What's your worst/most embarrassing ID mistake?

I choose Anisoptera (dragonflies) when I mean Anisophyllum (plant), so maybe we can trade :/

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ID’d a bird as Magnoliopsida somehow in like 2018. Someone tagged me to fix it but I didn’t see it. Found it yesterday. Whoops

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My humble beginnings of inaturalist this happened, somebody gave me an id (biting stonecrop) on my post and I agreed with them, so I typed in “biting” and it showed up biting stonecrop. I clicked it and for some reason it switched to “biting midge”! It was so embarrassing because I didn’t notice and I posted it. Then I realised that I gave the explanation of something along the lines of “I think you are right in saying it is biting stonecrop.” and I put in biting midge! It was so awkward!

I changed it to biting stonecrop anyway and mentioned it was a mistake.

Also not to mention when I was new and sea thrift was just getting its flower heads and inat recommended me “douglasia” since the flower heads resembled that unopened. I put that for every single sea thrift observation I had. It is really embarrassing to look back on that now.

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Stuff like that happens to me all the time when I’m IDing. :-)

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My very first observation when joining iNat back in 2012 - I input the wrong coordinates and the Tokay Gecko ended up “hanging out up there with the Polar bears” (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/55551) - LOL.
And had a good laugh with the kids when a few weeks ago “seek” identified a young domestic chicken as squirrel - but that’s due the to boy’s camera handling: must have been at a weird angle.

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Seek identified a relative’s chihuahua as a ‘domestic guinea pig’ and I still laugh about that sometimes

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https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/88054626
I thought this hoverfly grub was a leafhopper, maybe freshly molted. Head on the left (see the bumps that kinda look like eyes?), a line down its back that I took for the line between the wings.

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IDing Equisetum arvense as Equisetum ramosissimum and thinking mine was the first sighting of the plant in my area
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/89160882
I even considered IDing it down to subspecies but gladly I was stopped by experts, lol

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I can laugh now, but it took me 3 months to realize these weren’t beetles https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/83091999

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That seems to be a “concurrency issue” in the underlying software. Similar things happened to me, and I reported it here:
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/citrus-x-latifolia-instead-of-butterfly/14942
But, as any software developer can tell you, concurrency issues are terrible to diagnose and even worse to fix.

A while ago I was excited to identify a fungus as dog vomit slime mold. A very nice identifier pointed out that it was most likely pine sap.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/34893796

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Thanks for this URL, @alan_rockefeller ! I just went through and dealt with about 200 maverick cases. I think I’m right for 9 of them, wrong one way or another for the others.

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I can’t recall the worst, but i have many wrong ids even the easiest one. The most recent that i can think of are these two observations

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/90724951, for this one, the lighting is so bad that the colour altered very much. I realized after browsing for the species for comparation for the second obs.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/93977642, for this one. I just completely messed up, didn’t pay attention to the location and just assume the closest species.
Realized my mistake when i checked R. princeps species profile to find if someone make mistakes. Of course i find one, and it was me.

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Easy to do! I have mistaken yellow pollen for a possible pathogen before.
There are moths that mimic wasps and they continue to fool me. I need to remind myself that if it is much slower than a wasp usually is maybe it isn’t a wasp! Tiny scales should be a giveaway that its a moth, but evidently the overall impersonation is pretty good.
Not being formally trained in either entomology or botany—I tend to recognize organisms holistically. Some of us play by ear as it were, but others read music. Some can do both—they combine a knack of recognizing and recalling patterns with rigorous training.

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I’ve done this before! pine sap really can look like slime molds on occasion. Fun fact: slime molds aren’t fungi! they are protozoans! really strange group

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