Your Vote Needed & a little Quiz

Please help us make some decisions - read more

1. Observation of May!

Which observation deserves to be observation of the month May? Please vote at
(and dont forget to nominate good observations for June (or any current month) at: or Forums > Site Feedback Forum > Observation of the Month

2. Iconic images for the "Species Surfer"
Iconic images for the Species Surfer:

We will soon have our species surfer, but we need pictures to represent the different groups. If you want your say, or have a particular picture in mind, then go to or Forums > Site Feedback Forum > Species Surfer


A little quiz

How well do you know your iSpot?

As of now:
1. What is the most recorded invertebrate species?
2. What is the most recorded mammal species?
3. What is the most recorded plant species?
4. What is the most recorded species?
5. What is the most identified (* i.e.: excluding finer IDs) Order?
6. What is the most identified* Family?
7. What is the most identified* Tribe?
8. What is the most identified* Genus?
9. How many identified plant species (* i.e. in the dictionary) are on iSpot?
X. Rank the iSpot groups based on their most recorded species.

Answer in reply if you dare! Answers will be based on the July data dump.

Answer here

Data as of 1 July data dump:

1. What is the most recorded invertebrate species?
* Gasflame Nudibranch (158), Cape Honey Bee (146), Painted Lady (105)

2. What is the most recorded mammal species?
* Kudu (105), Elephant (102), Cape Baboon (99)

3. What is the most recorded plant species?
* Common Sunshine Conebush (193), Common Sugarbush (186), King Protea (159)

4. What is the most recorded species?
* Western Leopard Toad (1 845)

5. What is the most identified* Order?
* Lepidoptera - Butterflies (623), Araneae - Spiders (163), Diptera - Flies (147)

6. What is the most identified* Family?
* Noctuidae - Moths (221), Acrididae - Grasshoppers (179), Asteraceae - Daisies (145)

7. What is the most identified* Tribe?
* Hopliini - Monkeybeetles (203), Alticini Fleabeetles (25), Anthophorini Bees (25)

8. What is the most identified* Genus?
* Helichrysym - Everlastings (163), Aspalathus - Capegorse (145), Psoralea - Fountainbush (145)

9. How many identified* plant species are on iSpot?
* 10 927 spp

X. Rank the iSpot groups based on their most recorded species.
Plants, Invertebrates, Birds, Fish, Herps, Mammals, Fungi & Lichens, Others.

*remember these are IDs to this level: it excludes IDs in this taxon at finer levels.


Plants 10 927 spp - Leucadendron salignum Common Sunshine Conebush 193 obs;

Insects: 1406 spp - Apis mellifera subsp. capensis Cape Honeybee: 146 obs;
Birds: 911 spp - Promerops cafer Cape Sugarbird: 125 obs;
Fish: 450 spp - Pachymetopon blochii Hottentot Seabream : 66 obs;
Herp: 376 spp - Amietophrynus pantherinus Western Leopard Toad: 1 845 obs;

Mammals: 240 spp - Tragelaphus strepsiceros subsp. strepsiceros Kudu: 105 obs;
Molluscs: 227 spp - Bonisa nakaza Gasflame Nudibranch: 158 obs;
Chelicerae: 212 spp - Argiope australis ??: 94 obs;

Fungi & Lichens: 190 spp - Schizophyllum commune ??: 49 obs;
Invertebrates < other inverts > : 123 spp - Melithaea rubra Multicolour Seafan: 48 obs

Crustaceans: 68 spp - Potamonautes perlatus Cape River Crab: 21 obs;
Other < red & brown algae > : 24 spp - Ecklonia maxima Kelp: 17 obs;
Bacteria: 2 spp - Phytoplasma unclassified Witches Broom: 77 obs.

Which highlights the fact: we need common names for our fungi: anyone prepared to compile a list for iSpot?

Note: want to find out more?
Remember you can use the dictionary url to see any collection based on a Scientific Name. so: e.g. (click to see):


Quite a few blanks... Probably got the others wrong too!

