Parsing species names is failing

Please fill out the following sections to the best of your ability, it will help us investigate bugs if we have this information at the outset. Screenshots are especially helpful, so please provide those if you can.

Platform (Android, iOS, Website): website

App version number, if a mobile app issue (shown under Settings or About):

Browser, if a website issue (Firefox, Chrome, etc) : Chrome Version 115.0.5790.170 (Official Build) (x86_64)
Same failure with Safari Version 14.1.2 (14611. (Mac)

URLs (aka web addresses) of any relevant observations or pages:

Screenshots of what you are seeing (instructions for taking a screenshot on computers and mobile devices:

Description of problem (please provide a set of steps we can use to replicate the issue, and make as many as you need.): After finishing its upload of metadata on batches of observations, the uploader is failing to parse species names which are part of the filename. This was a much-appreciated feature in recent years which has saved countless hours of typing. E. g.,

Step 1: Drag and drop images to the upload page. Each image file has a Latin species name as part of the filename.

Step 2: Wait for metadata upload to be completed.

Step 3: Species names fail to be displayed; the species name field remains blank.

what are some of the filenames that you used? when i tested just now, i had no problem getting the taxon pre-populated based on a scientific name within the filename of the uploaded image file:

I sometimes have this issue. In my case it often seems to be related to connection speed and packet loss, between my ISP and the iNat server, not iNat itself or the files.

For the set of four examples above (a test upload), the file names are, from L to R:
Anavitrinella addendaria_2989
Biston betularia_3103

The issue has continued for me for dozens more uploads–no species names parsed from filenames such as these.

I should mention that I’m doing one small step in my upload process slightly differently than in the past. Previously I was exporting such files from iPhoto to a separate uploads folder on my Mac desktop, then dragging and dropping the files onto iNat’s upload page from that folder. With these recent uploads, I am dragging and dropping directly from within the iPhoto image collection. My next step will be to go back to my old way of using an intermediate uploads folder. I’ll advise on the outcome of that test.

i don’t have any problems loading using your filenames. so drag and drop from iPhoto seems to be the likeliest factor that leads to the problem. it may be worth looking at the photo page of one of your photos uploaded via your new method to see what is the filename recorded there. (it’s possible that the filename that you get when you drag and drop from iPhoto does not reflect the actual filename of the underlying file.)

other than that, this seems to be the best guidance for now:


That seems to be the issue. The filenames of those images dragged directly from iPhoto have only the default prefix “IMG_” whereas those that have been exported in that intermediate step are tagged with the species name, which is subsequently parsed properly. So it’s back to the old “Texas Two-Step” process for me!


i’m not a Mac user, but from what i gather from this discussion:, it seems like you can’t actually change the filename from iPhoto / Photos. instead, the title field shows the filename by default, and if you change that, you’re actually changing the title of the photo, not the underlying filename.

however, based on this:, it looks like you might be able to add some keyword tags, and i wonder if by adding a taxon name as a keyword, you can get that tag to translate into a taxon name when you upload in iNat?

I think you are correct that on my Mac, I can’t actually change the original filename. However, both on the desktop display of images and for export purposes, I can use the “title” I give each image. I should have clarified that the “filenames” I listed above are actually–in Mac terms–my titles of the images. Those are what I export to my intermediate uploads folder and those are properly parsed by iNat.

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