Possible identical observations - same species and area

What is the best way to handle ‘possible identical observations’? Let us say I made an observation of a Red Admiral two days ago, spotted in my garden. Today I see a Red Admiral in my garden again. It could be the same, and it could be another specimen. What is the best ‘policy’ for these observations of the same species in the same area?


This happens to me too. Perfectly fine to observe it again, assuming the evidence (photos) are distinct, and the date & location are accurate.



" What Are Observations?
An observation records an encounter with an individual organism at a particular time and location."…


You can 100% create an observation for it, even if it is the same individual butterfly, as long as the new observation is created on a different day than the first!

You can observe an individual as many times as you like, as long as the observations are on different days. For example, there is a small herd of deer that visit a park nearby, and I’ve observed one of the bucks who has slightly lopsided antlers a few times now, each on different days. It’s the same deer, but since they’re made at different times, it’s perfectly fine to have multiple observations for it!

In fact, it’s beneficial - it shows that this same deer has a habit of coming to this park at certain times of day!

As another example, I’ve recently started a project where I’m going to take photos of one particular tree every day for a year, assuming I’m able to get to it (I’ve missed three days so far due to rain, and broken glass on the sidewalk), so that the tree’s growth and behavior over the whole year can be recorded!


Another benefit is when a genus or species has less than 100 observations on iNat. The more you add, the closer it is to inclusion in the CV model, as long as you follow other guidelines/best practices.


You can observe the same specimen each day, it’s totally within what you can or should do, depending on your wish.

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Just make an observation of it. Even if it is the exact same individual, you are seeing it on a different day.


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