Viewing species in a project beyond the top 500

I’m having this problem as well. I’m using the observations under the project Moths of Costa Rica to try to make some IDs. It’s easiest to sort by species so that I don’t have to go through 16,000 plus observations every time. There are 2200 plus species but I’m allowed to see only 500. I need the photos to be able to make the ID. So how do I see the other 1700+ species in that group, by species and not by observation?
At least with the by observation option there is the possibility of going to the next page to continue but that option has not been provided on the by species page


Simply put, you can’t. It is restricted to 500 species. Why there is no paging I don’t know, but the 500 limit is to stop people doing things that would generate tens if not hundreds of thousands of species and likely cause issues for trying to generate the webpage.

The only option is to try at least and ID it to family etc and then filter to get below the 500.

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Thanks, Chris. Unforunately I don’t know enough to be able to ID it down to family. I’ve got a few hundred photos to ID. Yesterday it took me 2.5 hours of scrolling through the 500 species I could see just to get 11 photos IDed. I’ve read today somewhere that I should be able to download them all but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to “create a query”.

This page: is no help at all as it starts with the sentence “Create an observation query just like you would elsewhere on the site.” As I don’t know how to do that first sentence and have wasted at least an hour searching the forum for some sort of instruction on how to create an observation query, I’m getting pretty frustrated.

You can download a species list, but it won’t have any photos, so I’m not sure that will help you with your goals. There are no tools on the site to bulk download photos, even your own (partially to discourage the use of the site as a photo backup service).

Perhaps the best option in your case is to run the computer vision on your photo, but rather than accepting the answer, noting what the suggestion is, and then looking it up on the site to see what the family of the suggestion is, and using that for your filter. It won’t be 100 percent accurate, but it is likely better than brute force scanning.

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Ah, okay. I thought from the image shown on that link I included earlier that one of the filters was “with photo” so that dowloading them would work.
That’s a good idea re using the autosuggest to try to narrow things down though I’ve noticed that sometimes it can be really way off base. Thanks for your help with this. I will now ignore my inability to create a query and I can close the multiple tabs of forum topics that I have open but that haven’t helped me at all :)
And off I go to try to ID another 10 photos for the day, hoping it doesn’t take over 2 hours the way it did yesterday.

Can you say a little more about what you’re trying to do? I wonder if using the Identify page, or the Compare tool, might accomplish it better.

For example, here’s a link to identify Lepidoptera in Costa Rica, excluding butterflies:

I have a few hundred photos of moths that I took in Costa Rica in 2015/16. I’m now trying to upload them. I don’t have a guidebook so what I’ve been doing is scrolling through the observations by species within the Moths of Costa Rica project to find moths that look similar to the photos I have. It’s been working pretty well but I only just discovered today that only the top 500 species are listed.

I’m wondering why there isn’t a page option like there is for the observations (by observation) page so that when I get to the bottom of the page I can select to go to page 2.

The problem with using the Identify page is that they are also by observation instead of species so scrolling through them looking for one that looks like mine is a very tedious process.

I admit I haven’t used the compare tool but I wonder if it wouldn’t be a whole lot different from what the autosuggest gives me.


Thanks, I see what you mean now! Using the list of species more as a guide/resource for your own observations.

Hopefully in the eventual Explore page redesign there will be a way to see all species and not just the top 500. It’s definitely a common issue.

The way I get around it currently is by using the URL filter without_taxon_id. So if I know it’s definitely not a butterfly and also definitely not a geometer or crambid, you can search for Lepidoptera and add some additional filters to the URL to exclude those groups, which starts narrowing the list down quite a bit:,49530,52002

Lots more about searching using that Explore page and additional URL filters here:

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Thanks, bouteloua. I had found that page on how to use search urls earlier this morning in my attempt to find an answer to my question. I planned to get back to it later but for now it’s making my head spin. I’ve learned since switching to Linux from Windows that I’m much more of a GUI user than a Terminal user. The style of filtering that you suggest is more Terminal based; it’s like going back to DOS.
For now, I think I’ll try out Chris’ method which is more a GUI style. On the Observations by species page I can enter a family name and that will narrow things down rather than trying to figure out what numbers and code I need to add to the URL line. I can use the autosuggest options to find a family to try.
Still, I do hope the Explore page redesign comes up with a truly straightforward, for the user at least, solution


as hinted at in other threads (ex., you can use the Get Observation Species Counts API endpoint (!/Observations/get_observations_species_counts) to go beyond the first page of 500 species (leaf taxa).

i wrote something to help display the API response in a little more human-friendly format.

as an example of how to use this, if you wanted to see leaf taxa from the Moths of Costa Rica project, you could go to:

note that i went with small photos in this wrapper just to keep it lightweight, but if you really want to see bigger photos, you’re welcome to adapt the code on your own to display bigger versions of the photos. (hint: replace square_url with medium_url and then change the styling/CSS for the images on that page.)

while i was at it, i updated the previously written Identify Species Counts wrapper to make it easier to go beyond the first page and fixed a few other minor things, too:


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Just an update that the limit was raised and you can now view beyond 500