Unintended consequence of taxon change

Really not sure if this is a bug or what. Here’s what happened:

  • iNat was recognizing the subspecies Ateles geoffroyi yucatanensis (following IUCN)
  • Marcelo Aranda wanted to follow some other research that sunk A. g. yucatanensis into another subspecies, so he disagreed with the ssp ID
  • I pointed out that the better way to fix it was to swap A. g. yucatanensis into another subspecies name (following the other research)
  • after swapping A. g. yucatanensis into A. g. vellerosus, the disagreement changed from disagreeing with A. g. yucatanensis to disagreeing with A.g. vellerosus – which is NOT what he had intended to disagree with
  • now there are observations back at the species level that should have the votes to go to subspecies

(note: this is not blaming Marcelo Aranda, nor is it discussing whether subspecies matter, just simply pointing out that the current disagreement is not as expected)

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@loarie any thoughts on how this might be fixable? I’m not really sure what the best solution is, but I don’t really feel comfortable changing disagreeing IDs like this – it kind of feels like putting words in their mouth.

I’d have called this a bug, though one based on mistaken assumptions: that a disagreeing ID against a name continues to hold when the name changes. This only holds if the name change is the result of correcting a nomenclatural synonym, but not necessarily if it is done to correct a taxonomic synonym or a misapplication.