I noticed that when I add an identification to an observation that stands at a higher level (genus, subfamily, family or higher) it will not update the ID at all when my identification includes a subspecies. Here is an example:
Step 1: Someone identified a wasp as genus Polistes. The observation ID is updated automatically to “Polistes”.
Step 2, option a: Someone adds an identification to the subspecies level: Polistes major castaneicolor. The observation ID does not change and remains at “Polistes”.
Step 2, option b: Someone adds an identification to the species level: Polistes major. The observation ID is automatically updated to “Polistes major”.
This strikes me as inconsistent and illogical. Even with scientific disagreement about the justification of subspecies in general the observation ID should at least be updated to the species level and not be completely ignored by the system. I have tried this out with different species/subspecies examples and on many different observations, and I always get the same result.
I am not looking to start a discussion about subspecies. I should mention, though, that in my area of taxonomic expertise (aculeate Hymenoptera, where subspecies are not used very much) there are often good species hiding underneath subspecies names. I therefore support the subspecies functionality in iNat. It is an important research tool, and helps to keep things apart that deserve further study. It can also help to track intraspecific variation of a primarily geographic nature, which can be relevant from a variety of perspectives.
I think the problem that is described above is a true bug and should be fixed. I am looking forward to your thoughts.