New to iNaturalist - how do I request an ID?

I have a moth I’d like ID’d and a friend suggested I use iNaturalist. I’ve been poking around and I’m not sure if I use the Forum, or if I do something within iNaturalist itself as an “Observation”? Where do I post the photos and question so people will see it?

Sorry for the dumb question.

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Hi there, and welcome!

You can upload your photo in one of several ways. Either go to inaturalist.org , or download one of the apps (android or iOS).

To “ask” for an ID, just put your observation in a general category such as “butterflies”, and wait. This will put it into the “needs ID” queue for butterflies, where volunteer identifiers can find it.

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And if you want a specific person to check it out, say the user teellbee, you can use use the comment: @username. In this example, @teellbee

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No, it isn’t a dumb question.

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Thanks everyone. I managed to get as far as uploading the five photos to my Observations, but I don’t see anywhere to Ask For ID. It kept prompting me to add the name of the species, which of course, I don’t know. I also want to ask why this species of moth lays it’s eggs on every single windowscreen in my house at exactly this time of year every year. I couldn’t find a “butterfly category” either. Maybe that was in the Forum, and not my Observations? Sorry for the confusion.

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Just type in “suggest ID” moth or butterfly, it will propose you something at that level, accept and you will see the needs ID appear
That said, what does it suggest ?

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“Butterfly Category” refers to the observations within the group Papilionoidea, the Butterflies.

Just type as high a taxon as you know (in this case, just type Moths and Butterflies) and you can ask your question in the forum. Also, adding the observation automatically adds it for people to check and ID.

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I expect you have 5 observations for the same moth. Better is to create 1 observation and add all five photo’s, add a taxon name like moths and add a location.

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One way to ‘ask’ for an id is to look at the Leaderboard (I use a PC, so it’s low down on the right side), then @username a person there. Keep in mind that a person at the top of the leaderboard may be busy! Often these things take time. I’ve seen observations several years old.
It takes time to learn the in’s and out’s of iNat.

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when a new observation is created, it is automatically in the Needs ID queue – a request is made. But if you add your own ID, not of a species necessarily, even ‘‘insect’’, this makes the process faster.

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Thanks everyone. I think I have my “NEEDS ID” moth observation loaded correctly finally.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/93149030

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:+1: Good luck with your next observation.

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Best of luck, and welcome!!!