If you are not sure what the species is that you have observed, there are a number of ways you can get help finding out. 

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Identification help for all living things

iNaturalist logo

ALA now manages the Australian node of iNaturalist – the world’s leading social network for biodiversity. We recommend ALA users upload individual observations to iNaturalist Australia.

iNaturalist Australia uses community expertise and image recognition to help users identify species. Therefore, you do not need to know the species name to submit an observation. Simply upload your image with location information and their community may be able to help you identify your find. You can also submit your observations via their app.

The ALA harvests observations from iNaturalist Australia every week.

Detailed instructions on how to record an observation with iNaturalist Australia are available here: How to record an observation with iNaturalist.

Field guides

You could try one of the numerous published field guides. CSIRO have published a number of field guides for both animals and plants. You could find field guides in your local public library. 

Turn it into a game!

QuestaGame is the world's first mobile game that takes you outdoors to discover, map and ultimately help protect life on our planet. Your sightings not only get you game points, but contribute to real research and conservation, with sightings verified by their expert community flowing into the ALA.

Identification help for animals


Most state museums have an identification service for animals that you can either visit in person or email your photo to. Museum websites often feature online field guides with colour photos that may help identify your find.


  • Your local council may be able to assist in identification of wildlife in urban areas. They should also have suggestions on ways to deal with protected animals if they are a pest in or around your home.
  • The Australian Bird Guide is the most comprehensive and beautifully illustrated field guide to Australia’s unique birdlife. And it has won awards!
  • The Birds in Backyards Birds Finder allows you to search, browse or find information about individual Australian birds.
  • What Bug Is That? provides identification keys and information for more than 600 insect families of Australia.

Identification help for plants


Most state and territory herbaria offer plant identification services. Clicking on the links below will show the identification services available in your state.


Identification help for fungi

FungiMap logo

The fungimap website introduces you to the basics of fungi such as the mushrooms, puffballs, stinkhorns, polypores, truffles and more. There is an online field guide to assist in identification. Their identification and recording service has now moved to the iNaturalist platform, so head there to add your fungi sightings. 

If you have had success with identifying unknown specimens using other methods, let us know and we can add it to the list.

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