Split not working?

I’m not sure if i did something wrong. I created and executed a split: Taxonomic Split 100567 (Committed on 2021-10-24) · iNaturalist but it seems like the observations haven’t moved to their output taxa (only one of them is atlased because the distribution of the other is very wide and boundaries are hard to define)

Have i screwed up?

The output taxa must be different from the input taxon, even if they have the same name. So you have to create a new output taxon (see details in the curator guide). I’m not sure what exactly happens if this isn’t done correctly, but it doesn’t look like anything actually happened and you could do it properly without undoing anything.

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Both output taxa need to be atlased:

We’ve made some changes that allow curators the flexibility, if they choose, to make Taxon Splits where the input taxon is also one of the output taxa. In some ways, this approach is analogous to using a taxon swap to broaden an existing taxon (e.g. Species X) instead of using a taxon merge with a new output taxon (e.g. Species X’) as was described above. In this approach, the input taxon is first manually narrowed by modifying the atlas (as well as other content such as range map, etc.) which will be used to determine the destination of identifications.

Upon committing such a Taxon Split, iNaturalist will not inactivate the input taxon. It will still use the atlases to determine which identifications should be updated with which output taxon, but any identification determined to be updated with the output taxon matching the input (e.g. Species X) will not be touched.

Because doing a split this way won’t update as many identifications (e.g. updating identifications of Species X with identifications of Species X’), it will always be less disruptive. But it’s important to remember to manually narrow the input taxon by updating content such as the taxon range and common names that likely no longer match the narrowed meaning taxon after the split.

from https://www.inaturalist.org/blog/40417-using-a-taxon-split-input-as-an-output

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Since you didn’t atlas H. hermes, it left alone all the H. hermes IDs outside Trinidad and Tobago, and it bumped the ones in Trinidad and Tobago up to genus. I don’t think there’s a way to retroactively assign those genus IDs down to H. canthe, so you might want to ask staff to roll back the taxon change.

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Thanks. This is so counterintuitive. Because i thought that given that the Trinidad ones have been atlased then it should have swapped them for canthe and kept the rest but instead it did the exact opposite. Wow

So would this mean that both the input and output taxa ALL have to be atlased before the split is performed?

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My understanding is that to be conservative, the new ID is only assigned when it is unambiguous, and leaving some input taxa un-atlased makes the output ambiguous. Maybe that’s more conservative than people expect or want?

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I just made a new observation and discovered a curious situation that might relate to this topic. My observation 99272403 was Hygrophorus chrysodon. I checked out the main page for H. chrysodon and saw there were 338 observations, but when I went to taxonomy it appears that a split was done at some point, H. c. chrysodon, H. c. ssp cistophilus and H. c. var leucodon. Currently, only one observation is observed and that is for H. c ssp. cistophilus. I’m unsure what name to attach to my observation. What will happen to the other 337 observations?

The input taxon does not need to be atlased, unless it is also being used as an output taxon. But yes, all output taxa need to be atlased to maximize unambiguous reassignment of IDs.

This is no longer necessary - see this blog post.

Ah thanks I’d forgotten about that. Curator guide should be updated then.