RHoman's picture


If I search for the term "leaf mine", I get an error message = You must include at least one positive keyword with 5 characters or more.

The same problem arises with a search for "gall".



DavidHowdon's picture

Seems to occur

whenever all the words in the search term contain less than five characters. (e.g. "moth" causes the problem but "moths" does not).

David Howdon

RHoman's picture

Which means that a host of

Which means that a host of organisms are beyond the scope of the search function - Barn Owl (Tyto alba) is just one of many. Perhaps someone could explain why search is limited in this way?

Robert Homan

miked's picture

the short answer is that i

the short answer is that i don't know. I think there were discussions about limiting shorter words as it was bringing back to many results and putting a heavy load on the system or something.
The search is being redone as part of a redesign so I suspect there will be no change in the medium term but over the longer term it will be more flexible.
perhaps ask the question again in a few months time if there is no joy in the medium term.

Jonathan's picture

There is a work-around, which

There is a work-around, which is to use the map search


I just tried Tyto alba and that worked oK.

University of Edinburgh and Biodiversity Observatory (OU)

Thistle's picture

Work-around - daft but true!

The search only objects to requests where ALL the words are of 4 letters or fewer. However, some words, eg close, observation, identification, appear on all observations so a search for "close gall" or "observation tyto alba" will work.

(Edited: correction)

Tony Rebelo's picture

Or use a date

For a while on iSpot ZA just adding a "1" solved this, but on the upgraded iSpot that does not appear to be possible again.

< edit > it works again.

Another workaround is to add a space. Of course, " " does not work, but an ASCII " " does; just at %20

So Disa will not work, but Disa%20 does. < edit > as does "Disa 1"