Obvious Identifications

Hi, I’m a new user with a question about identifying. Is it helpful to identify in broad/obvious categories for unknown observations? Example: Someone’s posted a picture of what is clearly a mushroom, but it’s marked as unknown. I don’t know what mushroom it is, but I know it’s a type of fungi so I suggest as such. Is this helping funnel the observation towards those who’ll be able to identify it or am I just wasting time by doing this?

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Yes, it’s very useful and funnels them to interested parties, as you describe. Keep it up!

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https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/does-anyone-else-get-bothered-by-how-many-observations-are-marked-as-unknown-species/31896

https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/identifying-taxa-just-to-remove-them-from-unknown/33749

https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/amount-of-unknown-records-is-decreasing/8594

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Welcome Harleywyrm! This is exactly what I do on global unknowns. Like you, I know that mushroom like specimens are fungi. There are lots of these. By moving to the fungi kingdom, people interested in fungi can refine the ID. Plants, I can recognize a plant, and often know it is a dicot or a monocot. Again it heads the observation in the right direction. Most unknowns can be sorted using just a basic familiarity with life forms. At a more local level, you might be able to narrow it down quite a bit further. Thanks for helping ID observations.

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Yes, very useful! Doing this brings the observation to the attention of the relevant specialists who can provide a specific ID. For instance, I have a particular interest in the spiders of Madagascar and have my dashboard set up to automatically show me any new spiders logged from Madagascar. If a user marks a sighting just as an animal, or as nothing at all, then it won’t show up in my feed until somebody IDs it at least as a spider, if not a particular spider family or genus.

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The broader groups yes.
And the broad plant groups, where you have an enthusiastic pool of identifiers available.

But for the

Rest of Africa broad plant categories

is daunting! 38K for me

Yes, keep on going. There is some boilerplate text here which you can copy and paste to explain to users why they should add IDs to their observations.

2 Likes