"Partial" Taxon Swaps with Atlas?

I’ve only done 1 atlas some time ago and can’t remember if it automatically updated observations.

Problem: 2 valid taxa with research grade and needs ID observations. Because of past mix-up, newer info, etc., SOME-MANY, but not ALL, need to go, be swapped, to the other taxon.
Example: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/7358247
In this case all of Texas, except the extreme south, will only have L. vulnifica; and extreme south Texas and Mexico can have both L. vulnifica and L. triangulalis. There are areas in the Caribbean that may have both as well. Florida only has L. triangulalis.

Since I forgot about atlases I had to find all the appropriate obs, add an ID and paste the verbiage…and now hope that all the users who agreed to the previous taxon will agree with the new. If not, there will be incorrect research grade observations for the wrong taxon.

This is the 4th or 5th time I’ve needed to do this. One of them, with many obs, took two curators hours to fix - and there are still bad research grade obs.

This issue will continue to plague me unless there’s some way to force a partial “swap”.

Is an atlas my answer to forcing a taxon change, or does it just show that something is out of range? If not an atlas is there any other method that’s less laborious?

Monica (krancmm)

Simply making or updating an atlas will not generate or update any identifications. Automated ID updates can only be done through a taxonomy swap.

Thanks. So unless iNat admin gives curators authority to select obs and update to the correct taxon, maybe as a different type of a swap, the present method just adds more potentially incorrect research grade obs.

Beyond doing a taxa swap which is documented and controlled, I’m not sure curators should have the authority to simply change an ID, they should be able to add a dissenting ID which carries the same weight as other users, but not simply change something to their view on the identification.

I don’t know what you mean by the present method just adds more incorrect records.

I suggested a “different” kind of swap - one that has all the same info as a regular swap but applied to a selected subset of observations. Actually that would be no different than how editors at BugGuide can move sightings to a corrected taxon when new info becomes available.

In the case I mentioned above (and the others that I’ve done), the “swap” was generated by BugGuide info which is the official iNat authority for North America, north of Mexico, insects. This particular change at BugGuide was, in turn, accepted because of the Hayden data. It’s not me as a happy user deciding that x number of obs are in the wrong taxon.

Incorrect RG happens when users and “agree-ers” don’t update to an officially acknowledged change after I’ve spent x hours finding every obs to notify and explain.

Just sayin’ there should be a better way…

Then we should simply implement a reputation system that says some users ID’s are better, or their ID’s have more value and should be prioritized. One of the core principles of the site is that one user should not be able to define the identification of a sighting. What you are proposing would overturn that principle.

I still dont understand how as you state the existing taxonomy swap tool creates more incorrect ID’s.

Sorry, I’m not saying that at all. I’m referring to adding corrected IDs as I did with the example noted.

If any curator can make a regular taxon swap, how would it be against “core principles” if a curator could make a “partial” taxon swap using a modified taxon swap tool, with all the required associated verbiage and references, only adding the ability to apply it to a sub-set of obs? To me, that has nothing to do with “reputation” any more than a regular taxon swap.

I still do not understand what you are saying can not be done via the existing taxonomy swap functionality.

  • if species A has been renamed or is incorrectly named etc, and is in reality species B - that is done with a taxonomy swap
  • if species A is split or is in reality species A and species B, then you build the atlases for species A and B to define their ranges and run the taxonomy swap as a split, and any records in the range defined as A stay with that ID, any records in the range defined for B that are currently A get their ID’s updated, any records in an area of range overlap between A and B get reassigned to the genus (or whatever the next highest shared taxonomy level is)

If the species legitimately overlap in range and you simply want to select a subset of records and say ‘no these ID’s are wrong’, I want to make them something else, then I don’t see how that is not giving unilateral control over the ID of a record to a single person.


Ah! Thanks a zillion. I remembered doing an atlas that separated two valid taxa. I’d totally forgotten the second part which was the split.

Please forgive my ageing brain…synapses have a longer way to travel these days.