About the Field: "Holding bin (Moths)"

There has been discussion on iNat Google Groups about "no taxon" pairs/complexes/undescribed species and how they might fit into iNat's taxonomy. The so-far agreed solution was a field called Holding Bin (taxa) that was agreed to be at least a temporary solution for those organisms that couldn't be defined to species but could be narrowed from possibly 100s of species in the genus.

So here's the field Holding bin (Moths). Examples at https://www.inaturalist.org/observation_fields/7201

Use the observation field Holding bin (Moths) when you want to specify a species pair, complex of multiple taxa or an undescribed species. it's an open-ended text field not limited to specific info.

Perhaps it will be useful in the future if a paradigm shift expands traditional dissection/barcoding taxonomy to include image-based IDs that limit the possibilities within a taxonomic category.

What do you think? Help or hinder? Useful or not? Would you bother to use it?
@annikaml, @sambiology, @gcwarbler, @greglasley, @ptexis, @joannerusso, @ericwilliams, @hughmcguinness, @finatic, @treichard, @allenratzlaff, @nlblock, @lepalot, @jasondombroskie

Publicado el septiembre 8, 2017 11:35 TARDE por krancmm krancmm


I like it and think it will be very useful. Definitely will use!

Publicado por annikaml hace casi 7 años

I forgot to mention that there have been 8 Holding bins set up so far: https://www.inaturalist.org/observation_fields?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=Holding+Bin&commit=Search: Fungi, Terrestrial Gastropods, Moths, Spiders, True Bugs, Amphibians, Plants, Birds

Publicado por krancmm hace casi 7 años

So, I'm not sure exactly how I found it, but I've been using this filter on the observation search for moths of TX:

And then the species guide here:

I can then filter down by a more specific location, say "Brazoria County"

or by Dallas/Fort Worth:

So, it's kinda working like a holding bin, but I'm not even sure where I found this or what the filter perimeters were originally...

Publicado por sambiology hace casi 7 años

I think the holding bin idea has some merit. It seems like a simpler (?) solution than the multiplicity of new temporary taxa that are set up on BugGuide such as "sp. A", "sp. B", "new sp. - Texas", "nymphs Dr. Expert hasn't reviewed yet", etc.
There are at least two different types of observations that seem to be the target of the proposed Holding Bins: (a) specimens in difficult ID groups, and (b) undescribed species (which might be very distinct and recognizable). Among the first type, this might be critters in a large and difficult genus, but there are certain species pairs that have been with us perennially--and will be for the foreseeable future, like Pyrgus communis/albescens, Bulia deducta/similaris, etc., etc., which I have long argued deserve a special taxon ID.
As one example of how this has been dealt with, eBird checklists* have many mulitiple species IDs such as "Snow/Ross's Goose", "Mallard/Mottled Duck", etc. (including some very broad ones such as "white egret sp." and "large tern sp."). I know that such group ID bins create headaches for species counts, totals, etc., but having some specificity in the array of holding bins may be more attractive to users than just "Holding Bin (moths)".

See, for example, this eBird barchart for Texas birds and note all the multi-species categories available for an observation:

Publicado por gcwarbler hace casi 7 años

I like the idea. Is this intended primarily for original posters or for an identifier? Perhaps both? Can you provide a link to the Google Discussions Group if it's not a private conservation? I would like to read the prior discussions before making already addressed comments.

Needless to say, I would use it. I think the original poster (assuming they weren't familiar with the complex) would benefit from knowing what species are involved. I know I don't often state the possibilities when identifying things like Halysidota or Desmia.

Thank you very much for involving me in this concept!

Publicado por ericwilliams hace casi 7 años

@ericwilliams Eric, I see the field being used by either the original poster or an identifier. The iNat default is that anyone can add a field to an observation. A user can change that in "Edit Account and Profile", "Preferred observation fields by" where the three choices are anyone, curators, only you. Doubt that many users have changed the default.

One issue raised by Chuck (@gcwarbler) is whether to leave the field open-ended so any descriptor could be used (the organic BugGuide approach), or to limit the choices by a drop down box. Now the field is open-ended but there's certainly a good argument that can be made to limit choices. As a field can be selected for inclusion in a csv download - I download quite often for Lep Society, MPG, to send to local folks that are interested in what's in the area. - a standardized list in that field would be useful.

There have been numerous free-wheeling discussions on the topic of changing iNat's taxonomy to include species pairs, complexes, undescribed. The most recent, where the "Holding Bin" concept arose, is: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/inaturalist/nSXEUKwKvSI

A previous thread that included an interesting comment by Donald Hobern, GBIF, is: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/inaturalist/mkAXJMnt7zE

Publicado por krancmm hace casi 7 años

@gcwarbler Chuck, I'm not sure I understand whether you think Holding bin (Moths) designed to be a field to hold species pairs, complexes, undescribed is something you like or don't like. It's no different than what eBird has. The reality is that iNat administration is not going to change the existing taxonomic structure so the "Holding Bin (taxon)" field is a work-around.

I agree that BugGuide's no taxon descriptions are too loose. However, I think this field needs to stay open-ended (even at the risk of finding BugGuide-esque descriptions) because if the list were limited to "allowed values" I would have to be notified of every new addition since I'm the "administrator" of the field - almost worst than being a curator.

Publicado por krancmm hace casi 7 años

So I'm good with the Holding Bins as constructed.

Publicado por gcwarbler hace casi 7 años

I do think that is a great idea, I try to add a comment to a post, ie Xanthotype, saying it's either sospeta or urticaria, needs dissection. This would save a step.

Publicado por joannerusso hace casi 7 años

I'm not sure how to use this field exactly. I guess I'm still too new to iNat, but I tried today for a Desmia and can't figure it out. When I click on the Holding bin (Moths) field it gives me a blank box. Am I supposed to write something in the box, or am I doing it wrong?

Publicado por ericwilliams hace más de 6 años

@ericwilliams Eric, it's just a blank text field that's not structured in any special fashion. You could enter into the field Desmia funeralis/maculalis or Desmia funeralis-maculalis. Having the genus and the species pair (or complex) listed is the important part. Or you can use it to put in an undescribed species.

Here are the ways it's been used: https://www.inaturalist.org/observation_fields/7201

Publicado por krancmm hace más de 6 años

Great, thank you!

Publicado por ericwilliams hace más de 6 años

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