VU designation on a common subspecies?

A newbie here. I noticed a VU designation on a butterfly species that I have observed a few times at different local locations - I was surprised.

On further online search, I understand one of the subspecies of this butterfly is on the vulnerable list while the subspecies that I have observed is not on the vulnerable list.

So I decided to change my suggested ID from species level to subspecies level as I feel a VU designation is inaccurate for my observation.

and I added this comment below to my observation.
“Euploea radamanthus radamnthus is the subspecies found in Peninsular Malaysia and is not uncommon. While Euploea radamanthus schreiberi is a vulnerable species found in Indonesia. If ID just as Euploea radamanthus ssp - it will include both species and the VU (vulnerable designation) will appear in the observation.”

However I found that observation of the subspecies that I have observed is also given a VU designation. Is this a common practice in iNaturalist that if one of the subspecies is VU, all the subspecies get the same designation? I am a bit confused.

A shorter question is why is an entire species given a VU designation when only one of the subspecies is on the vulnerable list?

Thanks for any feedback. This is my first posting, hahaha.

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For a taxon, you can go to its page (like this) and look at the status tab to see status and sources. In the case of this subspecies, the source of the VU designation is “Unknown” which doesn’t provide much info unfortunately.

I would note that status is often based on vulnerability in specific areas, so just because a species is common locally, doesn’t mean it is not threatened more broadly. However, I have no knowledge of this taxon, so can’t comment!

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And vice-versa. Some species are considered LC, NT, or VU over their entire range, but are EN or CE within specific subsections of their range.


You can go to the species and status, then flag it if it’s incorrect

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Welcome to the Forum! It will be the answer to all your questions. Maybe.
I don’t know butterflies well, but as some have said, I have encountered common moth species listed as VU at the northern and western edges of their range.
Having said that, I took a look at the IUCN Red List. The ssp E. schreiberi is indeed listed as VU (page is here - Euploea radamanthus ssp. schreiberi ( The species in general is a bit more complicated. On iNat it is listed as VU, but the source is unknown (your third link). It is also not found in the Red List data base. I don’t know why not, and cannot hazard a guess. All Butterflies seem to have a number of sub-species, something I don’t find with moths. So I don’t know if that butterfly ‘exists’ under just a species designation or not. Perhaps someone who is more familiar with butterfly taxonomy in general would know. The plethora of ssp. in butterflies mystifies me!

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Quite correct
Surely there should be regional and provincial delineations built into the CRS that iNat uses to more clearly define the status of any given species in a specific area
One problem I face is that a nationally common plant species here in South Africa (Eucomis autumnalis subsp. autumnalus) is listed as VU only in a single province (KwaZulu-Natal). As things are now, iNat cannot reflect this

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