Statements to Paste into Observations as You Identify

Here are a few of the statements I keep to post into observations as I identify them. iNaturalist has some good statements written up. They can be found at (Thanks @sambiology for that link!)

GENERAL NAMES: I put the general name "butterflies and moths" on your observation so that people who know them well can find it and perhaps give you a more precise name. (Obviously, substitute in Spiders or Birds or whatever, as appropriate.)

MULTIPLE SPECIES: You have posted photos of several species in this one observation. Please post these species separately, so each one can get its own name. Here’s a tutorial about how to do it: . Near the "Edit" button in the upper right corner of the observation you'll see a little arrow; click that and get a short list. Choose "Duplicate." Then delete the extra photo from each copy.

ROSES: This is a cultivated, hybrid rose. It has complicated ancestry and no scientific species name at the species level. For more information, please see je9h's discussion of hybrid roses and iNaturalist at: If you want to know the name of this rose cultivar, it's better to consult one of the websites or Facebook pages devoted to cultivated roses.

GEOPRIVACY: When you choose the geoprivacy setting "private," we identifiers don't even know what continent the observation is from. That can make identification difficult. If you want to keep the location hidden, please either change the geoprivacy setting to "obscured," which will smear the possible location out over a few square miles, or add a comment telling us the continent and general region where this organism was observed.

BLACKBERRIES along the Pacific Coast: This is either Rubus armeniacus or R. bifrons. The problem isn't plant identification -- this is the Blackberry That Ate the Pacific Northwest -- but taxonomic philosophy. If we consider the minor differences supposedly distinguishing R. armeniacus from R. bifrons to be trivial, these blackberries are all R. bifrons. If we consider them two different species, ours are R. armeniacus. People firmly disagree.

TAMARIX: Tamarisks introduced to North America are hybridizing themselves into one big interbreeding group. They are "despeciating" and Tamarix is really enough of an identification at this time.

RAPHANUS: Raphanus sativus and R. raphanistrum hybridize so extensively on the west coast that they are "despeciating" and are no longer two species, if they ever were.

EARTHWORMS. Maybe Lumbricus terrestris, maybe not. Identifying earthworms to species is really difficult. The best name for this observation is Lumbricidae, the earthworm family. Occasionally an earthworm specialist comes along along and identifies what he can.

BOUGAINVILLEA: Bougainvillea is a South American genus that contains 18 species. Many of the cultivated bougainvilleas are the result of crosses among just three of the species recognized by botanists: B. spectabilis, B. glabra, & B. peruviana. There are more than 300 culivars of Bougainvillea in the world. Because many of the hybrids have been crossed with other hybrids, it is difficult to identify their respective origins. In addition, similar natural mutations seem to have arisen in different parts of the world; this as resulted in many names for the same cultivar and has contributed to the confusion about the names of the hybrids within this genus. At this point, it is impossible to assign a valid scientific name or cultivar name to any given Bougainvillea. (fide Alexiz)

USNEA LONGISSIMA: This is not Usnea longissima, which consists of long, unbranched or rarely branched main cords with short side branches about perpendicular to the main cord. Unfortunately, the computer that gives identification suggestions labels most Usnea as U. longissima.

Publicado por sedgequeen sedgequeen, 23 de mayo de 2021


Hey Barbara, I do the same thing -- I have my "frequent comments" that I copy and paste on a lot of observations. Here's the page on iNat for responses:

Honestly, in most cases, it a person that's just getting started with iNat and they need a touch of guidance. So these sorts of comments are good for that feedback. :)

Publicado por sambiology hace 5 meses (Marca)

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