Species doesn't show up on life list

I just noticed that a species for which I have a research-grade observation is not showing up when I search my life list for that species (or that genus). In this case, it’s Sassacus papenhoei, but it certainly makes me wonder what else is not findable when I search that way. Are there better ways to search iNat for my own observations? Thanks!

Lists are one of the older features on iNat and known to be buggy. You can try reloading the list based on your observations:

I usually search my observations on the main observations page:

You can also view them sorted by taxonomic groups at this link:


Yeah, they are very buggy. Mine periodically drops all organisms that I manually added rather than have an observation of. In my case, reloading seems to fix it, at least temporarily,

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I find this happens often with my lifelist.
To correct I have found that when in your lifelist you need to go to the stat area on the right side of the screen, under: “Observed: yes,no,any” select no and run the filter.
This seems to give you all the species that are not being picked up by your lifelist.
I get species I have observed yet the system doesn’t recognize for whatever reason.

Once you run the filter you will see the species that need refreshing. You will probably notice they are species you have observed but your own photo’s are not displayed with them.
Next go into “edit” for each picture\observation
Once in the edit mode you will see refresh under the picture. After selecting refresh it should update the observation and replace with your own photo and add to your lifelist.
You will need to do this individually with each observation the system didn’t recognize as your own.
Hopefully you can follow my method and it works for you.


Does this delete species on the list that are “unobserved”? For instance, I add a bird to my life list manually because I have no photo to post for it it, and then I use “reload from observations”. Would that then remove manual additions?

Not in my testing, unless it takes a while for it to get removed from the list. I added “koala” to my list, so if it’s still here, then no, manually added things don’t get removed when you click the two available options under Tools.

If you have an observed date and location for the bird, why not just add a photoless observation instead? (I generally just ignore my Life List because it’s been buggy for years and I can generate the same information using other parts of the site.)

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There are some things I have no date or location record for. Like I know I saw X or Y at one point, and probably around some location, but the date is unknown. Having a point with no date or location is pretty useless I think.

I have 12 pages of “unobserved” species on my life list that I have observed…manual sort-out takes too long.

I just tried this and it made no apparent difference, besides increasing the total of “observed” species. The unobserved is unchanged.

Thanks everyone!

I had no luck with this. When I ran the filter after selecting “no” it said “no species on this list yet”. On my profile page stats and on my life lists page it says I have observed 2816 species but if I click on the “your observations” tab it says I’ve observed 3202 species. That’s a really big difference. I can add a few manually that I observed recently that I noticed didn’t get added but I’m not sure how I’d go about finding the other 400 out of nearly 10,000 observations I’ve uploaded. I don’t ever use the life list function because I know its inaccurate but it would be nice if it matched the actual number of species I’ve seen and was reflected on my profile page.

Sorry to hear that method didn’t work. You could try re-syncing\reloading your entire life list if you haven’t already. Otherwise I’m out of suggestions.

Link below goes into detail how species are counted and near the bottom how to resync life list.

There are two problems here of course: 1. life list or species count is inconsistent over different sources (e.g. leaderboard, searching all of your observations in the obs search, seeing your account “species”, and then on the life list), and 2. that life list is incorrectly adding species as “unobserved”, which leads them to not count in the total.

I’ve noticed for some time now that my species/life list number doesn’t change with the addition of new ones. At first I wondered if it was only counting confirmed spp., but that’s not the case. Wondering if this is an issue, or if I’m reading something wrong.


Lists are a very old and buggy module on the site. They are well known for inconsistent behaviour.

At the top of the list page, there is a drop down called tools, if you run the 2 in the order listed, it will try and force it back to a current state, but honestly it is a matter of time until it is out of synch again.

If you want to know your total species count a better option is to learn to use the query tools available under the Explore page.

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Thank you, cm. I will try that.

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My number of species don’t ascend often when I put new observations of species that I don’t put before. I lot of species that I put observations was not in my species list. I had some manually with success but for majority it not works when I try to ad it manually. Do it’s a bog?

I would not describe the life list as “buggy”; I would describe it as “broken”.

I’ve reported observations of five plants that I ID’ed to species level and that were marked “research grade”, and of these, only two plants show up on my life list.

When I clicked “Reload from observations” as suggested by @bouteloua, it deleted both species from the list and instead now shows two higher-level taxa.

After fiddling with the lists for a while, I concluded it was a broken feature and I haven’t wasted my time with it since then. I would love to see it fixed, personally, as I like the incentive it sets up to try to learn how to ID, and then observe and report more species in a particular area to “build your list”.

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If you go to the life list and filter “unobserved”, it should show all the ones that are missing. It always adds the species to your life list, regardless. But sometimes it doesn’t pick it up as one you’ve “observed”.

I did this and found that it was only species with one observation that weren’t showing up in my life list. There were five pages worth of them for me. I did this for each one but it didn’t change the number of species showing. The life list also only shows I have submitted four butterfly species when it should show 70 species

I tried but have no idea how to do this.