Opinions on Calling Out Misidentifications

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uconn fishhead
uconn fishhead's picture
Opinions on Calling Out Misidentifications

Hey Everyone,

     Having been a member for only a little under a year, I am still obviously still a rookie here.  I have been more and more browsing through the voluminous lifelists to bone up on my fish IDs for places I plan to visit.

     I am seeing an awful lot of apparently misidentifed fish.  Many are called out by members, but many have not been.  Of course, many species can't be ID'd for sure from a photo, especially if the pic is not so great.  But some of the photos are fantastic (but still mis-ID'd).

     Here and there I have commented on some photos, some of which are pretty old.  So I wonder why nobody else commented on them?  I also notice that a lot of people don't repair the species names after obvious correction from others.

     So, what's your feeling on the ettiquette here?  Are you hesitant (like I suddenly am) to correct because you don't want to come across as a know-it-all killjoy?  Or are the old timers on this site tired of trying to help people who don't listen?

     Personally, I think it's a great service to have people comment on IDs.  As you all know, fish taxonomy is really challenging - I certainly want to hear from anyone who thinks I goofed up any of my fish.

     Beyond that, one of the great services this website provides is as an aid to fish identification.  This benefit is certainly muddied if too many mis-ID'd fish are sprinkled in.

     I was just about to go on a 'rant' about apparently misidentified snappers (for example, I believe half the Dog Snappers on the site are Mangrove Snappers, the one Black Snapper is a Mangrove, and isn't the one Cubera Snapper a Dog???).  

     What are your thoughts?


Outdoors4life's picture
Call em out

I say call em out. 

When it comes to freshwater I am decent. 
Saltwater I am a novice and no experience. 

The ID is up to the individual. The admin does this out of love and does not have the time to correct these ID issues. 

We do want people to correct them so we can have a great collection of ID. It is not rude to question the ID it can start a discussion and find out better ID practices. Lately I have been pretty absent from the forum bu tmost of us go in waves. 

It is all perspective!

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andy's picture
Need to call them out

This website has always been a great resource for fish ID help, and shows up well in Google search results.  We need to be as accurate as possible.  Call 'em out, and if the original poster doesn't respond after a while an admin can change the species for them.

Susquehannock's picture

I usually don't call them out if they're more than a couple of years old. Maybe I should change that, though, you guys are right.


uconn fishhead
uconn fishhead's picture
OK, I'll Call Them Out

OK, I will start calling out misidentified species when I see them.  Sorry, if I dominate the comment/chat feed at times, but there are a lot of entries that are comment worthy.

     I also believe members should comment on any suspect fish, even when they're not sure what the correct ID is.  i.e. it is helpful for someone trying to identify an unknown fish, to be able to look at a photo and be reasonably sure that the fish was identified correctly (because none of the other members cast any doubts/comments on it).

     I don't know what to think about the unclear photos, especially when it's an uncommon species.  I feel like authors should include justification for their ID whenever a photo doesn't clearly show the traits needed to ID the fish (some members have been good about this).  Maybe more of us should think of Carl Sagan's advice:  "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence"?

     I sense among some members a 'wishful thinking' syndrome. i.e whenever a fish looks different, but they're not sure what it is, they tend to find a new species name to tag onto it.  This site does create a lot of incentive to pump up one's lifelist.


iliketofish's picture

I agree that ID comments are welcome. If I got a fish wrong, it wasn't intentional, and I would want to correct it.

I wonder if it would be possible to get notifications if someone comments on one of your pictures? Similar to the way facebook does. Cause (correct me if I'm wrong), but the only way to know if somebody commented on one of my old lifelist pics is by going through and looking at each pic. Which I doubt many people do very often.  There's the "Active Forum Topics" link, but that doesn't work for comments on pictures, as far as I know.

No clue on the logistics or coding etc. of implimenting notifications like that, and I know the admins already do a great job and put in their own time to the site. Sooo... just wondering I guess?


uconn fishhead
uconn fishhead's picture
An Alert Would be Nice

Yeah, I noticed comments belatedly on a couple of mine also.  Some kind of email alert, similar to when you get a private message?

Deftik's picture
I'd be more mad if you let me

I'd be more mad if you let me have the wrong fish ID. Call people out, we're mostly adults and should strive to be correct. Like Drew has stated above, this shows up in google very widely and will and has been used for identification purposes by experienced fisherman and newbies alike.

Your momma fishes for lifers with Eagle Claws.