A solution for monotypic taxa identifications

Technically this is not a monotypic taxon, since there are several recognized species of Equisetum representing multiple type specimens. How to indicate that a higher taxon contains only one genus, but more than one species?


The definition of monotypic taxon is a taxonomic group that contains only one immediately subordinate taxon, so the subclass Equisetidae is a monotypic taxon because the only immediately subordinate taxon that it has is the order Equisetales. Equisetales is also monotypic, and Equisetidae is also monotypic. Each of them should be considered and marked as monotypic.


I’ll go along with that definition for purposes of this feature request.


You really made me doubt myself. It is a messy word, I do not know why people use it as a synonym for monospecific or unispecific; or monogeneric or unigeneric. But yes I probably should have started this thread with the definition that I am using for monotypic. Also the linguistic gap does not help in this situations.


No worries, I think your meaning is clear enough. We would just have to be clear in defining the taxon checkbox (whatever we name it) as “contains only one taxon at the next lower rank.” Then the system could follow the taxonomic tree to the lowest rank at which only a single name exists.


For the fungi at least we have many monotypic genera but also many more recognizable but undescribed species that can be assigned to those genera. It would be incorrect to automatically re-assign the identification from genus to the described species.

I think it all was described in initial post, each taxa would get that “mark” manually, so only those that match the requirements will be added.


While you can certainly make the case for taking user education into consideration, I think that opportunity exists without being inefficient about IDing monotypic taxa.

I totally back this idea. There are far too many IDs just stuck at the genus level specifically, and if only one person notices, that ID stays below RG indefinitely.


While I agree in part, I think it should only give priority to the top spot to the native species, but still include others. The reason for this is that non-native organisms are becoming more frequent all the time and just because a creature is supposed to be somewhere, doesn’t mean that’s the species you’ll necessarily find.

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What do you mean by inefficient?

Species sit at genus or higher level when there is no good cause to. If a species is monotypic, it will obviously also belong to that genus, but that makes for uncertain status as an ID, which is unnecessary if a taxon only includes one species. They just sit on Needs ID.

With only authors’ id they wil sit there anyway, and also if the ider doesn’t id it as a species from monotypic genera it means they doesn’t know it well and nt totally sure, I think it’s not that bad they don’t id it immediatly as a species with one more id to make it RG.
And well, I never said nothing should be done on the problem, just that iders should know about that too and choose lower levels if it’s possible.

The problem is, people all too often just agree with whatever gets posted, so I’ve seen two people agree that a monotypic species belongs to a genus, but can’t nail down the species. There’s another issue also - in the case of Hymenocera, it used to be separated into two species, but now is considered one, but I’ve seen several observations that just held it at genus level. This is unnecessary now. Again, these reports will never be confirmed unless two specialists confirm them, even though this is a relatively well-known aquarium animal.

In such cases, when 2 sp became 1, it’s better to leave a comment, tagging identifiers, more they know less mistakes they create.

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I honestly don’t see the value in this. They can always just see their old IDs and that they’ve been merged. It says when a taxonomic change is made on the observation page.

If they’re mass identifiers identifications about merges are easily get lost in tons of other notifications. Anyway there’s a big value in getting people informed, one can forget something.

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Found very few of these, should be fixed now.

Have also checked 5 pages (150 observations) of Equisetidae, and found 16 observations with ID above genus level … so there might be an estimated 1000 more of these, hidden in the database.

There was a link with those above genus level. https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?taxon_id=764793&lrank=subtribe

If you would like to vote for a similar post, I found another post seeking to resolve the issue of people putting genera on observations with only one species at the lower level: https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/dont-suggest-genus-for-monotypic-genera-computer-vision/4361

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