Observation stuck at Genus despite Species ID's


Does not say user has opted out of Community ID, and nothing is checked for Yes, it can be improved. It’s just not recognizing the species-level IDs. ??

Not a bug, just posted this comment in the observation:

Community ID is based on greater than 2/3 agreement, which is currently true for the Family, but not for the species, where there is exactly 2/3 agreement.

See this FAQ.

well, there’s also the orbweaver ID that disagrees with everything below family. if that ID wasn’t a disagreement, then the observation ID would be at the species level right now.

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Is that how it is behaving? It only says disagrees this is Araneus angulatus, not with everything below family.

It must be that, @pisum! We’ve never had an issue before where we had a family ID and two subsequent species IDs that refined it.

Thank you for the help, @jdmore. RG achieved!

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yes, i think they have plans to allow a second type of disagreement which is more specific, but i don’t think they’ve released that to the general public yet, and until then any disagreement is a blanket disagreement to everything below the disagreeing ID. see https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/change-wording-used-by-the-system-when-downgrading-an-observation-to-an-higher-level-taxa/3862/94.

EDIT: instead of “to everything below the disagreeing ID”, maybe it’s “to everything between the disagreeing ID and the taxon disagreed with, along with children of anything in that chain”.

Ah yes, thanks for reminding us of that whole discussion. Good case in point here of why revisions are needed!


Sorry but can you point me to the specific faq? I have scanned all the ones at the link provided but I’m just not seeing anything about species ID requiring exactly 2/3, wh/ I confess seems a bit odd… Or am I (as so often happens!) misunderstanding?


So it is FAQ #2 in the Identifications section of the Help pages, and the link seems to be working for me. Check the very top of your browser window after following it – and you may have to scroll up a little if it doesn’t position perfectly.

And I think I did say that Community ID requires greater than 2/3 agreement, not exactly 2/3, which is what that FAQ also says.

What Jim meant (I think) is that “exactly 2/3” is not “greater than 2/3”. The next ID would potentially make 3/4 and that would be greater than 2/3 :)


I’m so sorry - I misread your statement that there were exactly 2/3 agreement to mean there had to be 2/3 agreement - it does help to read a bit more carefully :-/ Thank you for the info.


I think there was a bug in that observation, because right after we got it to RG, I ID’d another one that had the exact same flow:

incorrect species ID (withdrawn after correct species ID)
family ID (disagreement)
correct species ID
Here I added another correct species ID, and it went to RG without a problem—exactly what we had done in the observation referenced in the post, but that one didn’t. :woman_shrugging:

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what’s the ID on that other observation?

:smirk: I had a feeling someone was going to ask for specifics. I’ve probably ID’d a couple hundred since then, so I don’t remember any details except that it was family Araneidae (Orbweavers) and some orbweaver species.

Agreed that the original instance appears to be a bug. Once the original species level ID was removed, the family ID should no longer be treated as a disagree (as you can’t disagree with something that isn’t there). So in that case there is 100% agreement (2/2) at the species level.

I have never seen a case like this in any IDs I have made - they have all gone to RG for species without removing the family-level ID.

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can you provide an example of a case where a disagreement did not prevent an observation from achieving Research Grade?

Here’s one like my example: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/31251801

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Hmmm, that does seem to be the same situation, but reaching research grade. Unless the earlier withdrawn Pholcidae ID somehow changed the disagreement status of the active Pholcidae ID?

Otherwise, I wonder if the projected modifications to the ID system might have been released during this discussion…? :thinking:

Yes, withdrawing the ID that is being disagreed with removes the “disagreement” part of the ID. That’s how the system has always worked.

It’s always seemed odd to me that it works that way, as it leads to some weird situations like the following:

  1. Observer identifies record as Species X

  2. I add a dissenting genus level ID because it is not Species X, but is another member of that genus that is difficult to ID to species.

  3. Observer re-selects Species X - this makes my genus level ID no longer “disagreeing” because it withdraws the earlier ID I disagreed with

  4. A second identification of Species X by another user pushes the record to Research Grade.

I don’t have time to go digging for one now, but this is typical behavior that I’ve seen hundreds of times. If I stumble on one, I’ll post it here.