What happened with *Lilium speciosum speciosum* observations?

On the Reddit iNat subreddit someone posted a note about a bunch of observations of Lilium speciosum speciosum vanishing. They claim that there were many observations in Japan, but now there are none:

This is the Japanese subspecies of Lilium speciosum, and at present there are not even any observations of the parent species listed in Japan.

Any idea what’s going on?

If they weren’t reided to another species likely somebody deleted their account.

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It seems they are now

That doesn’t solve the question, unfortunately. The entire species has no observations in Japan.

i’m skeptical of this claim.

the taxon has been active only since 2019-02-15: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/860605.json.

there are no old identifications of the taxon, even if withdrawn:

there are some old taxa that were merged into the parent species, but none of those have any old identifications either:

(compare to identifications of the active taxa: https://jumear.github.io/stirfry/iNatAPIv1_identifications?taxon_id=437708,736713,860561,860605&current=any)

i checked old copies of the AWS open data set that i have on my machine, and I can find no observations of the L. s. speciosum at either 2022-07-27 or 2021-04-15.

looking for observations of the 4 active taxa in the 2021-04-15 set, i don’t see any observations in Japan:


There’s nothing on GBIF either (which would lag iNat by a couple weeks potentially if someone deleted their account).

I agree with @pisum - It seems more likely that there weren’t observations there to begin with.

But based on the evidence reported here it isn’t possible to rule out a scenario with one user with all the observations and ids of that species deleting their account (and thus observations) in a fairly small window of time (I think…)

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the Redditor says:

I have noticed that all the observations are completely gone from inaturalist, it must have happened not too long ago. I have visited the plant’s page before and the plant had many observations from many users over years.

it’s possible that none of those observations were included in the AWS data sets (being all observed by one or a few people who did not license their observations), but if there were “many observations over many years”, it’s more likely that the claim is just wrong.

at this point, i think the burden is on the Redditolr to show some evidence for their claim.


then you could - flag for curation - and see if the response is any different to @pisum or @cthawley ?

That’s a different subspecies.

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I notice there are only 40 “wild” observations of Lilium speciosum, only 58 if I remove the “wild” filter. That alone limits us to two scenarios: there were a bunch of Lilium speciosum, but more recently they were IDed as something else (I think @pisum has ruled this out); there never were very many observations of Lilium speciosum, and quite likely none in Japan at any point in iNaturalist’s history.


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