I did (the CSG link is The Coronaviridae Study Group of the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses).
Yes, that’s good to see. I wrote out my reasoning in full for the benefit of anyone reading who is less familiar with virus taxonomy than you clearly are.
These are the common names, which correspond to the valid scientific names (I said both are listed on the linked taxa pages). I only wrote out common names here (but referred to both throughout). I’m unsure if any represent abbreviations (of what the common names were supposed to be). If they do, I’d favor updating them to be longer. It also was other users who originally added these names to iNat.
I suppose you could treat them as common names, but it’s worth noting that better known viral species typically have a more typical common name. For example the species Tobacco mosaic virus is known by the acronym “TMV” and also by the common name “tobacco mosaic virus”.
I alluded to subspecies seeming a poor choice for SARS-CoV-2 (vs. if other choices are/could be made available). Because it seems rarely used in virology nomenclature (as you said). I didn’t state this with certainty because I want to learn how many sources/articles believe it should be a subspecies, vs. a different subtaxon.
I agree. Virology doesn’t use the term “subspecies”, but as you note, no better alternatives are currently available on iNaturalist.
Should SARS-CoV-2 variants be at the same taxonomic rank as it, or a lower one? (regardless of what ranks, relative position in taxonomic hierarchy).
The so-called variants presumably descended from one original zoonotic lineage. So phylogenetically it must be the case that the variants and inferior to the original lineage. But whether the distinction is considered important enough to be reflected in the taxonomy is another question that I can’t answer.
Should iNat. add taxon ranks (if not already present) mostly used in virology, including some under the species rank? For example, if it were thought that SARS-2 should be a strain/other subtaxon (vs. subspecies), it could be switched. It currently displays with “ssp.” in the scientific name, which doesn’t fit unless subspecies were preferred.
Virus taxonomy already doesn’t quite fit with the ranks established with only cellular organisms in mind. Currently on iNaturalist, viruses are placed as a kingdom. However, viruses are actually classified into multiple kingdoms, which are then classified into several realms. The rank of realm doesn’t exist on iNaturalist, but I suspect making a feature request for it won’t result in any change given the high work to low benefit ratio. There’s relatively few virus observations.
I also checked ncbi. They give SARSr-CoV species-rank, but give SARS-2 no rank. They give MERS-CoV species rank though (although not closely related, it’s rank itself should be analogous to that of SARS-2).
MERS-CoV isn’t equivalent to SARS-CoV-2. The former is an accepted species (Middle East respiratory syndrome–related coronavirus) whereas the latter is subspecies / strain / variant within an accepted species.