Having difficulty importing some taxons via CSV

I’m trying to import a number (100+) of observations via CSV import. The initial import failed because of some invalid taxon names. I separated these out, corrected some and successfully imported the bulk. But there are some taxons that fail to import and I’m trying to understand why. They are:

Poa annua: is recognised by iNat as both a species name (Annual Meadow-Grass) and a complex. I assume this ambiguity is the reason for rejection, but I don’t understand how it can be both without qualification.

Cerastium fontanum: is similar, recognised as both Common Mouse-Ear and a complex, but I tried using Common Mouse-Ear and this still gets rejected. When I look closer, I see that this is also ambiguous - Common Mouse-Ear can be Cerastium fontanum or Cerastium holosteoides (according to Wikipedia, both are common mouse-ear chickweed - now I’m really confused). So how do I specify this species? It seems to be catch-22.

Quercus x rosacea: is recognised by iNat as a species name but rejected for no reason I can see. Its common name Pedunculate Oak × Sessile Oak is also rejected.

Clarification is welcome!

Does the taxon name in your spreadsheet use the letter x instead of the hybrid symbol ×?

It uses the small letter x (ASCII x’78’), the same as in 3 other hybrid species that were accepted OK. I can try using the multiplication sign (ASCII x’D7’) as you suggest, but I why wouldn’t small letter x work here when it did for the others?

It’s doubly confusing, as Quercus x rosacea (letter x) is recognised OK if entered into the species search field on the Observations screen.

the taxon name on iNat uses the hybrid symbol: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/631579

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I copy/pasted the symbol from that link to make Quercus × rosacea and received this msg when I retried the import:

Single taxon not found: Quercus × rosacea

In the same import I have Tilia x europaea (letter x) which is accepted.

I added a synonym to the scientific names for Quercus × rosacea that uses the letter x instead. See if it works now. Also, I’d be curious to know if it works using just Quercus rosacea without any hybrid symbol.

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That works, Quercus x rosacea (letter x) is accepted, and shows up correctly as Pedunculate Oak × Sessile Oak (Quercus × rosacea).

Quercus rosacea is also accepted, but shows up as an Unknown species - which is interesting, as CSV import rule 2 says “Taxon name must match an existing taxon in our database”.

Perhaps there is a character encoding issue somewhere within the CSV import process that mangles the hybrid symbol.

Re. Cerastium fontanum
Any ideas? This taxon name is rejected, as is Common Mouse-Ear and Common Mouse-Ear Chickweed. I’m assuming it’s because none of them is unique. How do I define this taxon?

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I think you are right about this, and I’m not sure anything can be done, other than to manually add the desired taxon to wherever you are importing the CSV. Unfortunately, the way “complex” taxa are set up in iNaturalist, they have the same name as one of the component species, just at a different “rank.” And I don’t think CSV imports are set up to consider rank when matching names.

Thanks for trying “Quercus rosacea” without a hybrid indicator. I was hoping it would recognize a unique “partial match” like when a user starts typing in a name, but apparently it only accepts exact matches.

Thanks for this. I’ve successfully imported everything now. For Cerastium fontanum I created a placeholder entry by importing Quercus rosacea (as above) and manually changing it - I did this because I wanted all the entries to have similar CSV file tags.

Just out of interest I retried all the successfully imported hybrids but without the hybrid symbol (letter x). All of them were successful, except Quercus rosacea of course. Does this show anything useful? It does seem to depend on just how the hybrid is defined in the database, plus exactly how the import code works. So for importing hybrids a bit of trial and error may be needed.

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Glad we could help.

Without knowing the hybrid taxa involved, my guess is that the other nothospecies (hybrid) taxa you tried already had the equivalent species names in synonymy (the two formats, with and without the × symbol, are nomenclaturally equivalent), thus allowing an exact match. If we were to add Quercus rosacea to the synonymy for the equivalent hybrid taxon, I suspect that one would start working also.