1. Apis mellifera subsp. capensis
2. Panthera leo subsp. leo
3. Say WHAT! No way :)
4. Western Leopard Toads!
5. Asterales
6. Asteraceae
7. Eish
8. Eish eish!
9. 46291 (45341 with likely ID)
10. Plants, Invertebrates, Birds, Fishes, Reptiles and Amphibians, Fungi and Lichens, Other

Occasional Hungarian princess who believes: Indigenous plants have every aspect covered


2. Lions: #10 with 68 observations
5. Asterales: nothing is classified this vaguely


I said I probably got the others wrong too...


Sorry Tony - haven't had the time to spend on the quiz - been a leeetle bit preoccupied.

Found the answers fascinating though! At least I did manage to get 1/10 :D

Occasional Hungarian princess who believes: Indigenous plants have every aspect covered

Thanks for trying!

Thanks for trying!

Thank you

for posing the challenge! It was rather fun trying to work out the answers - I don't mind failing and loved spending time browsing.

Occasional Hungarian princess who believes: Indigenous plants have every aspect covered


You can thank the nudibranch. Knew it would floor everyone and I wanted to see if anyone would come close.

(and also hoped that someone would discover some cool way of finding out.)

Here goes...


1. Cape Honeybee Apis mellifera subsp. capensis
2. Greater Kudu Tragelaphus strepciceros
3. Leucodendron salignum
4. Western Leopard Toad Amietophrynus pantherinus
5. Lepidoptera
6. Noctuidae (according to current dictionary, though these are now subfamily Noctuinae of Erebidae, in which case, after dictionary update, it will be Erebidae, but then the update should make all Noctuidae into subfamily Noctuinae and now I'm all confused...)
7. Hopliini
8. Oxalis (Lachenalia) (Lycus)
9. 7928
X. Plants, Invertebrates, Birds, Amphibians & Reptiles, Fish, Fungi & Lichens, Mammals, Other

Here done!!

8. Oxalis #39 with 54 obs - you underestimate Kenneth!

(Erica would have been a better bet as #4 with 141 obs; Muraltia (110), Indigofera (107) and Caloplaca (103) are the genera with over 100 observations not identified to species).

Next in the list is Xylocopa (99 obs).

Dont be confused, but these results are based on the dictionary done, but not yet loaded onto iSpot.

No. 8

But the taxonomy says there are 1377 Oxalis obs. Does this then include the ones ID'd below genus? How does one go about finding the ones ID'd to just genus?

I dont know

I was hoping you would not ask.

Will find out.

Yes 1377 observations of Oxalis are identified but only these 54 at the generic level
(i.e. 1323 at species level).

I don't know

what your last line means...


apologies: had to leave for my Saturday perambulations.
I have rewritten the meaningless sentence (the last half was gibberish): hope it makes sense now

My try

Having both Lee and Marion's lists above to guide me, I have an unfair advantage over both of them.

1. Honey Bee (species asked, not subspecies)
2. African Elephant
3. Protea cynaroides
4. Western Leopard Toad
5. Lepidoptera
6. Noctuidae
7. Hopliini
8. Hermannia
9. 6,000
X. Plants → Inverts → Birds → Herps → Mammals → Fish → Fungi & Lichens → Other → Any of the above

-- Beetledude

Let me give it a go ...

1. Apis mellifera
2. Procavia capensis (Dassie)
3. Leucadendron salignum
4. Western Leopard Toad
5. Lepidoptera
6. Ericaceae
7. Hopliini
8. Erica
9. +-8000
X. Plants, Invertebrates, Birds, Fish, Mammals, Fungi & Lichen, Other Organisms.

your go!!

2. Cape Dassie #4 at 88 obs
6. Ericaceae: with only 1 genus in the family in southern Africa, we need to ask why we even have 1 observation only IDed to family.
X: herps??

Your try!!

1. capensis*: 146 & scutellata: 39
* so 185 obs.

8. Hermannia #9 with 97 obs.

* excldes 3 as "capensis " - need to check: so 188


Since the only thing you three agree on is #1, let me correct you:
1. Apis mellifera subsp. capensis is #2 (I dont know where the "species" Apis mellifera is, but this is one setae that I wont let be unsplit!)

Clue & Rule

Thanks for clue.

I assume that there is a rule disallowing the browsing of iSpot to find an answer, so I am working from (fading) memory alone.

