Complete taxa status?

I’m a little confused on how the complete taxa function operates (i.e. the little “All x added to the database” banner). I just completed a genus of sponges (Nudospongilla) and would like to mark it as such, but the instructions are a bit esoteric.

  1. All extant species in the clade to be added to iNaturalist
  2. A global external reference and any deviations from that reference explicitly mapped (e.g. as done here).
  3. One or more taxon curators willing/able to take on all ongoing taxon curation tasks such as keeping iNat in sync with the external reference, resolving flags and disputes, and if necessary making explicit deviations for controversial or disruptive changes.

It seems complete taxon status has to be requested but there are also special taxon curators that manage this? Also, where and how would you “map” any deviations? The example given appears in a journal post of a working group. In the case of Nudospongilla there actually is a deviation and it’s sort of important, because N. uvirae (under any of its synonyms) isn’t listed on WoRMS, but it definitely exists.

So how exactly is this process completed?


I cannot speak to the complete taxa aspect, but re

Every time you add a new taxon to iNat, you should fill out a Taxon Framework Relationship for it. There is detailed information on these here:

To summarise, though, each time you add your new species, go to the taxonomy tab, and then click Taxonomy Details:

Once you do that, you’ll get one of two screens:

You get screen 1 if the taxon isn’t covered by one of iNat’s external taxonomic authorities (so in this case, an Australian beetle), no further action needed.

But if the taxon is covered by one of these frameworks, eg sponges are covered by WoRMS, you need to fill out the TFR. Click the hyperlinked ‘Add relationship’, and you go to this page:

Now if the taxon was an exact match to WoRMS (or w/e relevant authority), you would fill out the Scientific Name and Parent Name to exactly match, and then paste in the WoRMS URL for that species. So that looks like this using a random example:

and when you click save, you get this screen

BUT, since you want to set up a deviation in this case, you only need to do one thing, which is to click ‘remove’ for the external taxon

This will collapse that field. Ideally, you would then write a comment in the notes section explaining why you’re deviating


also just noting that if a species is missing from WoRMS, can you please email them asking them to add it/clarify why it’s missing. They’re usually very quick to respond. Then if they do add it, you can edit the TFR to now be a match instead of a deviation

Wow, that’s quite involved. And after you do this for every species in the genus does it just automatically list the genus as complete?

Edit: Oh wait, you said you weren’t sure about the complete taxa part.

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