Display genus along with subgenus, section, etc

Hi, I hope I do this right. When I display an observation list and an observation is at the subgenus level, the genus does not appear, but only the subgenus. Es. in the attached screenshot, the middle observation is “Subgenus Melanthaxia”.

That is a subgenus of genus Anthaxia. I think that having the subgenus alone is not very informative unless you are acquainted with the fine taxonomy of that genus (also, maybe I’m mistaken but I suspect subgenera names are not unique, so that subgenera of different genera can be named the same - please correct me if I’m wrong). I think it would be nicer to always have the genus name along the subgenus, as in e.g. “Anthaxia subg. Melanthaxia”. What do you think?

Thanks a lot,

I think that it would be smart to say Genus subg name, just like when we say Genus species. For example, if we were to say the genus was Taraxacum, the subgenus was Erythrosperma, and the species was Taraxacum erythrospermum, I think that if their was a subgenus, it should be like Taraxacum subg. Erythrosperma, because that is how it is for sections and subsections.


Exactly what I mean, thanks! :)


This would be helpful to make the learning curve just a little gentler, so I voted for it. Don’t forget to vote on your own feature request.


There are lots of places throughout the site and apps where genus should be displayed with the subgenus, so I broadened your request in the title. :)

For plants, algae, and fungi, the notation would be Genus subg. Subgenus, and for animals it would be Genus (Subgenus). Not sure about other groups.

One of many ways to improve taxonomy / taxonomic curation on iNat. https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/improvements-to-taxonomic-curation-on-inat-wiki/5398


Yes! Yes! Please do this!

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Yes, I agree that would be very helpful.

BTW, the subgenus name should definitely be rendered in italics like the genus name and species name!

And, for zoology, if and when the entire scientific name is shown, the subgenus should be in parentheses, between the genus name and the species name/ epithet.


one of the many things I’ve thought about making a feature request post on here for, definitely a good idea.


Hello everybody. I do not know how the rank of subgenus fits into an organisms taxonomy. how is it related to the genus?


Here is an example.


A subgenus is used when species fall into distinct groups within a particular genus—so below genus but above species. Not every genus has subgenera though. You might then wonder why more genera aren’t created to accommodate these groups. Sometimes this does happen; it really just depends on the consensus of a particular scientific community how much they use fewer genera with subgenera or more genera and no subgenera. For example, subgenera are much more common with insects. This is probably because there are just so many species that to name all the groups there are lots of genera and subgenera. All part of the joys and subjectivity of taxonomy. :)


Thank you, this was quite helpful.


We’ve been trying to resist making display of iNaturalist taxa rank dependent. As this would add a lot of complexity to how the various names are rendered in various places throughout the site.

We’re also a bit worried about the slippery slope of taking on every rule/issue in the taxonomic code which we on the team are pretty far from understanding let alone implementing.

But we do understand that there is demand for this and for iNaturalist to integrate with other aspects of nomenclature codes (things like including authors etc.)


I agree that this could be a slippery slope for iNaturalist to go down, and housing Author information on the site, for example, would probably be of pretty limited benefit versus cost.

But to me this particular request isn’t so much about trying to be in strict conformance with nomenclatural codes, as it is just improving basic understandability on the site. A subgenus name (or any other infrageneric rank) by itself just kind of dangles out of context, as the OP was getting at.

It would be analogous to displaying something only as “Subspecies californica” without any indication of the species it belongs to.


Exactly. It would be uninformative. It’s a usability issue, not a matter of formal rule compliance.


Just to emphasize this point, I searched californica and got this:


I’ve called on this before, but for what it is worth, I approve. Having just subgenus displayed is difficult. Part of it is just intuitively knowing genera, so seeing just a subgenus name raises an eyebrow at times. If someone IDs a subgenus, I have to then access the taxonomic page, and then see the taxon tree to work out the genus being suggested. If you are an expert in that group, it doesn’t impede you. But for us common folk, the genus name is the more meaningful and certainly in combination with subgenus.

Please also append genus for these cases! (This also goes for “sections”, if they still only display the section name and not genus too.)