefficient process.


Is there are version of the following URL for ranks in addition to species, like genus?

What would be useful on the IDs page is an easy-to-find way of filtering my IDs the way I can filter my observations.

Since not everyone on here can read JSON objects, perhaps a bit of explanation as to what we are seeing is in order.

You start out with something like this:

Now, most of what is there is not relevant to this question. But if you look down the fifth rank in, you will find “name”: “Terminalia catappa”. That’s the taxon which all this data describes. Now, even I’m not completely sure of this next part, but I believe that the very top of that fifth rank, “observations_count”: 6221, is the total number of observations of that taxon on iNaturalist. Then the top of the fourth rank, “count”: 72, would be how many IDs I have made of that taxon.

So, where @pisum refers to seeing if your count makes up a significant portion of the total obs count, that means I have IDed 72 of the 6221 observations of Terminalia catappa, or a little more than 1%. So I’d wager that I am not a top identifier of that taxon.

Now, if you click on any of the little gray triangles, you can collapse that section for easier reading. When I do that at the fourth rank, I see that these are arranged in descending order, from the one I have identified the most, down to the one I have identified the least:

If I then want to calculate the percentage of any given one, I just click on the gray triangle again to expand it.

I don’t have time tonight to go through my entire query; but what I find is that you can become a top identifier with only a few IDs, if you know a rarely-observed taxon. My best record is a plant pathogen, Palm Lethal Yellowing Phytoplasma, with only 20 observations, of which I have IDed 13 – I am the top identifier of that taxon.

My deep interest in Caribbean butterflies, and frequent consultation of Riley’s 1975 guidebook, has paid off, as my next highest percentages are:
Confused calisto 24 IDs out of 38 observations (63%) – again I am the top identifier
Midrib Seagrass 61% – but that’s not much of an achievement, since there are only two identifiers.
Obscure Calisto 32 IDs of 69 observations (46%) – top identifier again
V-mark Skipper – 36 IDs of 87 observations (41%) – and again, top identifier

So you see, even two-digit ID counts can get you top ranking if the number of observations is also only two-digit. The trick is to learn something less popular, that fewer people know.


You can’t do that from the IDs tab on the Dashboard but there is a different page you can search IDs from. Butterfly IDs by you:
But yes it would be nice if it was accessible from there.

looking at this again, i think a more useful display of this kind of information would be to list, by taxon, your identification or observation count, plus the count for the top identifier(s) or top observer(s). this kind of information would be a little more actionable, i think, letting you know not just a binary whether or not you’re the top identifier/observer, but telling you how many additional identifications/observations you would need to make to become the top identifier/observer. it’s basically the same process to get the data, except that you would display the top identifier’s / top observer’s count instead of their login (or some sort of comparison between your count and the top count).

i’m still not sure that even this would be more beneficial than not. so i’m still not going to code this. but if someone is thinking about it, i think this would be a better design.

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