I tried to follow the instructions to go to the “Taxon Page” for this - but couldn’t find that page, which supposedly submits questions like the following to curators… so sorry, I’m posting it here.
It is noted that Panellus luxfilamentus is reported in Australia in ALA with many occurrence records. At least SOME records are a reallocation of Panellus pusillus records to Panellus luxfilamentus.
I have found the 2014 paper which analysed that fungi in Malaysia were misidentified as Panellus pusillus, and the new name Panellus luxfilamentus was created to cover the MALAYSIAN species (plus some other Asian records).
But I can’t find anything on the web that says that there’s been any detailed examination of Panellus pusillus specimens in AUSTRALIA to confirm the identification of individual specimens and, specifically, to name them as P. luxfilamentus. The lack of detailed review of Australian specimens has been confirmed by an Australian mycologist. There are some comments on the web (landcareresearch.co.nz) that Panellus in New Zealand is “like, but not identical to” Panellus luxfilamentus. That is NEW ZEALAND, not AUSTRALIA.
I made an enquiry to ALA who responded that the majority of P. luxfilamentus records in Australia have come from Fungimap. Fungimap responded as follows:
“Some of the records in iNaturalist might be tagged as belonging to the Fungimap Australia project in iNaturalist, but the records themselves are iNaturalist records, identified by users of iNaturalist. What has happened is that someone has decided that the local species that we have been calling Panellus pusillus for a long time is not this species, but Panellus luxfilamentus. Once a few people make identifications like this on iNaturalist, it is hard to stop the new name propagating, and generally people like to use what seems to be the latest name.”
From the above example, it appears that there are no expert curators in iNaturalist properly vetting records. That is, people with a working background in the particular organism, or people who take GREAT care and make good research from published scientific material, rather than people doing mere picture matching. The help pages seem to say that a sighting is counted as “research grade” when a mere 2 out of 3 people confirm a name for a photo. But who are those people?
This seems to be a poor process resulting in many incorrectly identified records in iNaturalist. As iNaturalist records feed through to ALA, this is resulting in many incorrectly identified records in ALA. The overall result is misleading mapping of nature records and casts a doubt (in my mind) as to the accuracy and usefulness of iNaturalist and ALA.
I am aware of at least one case where a person submitted her record as P. pusillus. She passed away soon after. Subsequently, someone has re-named the record to P. luxfilamentus. This is just plain wrong as a process, particularly as there has been no proper study of Panellus in Australia to review the species names in Australia.
Kindly advise how the iNaturalist records have been identified as P. luxfilamentus as opposed to P. pusillus. I can understand where, when there is one photo identified as P. luxfilamentus, that subsequent people wrongly follow suit. But how is it that OLD records were also renamed?
Please advise what processes you have to properly ensure CORRECT identification.