What species should we clean up in the future?

I am posting this because we want to clean up a species that the community thinks should be cleaned up (and also we cant decide which to clean up next)

When i say “clean up” i mean adding annotations such as life stage, sex, plant phenology, etc (There are a shockingly high number of observations that have not been annotated)

If you have an idea on a species that needs to be “cleaned up”, please let us know by posting on this topic the species name, observation count (global) and why you feel like it needs to be cleaned up.

If you want to help clean up a species, We started a project called the “iNaturalist Annotation Effort” with guidelines on how to sex a species, how to identify them etc. https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/inaturalist-annotation-effort

If this type of post is not allowed here, please contact me and i will delete this right away. I do not want to cause trouble, i just want to help.

Note : We also correct misidentifications if we find them.

Currently suggested :
Bull Thistle (Cirsium Vulgare)
Wasp spider (Argiope bruennichi)
Banded garden spider (Argiope trifasciata)
Leaf mines
Asarum canadense
Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis)


You can check for ideas on this archived cleanup post:

Thank you, but we also want to see what the community wants to be cleaned up.

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They want to add annotations, that topic is about wrong ids.

misidentifications have been found while we have been annotating


It would be useful to know which types of critters the project team is knowledgeable about. That might narrow down the range from a very large number to a slightly smaller number.


You should do the bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare) or some other thistle. It has 65,323 observations and cleaning it up would help with how commonly thistles are mis-identified.


For me personally, i deal with plants and insects (Mostly plants)

Just post anything that you think is important.

we do extensive research via observations, scientific articles, etc before we attempt to tackle a species so that we lower the risk of making false annotations or false id’s.


Spiders - esp. Araneidae - are pretty easy to learn (I could also help pointing you guys in the right direction if you want) and you could do basically any Argiope spider … maybe Argiope trifasciata (~18.000 observations) yould be a nice start, as they are distributed widely and thus it would impact a huge variety of observations worldwide.
I personally would also love Agriope bruennichi :-)


Good idea Ajott!

You mentioned helping to point us in the right direction? sure! we need all the help we can get
more users = more annotations and more misidentifications found

I think most folks are going to thing “cleaning up” means correcting misidentifications. Would recommend that you stick with “annotate” if that’s the goal.

Everyone has their favorite taxa, so I don’t think there will be anything resembling a consensus here.

Whenever I don’t want to put in much thought, I’ll add plant phenology (blooming, not blooming, fruiting) to species that I like.


This project also does correct misidentifications, its just annotating thats the main focus

If the project gets more members i might consider adding someone else to the “Correcting” team

Leaf mines and galls stuck at higher levels need annotating so that they can be found more easily.

( although it’s unclear how to annotate mines at present )


Probably easiest to add them to one of the Leafminers projects:

Australian Leaf Miners
Leafminers of Africa
Leafminers of Asia
Leafminers of Europe
Leafminers of North America
Leafminers of South America


If anyone wants any of the Russula mushrooms that are red and ID’ed to species without detailed annotation and/or microscopy cannot be put to species but still tens of thousands of observation like R. rosacea are put to species cause of CV.


I know that this topic is more focused towards annotations, but I feel that Trachemys species around Costa Rica (and probably around the rest of Central America) are pretty frequently misidentified. I’m only aware of CR misidentifications, but between the three species of slider that can be found in the country (T. venusta, T. grayi, and occasionally, T. scripta) many research grade observations are incorrect. It appears that many observations IDed as T. venusta are actually T. grayi, and sometimes the other way around. I could be wrong, however, but I am basing my information in that T. venusta has a postorbital stripe that reaches the eye and that the first vertebral scale is longer than wide as opposed to T. grayi.

I am considering adding a “Misidentifications and Unknown” side-project once theres enough people in the iNaturalist Annotation Effort.

Thank you for mentioning this rinaturalist, as this information will be useful even though we are focusing more on annotations right now.

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Phenology annotations for Asarum canadense! There is an impending taxon split, see here: https://www.inaturalist.org/flags/603109 It will be helpful for identification purposes to have flowering status if the split goes through.


When it comes to annotations, pretty much everything needs to be annotated! As of the time of writing, I’m using plant phenology as an example: there are 46,182,711 (verifiable) observations of flowering plants (Angiospermae), but only 4,776,654 (verifiable) observations of flowering plants with plant phenology annotations. So almost 90% of flowering plant observations are missing them.

This view is pretty interesting, because it shows the most-annotated plant species, i.e. species that have been the focus of past annotating efforts.


Oh no… yeah im not doing roughly 40 million observations on my own. If i attempt something like that, it will only be because i have many people in the project. Currently there are only 4 people in the iNaturalist Annotation Effort