Multiple species

Hi! New here… really enjoying the site.

I was wondering how I should handle a photo that has more than on species in it that I would like confirmation on the IDs. Thanks!


The same way as any other photo, there’re always many species presented, you add an id you want to get, if specimen is far or can’t be easily noticed, adding a cropped version as #1 photo of observation and writing some notes would help with possible cofusion, for other species you should add more observations.


Welcome! Use the same photo, but post individual observations for each species. Use the description field to explain which part of the photo you are trying to ID in each observation.



Once you add an observation, just click duplicate on the upper right and you’ll have another where you can ID the other species you are interested in highlighting from that photo or photos. Be sure to crop and add notes as mentioned by @Marina_Gorbunova and @imwolfe


In the notes or the comments

This obs is for the bee. The flower is at obs link
And vice versa on the flower obs


An interesting example (not mine) - It may have been better to include a specific link to the observation, but at least we know that the observation in question is not the Owl.
Communication is the key.

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Funny part both moth and this owl here have the same name.)

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People often don’t read the descriptions/notes when identifying unfortunately, so I have found the best way is to mark the photo with a circle or arrow if you can. Here’s an example from my observations with four species included:

In this particular case, I could have cropped the photo to isolate the species in question, but I felt that showing the whole photo gave the image important behavioural context. In each case, I added a supplementary zoomed-in image.


Note that those marks are part of the image and the computer vision model might use those photos. It’s unclear whether that will make a difference in training, but I’d suggest not marking photos. If someone adds a wrong ID, you can tag them in a comment.


In one of mine, I did it so as to be sure to avoid being bumped back for “multiple species”: Panamic Comb Venus (Hysteroconcha lupanaria) from Canoa, Ecuador . The observation for the second species, however, was cropped.


Yes, but in my experience they’ll usually withdraw if the observer or another IDer points the description/notes out.
An initial ID from the observer also helps, even if it is a coarse ID.
If both species fall under the same coarse ID (eg. a raptor eating a pigeon, and the observer chooses the ID “birds”), then the observer can leave a comment can in the coarse ID.

And the observer can always add a comment later.

Communication is key.


Sure but there wasn’t actually any rule that required you to cross out the other specimen to get corroborating IDs. There is a norm (not sure if an actual policy) to follow the lead of the observer in IDing when there are multiple species in one photo. Since you had already correctly noted H. lupanaria was present, the person who initially commented might just as easily have agreed with that, while making their comment about the other species.


Thanks for the help everyone!


I could have sworn staff has said it somewhere, but I can’t find it right now.
It is in the identification etiquette wiki, though.
See point 11:


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