Fenwickfield's picture

Frustration on observation's posted

I am becoming very disheartened about the fungi section as it seem's to have I think some major problems so here goes as I vent my spleen and apologise now for anyone which is offended by my comment's.
I have always put in a good selection of quality photo's with information on habitat,tree type,information on the gill,pores stem and cap and any other relevant information.This is mentioned in all fungi books as it is very important for a correct identification and for other's to be able to agree or advise on the identification.
If you identify a fungi on Genus only ie Mycena,Agaric I think that it is not possible to put this down as Sure as can be as it has not been narrowed down to a more detailed level so your getting points for Genus only therefore it gives a false impression of how knowledgeable you are on fungi.
I have also noticed that quite a few observation are put on with no information at all and a poor photo of just a cap or gills and it is not possible to agree on the identification as not enough information is given.The other major problem is that I feel that there are quite a few fungi agreed on that are not correct.
The other problem it that new people join the site and add an observation and there is no response even if we cannot identify it we should put something in the comments section to explain why it is not possible to give an identification. On a positive note there are some who are new to the site and have put excellent information and photo's on but this does seem to be the minority.



scubamann's picture

Information notes

I am new (relatively) to the site and share your frustration with the lack of level of descriptive notes. Even location is sometimes given as e.g. Ealing rather than Field, road verge, mountain, whatever. Though a few are good.

Fenwickfield's picture


I am pleased that it is not just me I cannot understand why people don't put the information on as it is so important and not difficult to do. I always take a small notepad and pencil to write thing's down when out if you use a pen it will not work if your paper get's wet.


scubamann's picture


Though problem is probably most crucial in Fungi, it occurs in all categories. And even without paper and pencil it should not be so difficult to remember some broad description of location/habitat.

DavidHowdon's picture

In those cases

where location, habitat, extra photos or more information is needed to allow an identification it seems a good idea to add these in the comments section (or attached to a genus / family type ID). Ispot is focused at least in part in encouraging people just beginning to ID things (although it is useful to more experienced people to) and so pointing out what is needed to allow an ID is helpful

scubamann's picture


I have done on occasion, explaining what is needed and Why.


D.M.H.'s picture

So if it is quite obviously a

So if it is quite obviously a Russula but not enought info to get species you would advocate that if Id as Russula I should only put "likely"? Does this not cast doubt I.e. Its likely to be a Russula?
Earlier I posted single photo of Aniseed Funnel but added the information on smell. In my books there is no alternative species with strong aniseed smell and a blue/green cap.Dispite not posting picture of gills, is that then not sufficient to identify?
cheers Mark


All given ID's are subject to error/ommissions. Please seek independent verification before acting on ANY advice given. BE SAFE =)

Fenwickfield's picture

missing the point

What I am saying is that a photo can sometimes make a cap look a slightly different colour depending on the exposure conditions ect so I personally think and so do the books that you should show a photo of the gills stating type decurrent,free ect,stem if hollow full ect,smell if any cut through the stem cap and show if there is a colour change as it is so important in being sure if it is the right identification.It is not a lot to ask as it only takes short time,you would be doing this anyway for an id so why not photograph it.
As for the sure as can be all I am saying is that people need it explained why it is genus only to help them understand that further information is needed to narrow the identification down as this is a site to encourage people to become interested in nature and hopefully be our future mycologists. If you just put as you said Russula (Sure as can be) and nothing in the comments box what have they learnt,why not put Russula very hard Genus would need some good photo's of the gills and stem was the cap dry sticky,tree type was there a smell,ect,ect this then engages the person to learn more.I also noticed that some people just put Fungi as the id then put sure as can be now that should not be allowed.
I am not getting at anyone specifically this is a general problem and not just with fungi



miked's picture

To add to the discussion

To add to the discussion somewhat I would like to say how helpful you have been this year on the fungi section Fenwickfield and thank you very much for this. Unfortunately I have been working all hours at work and evening on another project so had much less time than I've wanted to help out.

It can be rather frustrating when people do not put in the extra information needed to make a good diagnosis and rather a pain to keep having to write asking for more info and them seeming to ignore the requests.

In more general terms it seems there have been a wider variety of fungi this year and sometimes I have been rather at a loss as to say what they are. This makes it more interesting to see all these new things but hope they are really new to ispot and not just existing ones with somewhat dodgy pictures. In many cases they probably are really new ones.

Despite the frosts the fungi season is not over yet and November can be the month with most variety of species but also the most tricky to identify ones. I hope everyone takes plenty of photos from different angles and makes sure they are adequately sharp but also takes field notes such as smell and colour changes and generally looks at the fungi overview page for more helpful hints.