In regards to the taxon infrastructure of Amanita (Kingdom Fungi) on iNaturalist

The taxon infrastructure with Amanita needs some love.

Most observations we are able to ID with the suggestion of ‘Genus Amanita’, which doesn’t get very close to what the mushroom is. A lot of observations are being IDed with misapplied names (European taxa being suggested on North American species, invalid/old species taxon, and provisional names)

To get closer to an ID, it would be nice to:

  • use the taxon rank of ‘Series’ which is recognized but not an option when creating taxon

  • use the rank of ‘Stirps’ (stirpes) which is less recognized, but used with Amanita

  • accept the use of provisional names, many of which are already in use on iNaturalist

An observation I made to play around with the capabilities and usefulness if this request is here:

A breakdown of how this request is used is here:

A reasoning on why this is useful is added in the attached photo.

A background of using ‘stirps’ (stirpes)

I hope to move foward and looking for thoughts & concerns with this request, we can accurately identify Amanita for users, or get a lot closer than section.



I support the addition of the rank of series because it is an accepted rank under ICN. I am less supportive of the addition of informal ranks (like stirpes) and provisional names unless there are some very clear rules around their creation and use. Any rules would need to be broadly accepted within the iNat community and beyond, and I think that may be difficult to achieve. Without clear rules I can foresee unhelpful proliferation within the iNat platform, and divergence from widely accepted standards. Curators across all groups adhere to current iNat policy and work to keep that kind of proliferation under control, and I believe that is a valid and useful exercise. The specific data-capture needs of particular observer-communities, if supported at all, is best achieved through specific solutions, not general ones. Support for regional common names in multiple languages is an example, and it takes careful design and a lot of work to implement and maintain. The approach is needed so the data we create is transferable, interoperable and therefore useful in the global biodiversity context. I know that isn’t the priority use-case for iNat, but is a very important outcome nevertheless. Divergence from widely accepted standards can hinder that data-flow.

Have you considered encouraging the Amanita community to use Observation Fields for this purpose?

I know that this solution does not have the benefit of nesting within the taxonomic tree. But it’s a good start, especially when these proposed categories are not universally accepted.

I’d love to hear thoughts what such rules could be. I’m struggling, but maybe it is a failure of imagination to come up with any rules that would be viable. I fear once you say unpublished or provisional names are fine to add, that is the final answer. Anything else that tries to establish guidelines (number of citations, ‘quality’ of the journal it is posted in, ‘reputation’ of the author etc) simply fall down the rabbit hole of ‘well, it is acceptable to me’, so therefore I added it.


I don’t have any suggestions that would work within the context of iNat, but maybe somebody does.
In Australasia we do at least have a standard for the form of unpublished plant/fungi names …

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