Drop-down list on taxon overview has entries that are non-existing taxa

#1

The paradox title is best explained by the attached screenshot. I wanted to perform a taxon swap for the first three entries (to remove the quotation marks) but these taxa apparently are non-existing when you click on them, furthermore there exist correct entries for the respective genera.
Chironomidae

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#2

So taking ‘anatopynia’ as an example, I can type anatopynia (without the single quotes) into the search box at https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa, and it shows ‘anatopynia’ (in quotes) as a choice. Opening that choice, I can get the taxon number (375490). So maybe as a work-around in constructing your taxon swap, you can work with the numbers instead? (I’m guessing the single quotes aren’t being handled correctly by the specific pick-list you are using to select the taxon.)

Just a shot in the dark here, in case it helps…

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#3

Well, this is one where I know what’s happening and why the links don’t seem to work correctly. The gist of the issue is that certain characters such as parentheses or quotes cause problems with the system. The actual pages do exist, they just won’t be displayed by using the links.
inaturalist.org/taxa/375490 - works properly but has to be entered manually
inaturalist.org/taxa/375490-'anatopynia - resolves to inaturalist.org/taxa/search?q=375490-‘anatopynia’

As correctly formatted entries do exist (and as I’ve checked that there are no identifications for the mis-formatted ones), this might be one of those rare times where it might be less hassle to just inactivate (or drop) the taxa. The name in quotes would be best removed after a taxon swap anyway, since it isn’t an accepted rendering and really shouldn’t have ever been imported as such. Right now, literally nothing links there and (naturally) never will. A taxon swap would actually create links to a page that won’t display correctly.

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#4

Yes, agreed, if there are no observations or other “uses” of the taxon, inactivation would be best. Even if one did do a swap, you could just go to the destination taxon and edit names to delete the newly imported taxon name.

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#5

And, maybe to sneak in a little Feature Request here, can we get the system to just strip problematic characters like single quotes when someone tries to include them as part of a taxon name?

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#6

Before that’s implemented, this would merit resolution of the discussion around the inclusion of unnamed taxa on iNat.

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#7

Agreed, do you have a handy pointer toward that discussion, or do we need to restart it?

Even if we continue to allow unnamed taxa, we should figure out what characters are problematic and get folks to avoid those.

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#8

Single quotes can be part of official plant cultivar names and are accepted under the code for cultivated plants - as far as I’m aware. Maybe iNat doesn’t want cultivar names but I don’t think it should exclude quotes.

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#9

If iNaturalist continues to allow cultivar names and provisional names, maybe we need to add “cultivar” and “provisional” to the list of available “ranks” for a name. Then the system can automatically apply appropriate formatting for names with those “ranks”, without the user needing to supply it themselves as part of the name.

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