"Establishment Means" corrections

How does one go about correcting incorrectly attributed “establishment means” information on a species page? In particular, I’ve come across cases where due to taxonomy changes, a species is listed as “native” in a region, and the region appears orange on the map, but the records to which the establishment data refer are in fact no longer attributed to the correct species. For example, “Magusa orbifera” used to refer to a widespread moth in North America and the Neotropics, but after a taxonomic split, “M. orbifera” now refers only to a tropical species, and Magusa divaricata is the name of the widespread North American entity. However, “establishment means” data for Wisconsin and Canada are still sitting there on the “M. orbifera” page on iNat, when the species, as it’s currently understood, doesn’t occur anywhere near there. How does one move those records to the appropriate page (i.e. the M. divaricata page)? I’ve seen this happen on several other pages with other Leps, but this is the most recent one I’ve come across.
Here’s the page: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/203445-Magusa-orbifera

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You go to the appropriate location page by searching for it, go to the checklist page in it, search for the taxa and edit from there.

Unfortunately it is a one at a time process, there is no quick way to do it if it is wrongly applied across a group of locales.

So for examples changes to Canada are made at (checklist page link is towards the bottom left)

Alternatively you can go to the taxon page as you have done, click on the status tab and if it is listed there, click the ‘view’ link to go to the edit page. Please note this list only displays 100 entries, and can not be expanded or scrolled through, so in particular if it has been cascaded down to lots of smaller checklists, there is no guarantee your desired geography will be avaiable here, in which case option 1 above is your only choice.

To newly add a missing checklist entry, you basically follow the same steps as in step 1, but on the checklist page itself, rather than using the search, use the add function (I’m interpreting your request to mean how do I add species X to checklist y if it is missing)

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In addition to @cmcheatle’s instructions, to remove something from a list, on the Status tab of the taxon page, visit the View link for that place, and set Occurrence Status to Absent. That will remove it from the checklist for that place, unless there are still observations with that ID in the place. In that case, you will get the message “There were problems updating that listed taxon: Ocurrence Status Level can’t be absent if there are confirming observations.”

I was able to remove Magusa orbifera from the Canada Checklist this way, but got the error message when trying to remove it from the United States checklist, so there is at least one observation of it still within the U.S.

I think the question is about the northern part of the U.S., not the southern. There is an observation in Florida (his).


Would it help to edit the checklists for the affected states?

Yeah, it was specifically the inclusion of Wisconsin that was in need of removal, but the species does occur in southernmost Florida, so it should still show up on the U.S. list. Thanks for the help!

Thanks so much! This is good to know for the next time I run into one of these situations.

about the Establishment means… In case a new species shows up in a given Country anew, should it be automatically labelled Introduced? (doubt coming from chance that species, with climate change, are extending their range)
example Nagusta goedelii in Italy, which was detected for the very first time in 2007, far from ports or airports or all the maritime life which is spreading from south to north mediterranean sea.

From the description, it seems “introduced” is only for cases where humans had a direct effect, not an indirect one (such as global warming).

I imagined that, but I really wonder how you can tell the cases apart, that’s where the question is coming from :thinking:
How can you tell if a marine life spread because of vessel ballast or not? or if an insect first arrived in a container? It just shows up. I’m curious about the criteria here.

I imagine “introduced” should only be set if it is known it originated like that - whether the original population is too far away to expect it to happen naturally, or it’s explicitly documented as introduced. But I’m guessing :)

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I would say no, because there are many taxa in many areas of the world where native occurrences have not yet been observed in iNaturalist. Having such observations automatically create introduced checklist entries would result in large numbers of incorrect establishment means in checklists.


sorry if I was not clear. for “species showing in a Country anew” I meant that it is documented in enthomological literature that the species has never been in that Country and now has shown up-not talking of iNat.

I still am not sure this is a good idea in line with jdmore’s comments. While there are some places (US, Canada, South Africa, New Zealand etc) on the site with reasonably good coverage of their biodiversity in terms of records (at least stuff that has a reasonable chance of ever getting a research grade species ID), there are many locations where this is not true.

In places like Asia, Africa, South America as site usage grows there are going to be more and more first observations of things that are clearly native, and these should not get auto tagged as introduced as your change would do.

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I’m not talking of a species showing up in iNaturalist, I’m talking of a species showing up for the very first time in the physical world.
Example is Nagusta goedelii, first documented in Italy in 2007 https://www.researchgate.net/publication/259623420_Presenza_in_Italia_di_Nagusta_goedelii_Kolenati_1857_e_note_sulla_sua_biologia_ed_ecologia_On_the_presence_of_Nagusta_goedelii_Kolenati_1857_in_Italy_with_notes_on_its_biology_and_ecology_Hemiptera_He
given the dimensions is pretty sure it has not been overlooked for centuries.

In the end, I am looking for a definition of “introduced” as I think the literal sense could be applied just to species introduced by botanist or the like in a documented way.
In other terms, what is the criteria which should be applied to classify a species as introduced? I looked for it in the documentation, but I could find nothing.

Be it iNat or the ‘real world’ of literature etc, I still am not sure why you would make the assumption that the ‘discovery’ of a species in a new location is a result of it being introduced as a default assumption. A freshwater mussel only known from China shows up in the Great Lakes of North America - yeah it got there through human means. An orchid previously only documented in the literature as present in Brazil is found and documented in Venezuela, why would the default assumption be to say that it is introduced.

The definition of introduced used on iNat does not seem to be dissimilar to any other mainstream one I have ever seen - a range extension caused by human activity.

It is going to be increasingly difficult with climate change to define what exactly is meant by human activity. For example Corvus ossifragus is a species which has traditionally been very rare in Canada. It’s a large, charismatic, loud species, it is not that it was here and overlooked. In the recent few years, it is becoming a regular resident in low numbers. Why has this range expanded. Is it due to climate change, and thus is the species ‘Introduced’ ? I dont have the answer to that, I will leave it to bigger brains than mine to debate, they should not be hard to find.

agree, that is exactly my doubt.
I got into this since I noticed that Harmonia axyridis has been flagged as introduced in Italy, and I wondered what is the criteria behind, as in my view also Nagusta goedelii and Hishimonus hamatus are as well.
I just wanted to verify in detail the criteria or requirement- if any- before proceeding: documentable in literature? belonging to some kind of official list? Which one? etc.

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