Taxon Page: Add a "Similar Taxa" tab to ranks other than species

#1

Some genera are very similar to each other and cause frequent mistaken identities. How about adding a tab like the “Similar Species” one to ranks other than species?

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#2

Thank you, I intended to request this myself at some point.

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#3

Can we also then also please add it for ranks lower than species?
For example: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/132658-Alcelaphus-buselaphus-caama

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#4

Good point. I incorporated that into the feature request.

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#5

Are there cases where the most similar thing to a subspecies or variety etc will be anything other than the parent, or a 2nd subspecies of the same parent etc ?

I’m not sure I understand the request as the linked example already has this tab and is populated.

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#6

Does the similar taxa tab on subspecies ever show other similar infraspecific taxa, or is it restricted to rank=species? I guess that would be a separate request.

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#7

I thought although I may be wrong that they were generated by actual mis-identifications (ie it is not something manually populated) ?

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#8

The tab is based on actual misidentifications, but the code could be “rounding up” to species. I don’t know whether it is or not.

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#9

I would be concerned that adding the tab at levels higher than species, such as genus or whatever would be massively computationally expensive. Imagine trying to calculate this dynamically for a genus with a couple of hundred or even a couple of thousand members,

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#10

idk, Ken-ichi can shoot down my dreams if that’s the case ;)

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#11

The subspecies page should show other similar subspecies (same level), not other species that are similar to the subspecies (what it currently shows). If I want to see similar species I’ll go to the species’ taxon page instead.

In my example link I would like to see other subspecies that are similar (often misidentified) to Red Hartebeest (a subspecies). I expect to see that Red Hartebeest and Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest are often confused, but Red Hartebeest and Coke’s Hartebeest aren’t often confused because their natural ranges are far apart.

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#12

Would the computational problem not be easily resolved by only showing “similar taxa” of the same rank from previous IDs? That should be quite manageable.

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#13

What’s that, a dream to shoot down? Doing this for ranks finer than species isn’t currently possible, for the same reason we don’t show subspecies in species counts (we actually use species counts to derive similar species, so it’s the same root cause in the way we’ve structured our search index). Doing it for genera is sort of possible if you’re willing to settle for genera implied by species-level disagreements (e.g. ignoring a lot of situations where you say genus A and I say genus B). Doing it for coarser ranks than genus seems sort of useless to me. And frankly, I’m not convinced anyone other than the people in this thread actually look at the “Similar Species” tab.

So question: what are some genera where this would be useful, and what do you want to see as outputs? Like if you are looking at a genus, do you want to see similar genera, or do you want to see species that have been misidentified as this genus.?

For all your dream-crushing needs, call Ken-ichi’s Bespoke Letdowns. Disappointment is guaranteed™.

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#14

Going off-topic for a second, I really appreciate getting any response from the iNat staff, even if it’s a Bespoke Letdown™. Hearing a logical argument for why something can’t happen is definitely better than just being left to wonder. Thanks!
(P.S. I tried to write this so it didn’t sound snarky – I hope it worked, tone is hard in writing.)

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#15

A koan, bravo.

Something like this is what I have in mind whenever I fruitlessly click in the area where the “similar species” link would be. Perhaps it should be “species that have been mis-ID’d as species in this genus.” In say, helianthus, it’d be great to see that species in this genus are often mis-ID’d as silphium laciniatum (if that is something that actually occurs – I made this up).

I generally wish for more information on common mis-IDs and wouldn’t mind that section to be greatly expanded.

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#16

Just want to note that we’re looking into this and trying out a few ways to do it.

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#17

OK, this has been added to genera (eg https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/30692-Crotalus) so I’m going to close this topic.

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closed #18
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