Problem: users frequently are accidentally choosing the wrong ID due to similar or identical names (common or scientific). See related discussion here. Examples:
- Typing in Trentepohlia pulls up identical (hemihomonym) genera in green algae and insects, plus additional choices in both categories at other ranks.
- Typing in “Anemone s” pulls up choices in plants and animals (both with radial symmetry!).
The accompanying small thumbnails are not always visually distinctive enough to catch the eye in time. I’ve personally encountered and corrected numerous IDs that happened this way.
Need: more visually prominent cue(s) to help distinguish similar name choices.
Suggested solution: display the (language-specific) major category with each name in all taxon pick-lists generated on the site. For example, when typing in Trentepohlia, or displaying automatic CV suggestions, or wherever, the list (in English) would look something like
- plant Genus Trentepohlia
- insect Genus Trentepohlia
- plant Family Trentepohliaceae
- insect Species Trentepohlia africana
- Open to discussion whether these tags should be just Kingdom common names (Plants, Animals, Fungi, Protozoa, Archaea, Viruses, Bacteria, Chromista) or should include the other iconic categories (Insects, Arachnids, Birds, Mammals, etc.) Either way, it would be nice to use the singular form instead of the plural form in the tags, if not too difficult.
Alternately (or in addition): display the colored Category icon (Plants, Insects, Birds, etc.) right next to the taxon thumbnail (and at the same size as the thumbnail, to better catch the eye). But do we have category icons for every Kingdom yet?
Fully aware that either or both of these will widen selection lists considerably, just thinking it’s worth it to make IDs and other taxon selections less error-prone. Could be a major concern on the phone apps, but my sense is that these errors are happening more often with app users, where smaller display, sun glare, etc. are added factors.
And yes, depending on photo quality and content, even CV suggestion lists can include options from more than one Kingdom, so visual tags are needed there too.
Also, I am intentionally not limiting this request to just known scientific hemi-homonyms since the same issue affects common names even more in many groups. Just doing it for everything seems like the most straightforward approach.