-- Beetledude

I dont recall

I dont recall or see any rules as to how one finds out. On the contrary, my aim was to try and get people to find out how to use iSpot for more than adding observations, making comments and posting IDs.
So, yes, I am encouraging "cheating" - or more correctly, exploration and research.

OK, I understand your aim

And hence I may be revising my answers.

-- Beetledude

Nothing in the rules

About not changing your mind or submitting only one answer!

Remember the answers may also change from now until the data dump!! You may HAVE to change your answer.


Have changed one of my answers (do you want the previous guess in brackets of iets soos daai?).


Or, if the changes are too many, then just post another ...

I am also curious

about perceptions vs the facts, so gut feel answers are also really informative!


Am I allowed to be really controversial here?

I would suggest that the fact that very few members here can answer these questions shows that there is a huge divide between how the administrators see this site and how the contributing members actually use the site.

I would like to know if I am alone or in a small minority of members who are frustrated with this site. The idea is great. The implementation is often cumbersome. The mechanisms of how it all works is difficult for new-comers to grasp and it can be quite unfriendly if you put a foot wrong in trying to set up a record of what you think was an exciting spot.

I would like to hear some other views - particularly from the amateur contributors.

Thank you,

Mike Rex

Not for the fainthearted!

Sorry, to participate in this quiz you will need to be following iSpot very closely. All contributions to it so far are from the top 10 iSpotters, and they are not doing very well so far.

As a relative novice, you will find the site daunting even though it is - in my opinion - beautifully simple. But the only way to get familiar with the site is to try.

But you have posted over 100 observations. You have over 100 IDs made. You have given quite a few agreements.
So you dont qualify as a novice. So what is your problem? Are you using the forums for asking for help? Or for making your wishes known? If you tell us the sites problems, we can fix them - or show you how the site works.

So please ask. But please use the forums to ask.

But to answer this quiz you need to be visiting the site at least 20 times a month for several hours. Or you can simply guess: and please do - it will give me an idea of what you are expecting from the site!

I agree with Mike

I am a fairly experienced Wikipedian, and compared to the Wikimedia software I feel like I am working in the dark with my hands tied. I love the concept, but the implementation is so unfriendly for anything except adding observations, and even there it is dreadfully slow and tedious. The only advantage is it is relatively easy to add observations - the learning curve for that is short, but even there I think there is room for improvement. I know there are hundreds of divers with good photos, but they are not contributing. I think because the first hurdle is too high and they just lose interest and go away - forever. For almost everything else it is non-intuitive where to find things and how to do things, and even after you finally find the instructions, you forget where they were the next time you need them. There is no simple way of contacting other users, there is no easy way to find most of the things you actually want to find.

Peter Southwood
Reef surveys and equipment design.
Southern Underwater Research Group (SURG)

Wish List

Have you had a look at the wishlist?
Please address your issues there. Some cool solutions are already listed - would appreciate your input!


I have added it to the wishlist, but it is long and not organized so difficult to keep track of what is already there, which reminds me of another item for the wish list.
If I can find the wish list again...

Peter Southwood
Reef surveys and equipment design.
Southern Underwater Research Group (SURG)

Wish List

It has its own URL:

Note that what I want most from the Wish List is for it to work properly so that you can see any comments properly! At present it opens on page 1 and wipes out the formatting on any subsequent pages to material one has not read.

As a very amateur contributor

As a very amateur contributor all I can say is that I have become hopelessly and utterly addicted to Ispot. For a long time I "watched" from the outside not participating and feeling very intimidated, but once I dipped my toe into the water it was like tasting blood! I have been amazed by the patience of the administrators and have been really inspired by everyone's passion for their subjects. For me it's been a case of "just doing it" and learning from my mistakes.

I like it too. What I really

I like it too. What I really like is the depth of knowledge and experience which is so freely shared. I like the comments, love the robust debates and occasional acid suggestions. It keeps me from being complacent, and I have learned more on this site than on Wik..(let its name not be spoken). Granted the format is cumbersome, but I can live with that. From my side, a ringing endorsement to both the site and to the administrators.


The Quiz is now done: how well did you do?

Please remember to go and vote for the species surfer iconic species!!

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