What is a placeholder ID?

I’m a forum newbie. I’ve seen you refer to “placeholders” a few times, but have no idea what those are. Could you be so kind as to explain or link to the explanation? Are placeholders non-standard common names stuck in the suggested ID field but not linked to one of iNat’s accepted taxa?



When you first upload an observation, you include it with an ID. If what you initially typed in isn’t recognised by iNaturalist’s database, it will become a placeholder ID and doesn’t contribute to the community identification. This usually happens when you misspell a word or enter a taxon that isn’t currently on iNaturalist.

When another user enters an ID on the observation, the placeholder ID will disappear.


Thank you.

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Here’s an example:

“Placeholder: Avery strange trillium”

That one is okay - because the text is also in the Notes - which don’t automagically disappear. Very strange is just a double flower? - can happen.

This one will disappear. Since it is marine life on the ocean floor - it helps to know what the observer ‘saw’. Needs a copypasta in a comment.

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PS dear moderator - this thread is an answer to question 4 on the original post.
We 3 are not off topic.

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