Please subdivide Lepidoptera (Butterflies & Moths) and create a sub order Lepidoptera (Moths only)

When annotating larva anywhere in the world having moths as a subgroup in Lepidoptera would mean fewer pages would need to be loaded when I just wish to focus on Moths. There are more moth species, but some areas have more butterfly observations and to have a convenient way to separate them out would help me. My request has less to do with scientific taxonomy and more with handling data more efficiently on iNat.

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iNaturalist is never going to implement non-monophyletic groups, because it would completely destroy the strict tree structure of the taxonomy it uses, and because all taxonomy changes must be cited to a reliable source. If you can provide a widely-recognised source which states that moths are a monophyletic suborder of Lepidoptera, then the change will be considered - otherwise it’s not going to happen.

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tiwane has suggested how to filter out Papilionoidea in that other thread:
https://forum.inaturalist.org/t/moths-not-a-search-option/8758/5?u=exonie

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Thanks, very much! I wish it could be made into a permanent shortcut. :)

Does it seem like the underlying aim could be helped by knowledgeable volunteer(s) going through and pushing the butterflies seen through this search into Papilionoidea? Or is there any extra twist to butterfly vs moth?

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/identify?taxon_id=47157&hrank=order&lrank=order&per_page=100

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If you are using a web browser, you can create your own bookmark for that same URL, and revisit it whenever you like. And you can do the same with any iNat searches / filters.

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you can always make a bookmark in your browser that sorts to only see moths

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Thank you and @jdmore I’ll need to learn how to do that. My knowledge of technology is like a patchwork quilt in the process of being pieced together.

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Just wanted to point out that iNat implements the group dicots, which are paraphyletic in regards to monocots.
Though i do think the best solution heres is to just search for Lepidoptera while excluding Papilionoidea

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you can use this link (made by @tiwane as a reply to an earlier thread)
and add the area to search in (+ username if you want)
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=any&taxon_id=47157&without_taxon_id=47224

for example this is my Japanese Moths records-link
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations?place_id=6737&taxon_id=47157&without_taxon_id=47224

cheers,
Gerben

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As a citizen scientist moth researcher of sorts, I understand the need. Perhaps if we could have an exclusion filter such as exists for projects? That would allow folks to choose Lepidoptera and exclude Superfamily Papilionoidea–a bit more intuitive for the newer user who hasn’t learned how to use the url shortcuts.

Just a thought,

Anna

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When searching for observations, make sure that all observations are in this project: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/moths-of-the-world

Basically just a filter to exclude butterflies

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iNat also implements Reptiles, which are paraphyletic with respect to Birds, and Lobe-finned Fishes, which are paraphyletic with respect to Tetrapods, and Lizards, which are paraphyletic with respect to snakes, etc. The rule against paraphyletic groups is clearly somewhat flexible.

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You might also limit searches to one family at a time which would make for an organized way to sort through observations: start at the micros, skip the butterflies and proceed to the macro moths each by family or even tribe.

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I really must learn the different moth families.

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I’m surprised to learn there are any paraphyletic groups! I had assumed projects were the best way around this, with projects for trees of the world, algae of the world, and other popular paraphyletic groupings.

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Thanks! I just joined Moths of the World. So practical!

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Can iNat do searches that exclude groups? I think butterflies are a monophyletic group so a search for ‘Lepidoptera not in butterflies’ would get moths without needing to create an explicit moths group.

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Yes, you can include &without_taxon_id= at the end of your search URL and put in the ID for butterflies. Or you can just use the observations included in the project @mws mentioned, since that project automatically does that search for you.

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I’ve never quite understood the objection to intentionally paraphyletic groupings. If people very frequently want to look up reptiles excluding birds, why not make that straightforward? Clades are important, but groupings like “fish” are also important. Unless users are specifically told that every grouping is monophyletic, what harm is done by allowing paraphyly? “Trees” is polyphyletic, and worse, arbitrary (a big woody bush is a small tree) and so I see why it isn’t included.

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