Your observation that took the longest time to go Research Grade?

Which 1 of your observations took the longest amount of time to go Research Grade :partying_face: (including disagreeing IDs, in between, if applicable)? Please include (in your reply) the number of months/years it took, and a link to the RG observation.

Side notes:
(… yes, I know RG isn’t always the goal for each user/observation:)

As always, keep this a friendly and respectful community, and avoid making negative comments about IDs with which you disagreed (even if they frustrated you LOL).


I’m not sure any of my observations will win this prize, but I believe this is the overall winner:

A Blue Pouch Fungus from New Zealand observed by @bacres on Aug 30, 2005 and submitted on
May 29, 2007 (their first day on the site). Somehow it took 5 years to get its first ID and didn’t get its second until 2021, 14 years after submission.

There’s hope for all the Unknowns out there!


This is the oldest entry on iNat that still got no reaction at all:

Submitted 2009 by vishalbhave. Pristine! Alga people where are you?!

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Wasn’t here, but I’ve had stuff I put up on Bugguide randomly get ID’d years later, including a moth over 13 years after I posted it. Better late than never is my philosophy.


I agree with @rupertclayton — none of mine will win this prize, either LOL. But I wonder how many and what kind of observations follow a pattern similar to this one:

A warbler observed in Chiapas, Mexico and submitted in 2013 by yamaneko sat RG as a Connecticut Warbler (with 4 agreeing IDs) — until SIX years after the submission date when @albertolobato disagreed and suggested Mourning Warbler. A thoughtful explanation for the disagreement was included, which prompted 1 of the 4 Connecticut IDs to change to Mourning. The other 3 Connecticut IDs stood, and do so to this day (at least as I’m writing). Four more Mourning IDs trickled in the same year as the disagreement — but 6 Mourning and 3 Connecticut doth not a RG observation make. It took another 2 years for Mourning IDs 7 and 8 — the latter of which was a Computer Vision Suggestion ID!

So today it sits a RG Mourning Warbler, with 3 maverick Connecticut IDs and 8 Mourning IDs, achieved over the course of EIGHT years.

I don’t know why, but that totally fascinates me :heart_eyes:!


Please if there are any Wikipedia editors on this thread?

Currently the About is trapped on Wiki’s disambiguation page.

It should go to

A little over 5 years because that’s how long I’ve been on iNat. This obs was one of my first submitted. I finally got an ID just a couple weeks ago:

Edit: Oh, I guess you meant longest between first ID and going RG. In that case, I have no idea.


No, just longest in general, either way. Thank you for sharing your Banded Pygmy Sunfish!

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I’ve only been actively using iNat from around 2017, so about that long.
I did just have this lamprey I uploaded 4 years ago finally get RG:

I have a lot of pretty easy-seeming IDs I’m kind of surprised haven’t made it, like this california poppy:


My very first upload still isnt confirmed.
Not that I blame iNat community. Not too many cave biologists, and often further knowledge that what shows in an image is needed for ID to species. Such as knowledge of the cave itself from prior or current study, or at least exact location (geological formation, hydrology, etc are all important) which I wont put on iNat for conservation reasons as we have a lot of vandalization issues in US caves in general. Of course colleagues could confirm it, but theyll still slip thru i mean the sci community knows why toss on an agree here theres more pressing research xD

This one i feel like could probably go further, and has not. Flies are hard though. I know I suck at them.

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One of my first posts Also hasn’t been figured out yet. In hindsight, I probably should have gotten better pictures of it, but I only took one because I thought it looked interesting and I didn’t know about iNat at the time.


Fixed it!


Don’t worry… Better picture might not have gotten you RG anyways… Those insects are often difficult to impossible to ID

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Not sure I can assess that, because earlier this year I uploaded a lot of old photos from ten to twenty years ago. They haven’t been sitting on iNat for those twenty years. I only joined in 2020, so none of mine can compete based on when they were submitted.

Oh wow I didn’t know they were so difficult! I just saw that there are nearly 2,000 Needs-ID observations of the genus here on iNat, yet just over 200 are Research Grade. It’s clear now that I’m far from the only one with this problem so it seems you’re right!

Well, just pick your favorite one that took a while to get IDed, if you’d like. :grin:

I still have quite a few records that have not achieved RG after several years even though the original ID is correct and there are links to associated specimens at official herbaria which confirm the ID. The reason is that there apparently is no one with the particular expertise on INaturalist who is willing to confirm them.
Of course, apart from this there are many records, particularly of insects or fungi, that simply can not be confidently confirmed to species from just images. I am sure most, if not all, INat participants will have such cases among their records. These records likely will never reach RG,
Greetings Bart Wursten


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