Under subspecies ID give the species name instead of family

If a subspecies ID is given then below the ID it will say ‘a member of [family common name] (Family [family scientific name])’. I don’t believe this is the most useful information and often the more useful info would be the species name. I believe that overall more people remember the common names over the scientific names so knowing which species a subspecies belongs could make it easier to understand the ID.

For example, the sentence could read something like: ‘a subspecies of [common name of species] (Species [species scientific name])’.

Some species do not have a common name so might need to tinker with the wording a bit but I hope the general idea is clear.

For example:

would instead read: a subspecies of Burmese Shrike (Lanius collurioides)
(Adjusting for localisation preferences of course.)

That’s not always the case – if a subspecies has a common name, the common name is there instead of the “member of” text, e.g.


That may make sense for using common names, but for scientific names it is redundant. Given how many taxa don’t have common names (especially subspecies) that would look rather strange in many cases.

How about a compromise? A situation in which if there is a common name, then it will say "subspecies of (common name) ", but if there isn’t then it defaults to "a member of (family) "


It already shows next higher-rank taxon with common name, if there is a name for species, it’s shown. Sometimes next one is order.

Yes, that could work. But it would also have to accommodate users who have turned off common names, in which case it should only show “a member of (family)”. Things start to get messy with those different preferences.

Thanks for the replies everyone, very useful.

@jwidness Thanks, I hadn’t seen this.

@thomaseverest Yes, I agree, it would look weird. I like the suggestion from @neontetraploid . I don’t think it’s a big problem if common names are switched off because the current behaviour simply omits this part (either subspecies common name, or ‘member of family’). Therefore it could just match the current set-up.

@marina_gorbunova But in this case (Lanius collurioides collurioides) it shows family when both genus and species have a common name (for UK common names anyway). Maybe I’m misunderstanding.

I just noticed this too and it also happens where the species doesn’t have a common name but the genus does. It’s not a problem on the Android app because it just repeats the scientific name if there’s no common name.

I don’t think it’s even necessary to specify “A subspecies of” because “A member of” will work for any taxonomic level.

It should be fairly easy to search the parent taxon for a common name, if none is found then search the parent’s parent, and so on up the ranks until something has a common name.

@marina_gorbunova I don’t know if it works differently in other languages or other portal sites but in English on the main inaturalist.com site, it doesn’t show the next higher taxon rank, only tribe or higher.