Are Varieties in Subspecies supported?

I just tried to create a variety of a subspecies and got an error saying the level is that same as the parent. Does iNat support this weird case of miltilevels below species?

The subspecies is Haloragis exalata subsp. exalata, which has two varieties:
Haloragis exalata subsp. exalata var. exalata
Haloragis exalata subsp. exalata var. laevis

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I know varieties are accepted in general so I assume they are accepted below subspecies.

When you create a species complex that has the same name as a species within in it (which is the way you’re supposed to name it), you have to first inactivate that species to avoid that same-name error and then re-activate it after the complex is created.

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No, the site does not support quadnomials, or whatever the proper term for these are.


I am a little confused by this policy. These are not quadrinomials, they are just typical subspecific trinomials with added (and removable) classification connecting terms, per Art. 24 Ex. 1 of the ICN ( So, the names for the above examples are just Haloragis exalata var. exalata and Haloragis exalata var. laevis, not the form above with the classification terms. If that is followed, then it seems to me that the site shouldn’t need to implement any additional functionality to take four-term names, it just needs to allow forms to be grafted to varieties and varieties to be grafted to subspecies. These infraspecific names work the same way as species placed in infrageneric classifications; we don’t say “Lactifluus subg. Pseudogymnocarpi sect. Xerampelini persicinus,” we just say Lactifluus persicinus. If it isn’t an issue there, it seems to me like it shouldn’t be an issue here either.

It’s not a ‘policy’. Both variety and subspecies are defined as direct children of species. A taxa must have as its parent a node above it, it can not be the same level.

To change it would require redoing the level hierarchy.

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But why are those the taxonomic levels like that in the first place? Genushybrid and genus and species and hybrid I get (same level but slightly different taxonomic meaning; not much nomenclatural distinction in the second pair), but subspecies, varieties and forms (and subvarieties and subforms) are not the same or equivalent ranks; they exist in a clear hierarchy. Switching from one level to another requires a new combination, not just adding a hybrid sign or creating a formulaic genus hybrid name.


From what I’ve seen for plant taxonomy on iNat, subspecies and variety are treated as equivalent ranks under species. No varieties are ranked under subspecies.


i’m not saying anything about whether it should be done, but i think it could be done by changing a line or two of code:


That was my impression as well. I will however mention that a majority of the botany tend to use variety over subspecies but I could never quite grasp why that was. I was assuming they’re of equivalent rank and that variety should be the botany term and subspecies as a zoological term.


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