'wrong' order of ID suggestions: Synonyms are shown before accepted taxon

As I consider this behavior as not intended, I decided to file a Bug Report instead of a Feature Request

Platform: Website as well as (Android) App

Screenshots of what you are seeing:

Description of problem:
According to POWO, Carex brizoides is an accepted species and also a synonym of two other species:

Entering Carex bri displays Carex leporina as the first result, although the synonym is labeled as ‘not accepted’:

The accepted species should be shown on top of the suggestions


According to both POWO and iNat, all of the three binomials are accepted species.
Note that Carex brizoides Huds. and Carex brizoides Geners. have different taxon authors (they denote different taxon concepts) and are junior synonyms while Carex brizoides L. is an accepted species.

Maybe iNat should also display the taxon author but that’s more like a feature request. If it did so, the first suggestion would be Carex leporina L. (Carex brizoides Geners.). While the second suggestion would be Carex brizoides L.

1 Like

In case it is not clear what the quintessence of this topic is: I am not addressing the validity of any species or synonyms here, but rather the behavior of the algorithm that lists the suggestions upon entering the name.

What I want: The current (in iNat) accecpted species should be listed on top, the synonyms (if at all) further below.

A different example: if I cannot remember the ‘new’ genus names of Black-capped Chickadee or Green Frog (Poecile; Lithobates) it is fine and helpful to get to the right species when typing ‘Parus atricapillus’ or ‘Rana clamitans’. But what should not happen: entering only the (old) genus name and get these two respective species on top of the suggestion list. But this is exactly what is happening.
In these cases, however, it is not that confusing as these binomials are unique - but in the Carex example there have already occurred erroneous entries

In the Carex example, looks like someone removed Carex brizoides as an unaccepted name for Carex leporina, so here’s what I get now, it’s been “fixed”

But I believe this is working as designed. All scientific names are weighted the same, whether or not they’re currently accepted, and we also use the number of observations in ranking results, and some other factors, I’m told (it’s complicated). You’ll note each top hit from your examples has more observations than the one below it.

@carnifex Oh, i understand what you mean now - that the literal (and accepted) search match should be on top? i.e. the second line in your screenshot should be on top?

But still note that every line/suggestion is a different and valid/accepted taxon - you don’t get the same taxon listed twice. So there’re no synonymous lines in the list.

On a related note - the names in the brackets show how the search match was made (by a synonym, vernacular, etc). But they appear in the same line after the accepted name.

1 Like

As Tony stated, it works as intended, so not a bug. That is if Carex leporina is more often reported than the ‘true’ C. brizoides, it will appear on top, even if typing the synonym. (Not anymore now as the synonym for C. leporina has been deleted)
Just want to mention that other users got confused by this and wrong entries have been made.

Also note that the screenshot with the synonym in brackets is from the website. In the Android app, it is not displayed

1 Like

Thanks @carnifex. I’m going to close this as it’s not a bug, but if you want to make a feature request or brainstorm better search ideas, go for it.