Would it be feasible to add a species (undescribed) category? (not in observation fields but in species)

as we probably al know there are a lot of undescribed species and on inat we have to leave them at genus level even if we know what they are… is there any way to get around this even if we could add the species in a casual way that doesn’t effect research done using the data? i think if there was it would be awesome just don’t know so much about the logistics?

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You can add observations to the project for undescribed species, so you can find them.


As mentioned previously, projects are a good way to find these. Undescribed species and taxa or Undescribed species on iNaturalist are great places to look. While not exclusively meant for undescribed taxa, the First known photographs of living specimens project has some in there as well!

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FWIW, there was a recent feature request along these lines, which we won’t be moving forward on.


There are a ton of undescribed species, but I find it extremely difficult to actually confirm that a given species is actually undescribed. In my experience it takes an expert with that specific genus who is very familiar with the specific geographical area.

It’s a high bar to meet and I’d be skeptical of most postings claiming to be of “undescribed” species.

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There are a decent amount of undescribed species already in the iNat taxonomy, and they’re a bit of a curatorial headache.

I am aware of Psoralea as sp.18 for example. (Brian du Preez is working on Fabaceae taxonomy, he is Mr Fab on iNat)

CV needs to be warned that species novum should NOT be offered as a visual match, ahead of the genus.

For more info the species i am talking about are the undescribed members of the nz cicada genus kikihia. all of which have been mentioned in texts by experts (Dugdale and fleming) and weree given ranges and descriptions/habitats however they never got around formally writting about them in papers … all of them are distinct and fairly easy to id based on range and anatomy/appearance and in some cases even song (Fleming decided to record sound from a few of them. they had distinct songs) the species include kikihia “murihikua” (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/110787483 and https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/109598135 aswell as allot of other obs…) and kikihia “nelsonensis” (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/106733474).

Perhaps best not to have undescribed species be easily findable on iNaturalist. Somebody needs to study and describe those undescribed species. Many are being worked on currently. We don’t want someone else rushing in and doing a rushed job while the original finder is working away.

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