Taxonomic change "Drop" - what is it?

Within the New Taxonomic Change section, the “Drop” is mysterious to me despite trying to interpret it in the taxon guide.

I came across spurious entries for a genus and two species that i wanted to “clean out”. Basically whoever entered the data, created it at level below the family rank. They spelt the genus name wrong, then created two species under that also with the genus name wrong. Elsewhere, within same family but also with a subfamily is the same genus correctly spelt, and the same two species correctly spelt, plus others.

So, point is these are mis-duplicated. I tried to use the “Drop” option under Taxon change - per what it says of “Taxon concept completely invalid” But, I was not able action anything - it gave error message of “input and output taxa must be unique”. Yet as far as i see there is no Output taxon - and no box to enter “Output taxon” when that “Drop” is selected (it’s there when “Split” “Merge” and “Swap” are selected instead, but not for “Drop”.

So two things really -
I’m guessing just instead use “swap” instead one each?
Were these suitable for “Drop” and if so what was i doing wrong?

Family Ammotrechidae “Ammotrechela”

Family Ammotrechidae, Subfamily Ammotrechinae, Genus Ammotrechella
plus three other valid species

Source: Current catalog for the creatures:
also see older

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Oh, just to add,
The erroneous “false genus” and two “false species” have no obvious data linked to them, i.e. without observations linked to those ‘false’ names.

The erroneous “false genus” and two “false species” are not variant spellings in publications or synonyms etc, they just seem a typo on entry to iNAT

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You can also just merge with the correct one and then delete the misspelled name from the synonym list.

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Swaps would be better in this case because there are other iNat entities to map them to. I don’t remember this exact issue with taxon drops, but I remember something funky that made them an inefficient use of time. I just inactivate the taxa instead, but I only do that for things like extinct taxa or nomina nuda that don’t have any IDs.

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Merge, yes. But better to maintain the misspelled name as an (invalid) orthographic variant, no?

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I was interpreting the misspelling as somebody just typoing it when creating the species on iNat. If it is an orthographic variant then I do agree it should be maintained as a synonym.


So i wasn’t aware of the possible clean up of “delete the misspelled name from the synonym list.”

My interpretation of use to keep “orthographic variants” in taxonomy catalogs and such is this - retention of those name variants (and also actual synonyms etc) helps reassure that the different associated texts/images are still referring to same taxonomic entity as elsewhere.

Here, let me clarify - i don’t see the ‘misspelt’ genus name anywhere in the published taxonomic literature, i think it purely happened by whoever typed it into iNat. To me, that’s not an orthographic variant (i.e. not ‘published’ in the taxonomic literature) - hence, i’ve just clicked the delete button for it ;)


Generally so far - thanks all for thoughts!

Practically, i’ve fixed up with “swap”, so now i think the mis-duplication of these on system is gone, and the taxa are now inline with current published catalogs.

I guess part of it is i don’t understand what is said here by @ thomaseverest as “there are other iNat entities to map them to” … i saw no linked observations etc, but understandably can be a bunch of stuff “behind the scenes” that i wasnt seeing (as linked etc)

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I just meant use these as the outputs in your swaps. Sorry, I didn’t really use iNat lingo there.

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