Identifying Complex does not allow a disagreement with species within complex

Platform ( Website):
Browser, if a website issue (Chrome) :

We have a complex with species. Note these:
1 ID as Leptotes pirithous & following 4 IDs to Leptotes pirithous Complex.
Adding an ID of Complex, just adds another ID, but the overall ID remains: Leptotes pirithous

The only way to get this to the required Complex level (L pirithous is one of 4 species needing genital dissection for ID) is to add the ID to generic level (Leptotes) and then disagree. e.g.

Further examples:
ID stuck at spp:

This is rather circuitous and wrong. The higher rank of Complex should behave the same as any higher rank and give the option of “I dont know” OR “It is the rank but not the rank-1 (x disagrees that it is Leptotes pirithous)”.


Important issue! If IDing is definitely only possible on “complex”-level, it is sometimes difficult to override a well meaning IDers ID. Perhaps iNat should obligatory switch an impossible ID to “complex”.
BUT, sometimes if IDers are not sure and find also the opportunity to select “Complex”, they will choose complex, while not knowing, that an ID on species level is possible. Happens very often when trying to ID Amphipyra pyramidaea / berbera ending very often as complex. I am aware that it would mean some work to exclude a false/ambiguous ID suggestion automatically from the database, while otherwise in the second case one could place a warning that more than IDing as complex, is possible.


Hmm. Interesting one. On two of the examples there was a previous disagreeing ID at Genus level. That would explain those cases. I wonder if in the other two there was also once a disagreeing genus ID that has subsequently been deleted causing a bug.


This is not a technical bug, it works just the same way as you expect it to, it is only the way that it is displayed that is confusing and this has been noted before.

Because there is 1 ID to ‘Leptotes pirithous’ with no disagreements, the display taxon is ‘Leptotes pirithous’. Because there are 4 ‘Leptotes pirithous Complex’ IDs, the community taxon is ‘Leptotes pirithous Complex’. Because you voted ‘cannot be improved’ and the community taxon is finer than family, it went research grade at ‘Leptotes pirithous Complex’, as it should have. You can check what it is research grade at in the community taxon box. If you waited till it exported to GBIF you could also check how it exported there.

The confusing thing is just that in the display the Research Grade checkmark appears next to the display taxon, even though it is for the community taxon. The way display vs community taxon works is also confusing with subspecies IDs.


it’s also apparently impossible to reject a community ID of one complex to another complex as it doesn’t register as a community ID at that taxonomic level? Or something like that.

That’s not the point though. If one person has ID’d the species and then four people have ID’d at complex without disagreeing, the next person to add a Complex ID should still be given the option of disagreeing.

I wonder @tonyrebelo, when you were not given the option of disagreeing had you just hit the ‘Agree’ button or had you manually input the ID yourself? If you hit ‘Agree’ you will not be given the option of disagreeing - it means you also agree with their ‘non-disagreement’.

1 Like

Could be that this is the case.
Unfortunately our specialist has been through this group, and the examples are probably no longer as they were when I posted. them.
If one can get a disagreement by adding an ID de nova, then at least there is this option, and the agreeing with an ID-without-a-disagreement at least makes sense.
However, as this complex is now “processed”, I will have to find a different one to test it on.

Here, I found an observation with a nearly identical scenario (only difference is 3 complex IDs instead of 4) in another complex, and if I try to enter a complex ID I am indeed given the pop up prompt for whether I intend it to be a disagreement with species or just an agreement with the complex, as expected (I don’t want to enter the disagreeing ID because the species actually is supportable in this case and I don’t want to give the other IDers a bunch of unnecessary notifications):

So I think the disagreement prompt is working as intended.


I guess there is not enough people to sway the identification. Like say if there are 2 persons identifying an organism as species X and species Y. The status will be Need ID. If another 2 or 3 persons went in and call it species Y, It will be Research grade. and if you strongly want to get it identified as species X, some independent identifiers have to go in and identify it as species X before the status switch to Need ID, and further into Research grade. I guess it takes time, or it stays in the archive in an undetermined state.

It is nothing to do with RG or agreements or community. That is working fine. It is the behaviour of the ID for given the option of disagreeing.

I agree.
I must have got the “I Agree” muddled with the posting of the same taxon in the ID box. The former does not allow disagreement, but the latter does.

Case closed? Not a bug - just a confusing situation that is not intuitive, but logical in hindsite.

Or should I post a feature request to make it more intuitive (i.e. by asking the dont-know / Not option where the ID potentially conflicts with the community ID, irrespective of the typed-in-taxon / I-Agree option)?).

I think I would support that request actually.