Leafminer common names

Hi everyone,

A friendly reminder that the curator guide says "try to add names at the taxonomic level where they describe all members of that taxon and only members of that taxon. If a species has no common name in usage, please don't make one up."

Very few leafminers have established common names, and there are a lot of examples of newly made-up ones on iNaturalist. Often they take the form of "[host plant] leafminer." Since there is hardly any plant with just one species of leafminer on it, this practice leads to many absurdly wrong IDs (and frankly the same problem exists with most of the "official" common names that do exist for leafminers). I'm starting to delete these bogus names as I come across them, now that I've figured out how to do it. Please don't introduce any new ones.



Publicado por ceiseman ceiseman, 06 de mayo de 2020


The folks adding names may also be taking them from online or offline sources (unfortunately iNat doesn't have a field for source that users can edit).

To prevent the names from simply being added again after it was deleted, I'd recommend flagging it and @ mentioning the person who added the name.

If there is no person listed as having created the name, it was part of a larger import of names done by staff.

Publicado por bouteloua hace casi 3 años (Marca)

I would advise you (Charlie) to make a list of common names (if time permits) as the common names that do get used are usually "made up" by somebody and don't always sit well.

You being a recognized expert would add credence

Publicado por mothvet hace casi 3 años (Marca)

@mothvet I don't really ever use common names for leafminers, as in most cases a name that would uniquely describe a given species would be longer than the Latin name. I haven't made an effort to collect "official" common names that I have seen in literature, but I suppose I could start doing that going forward.
@bouteloua There are some names that I haven't seen before but seem plausible/reasonable; I've been leaving those alone. But there are others that are clearly bogus. I'll look into flagging next time this comes up.
Thank you both for the suggestions.

Publicado por ceiseman hace casi 3 años (Marca)

Okay, @bouteloua , so how do I flag a common name and tag someone? Here's an example:
In this case I see that @astrobirder created the name "burdock blotch miner" for Calycomyza flavinotum, and then @bobby23 modified it to "burdock blotch miner fly". How would I go about flagging these names? I'm fairly sure they were just made up on the spot. They're not unreasonable names for this species, except that it mines leaves of a number of other plants.
I suppose I could just keep pointing to examples in comments on this post, with the hope of getting everyone on the same page.

Publicado por ceiseman hace casi 3 años (Marca)

An advantage of flags is that they remain on each taxon as a source of information about that previous discussion.

You can't flag an individual common name, but rather the entire taxon, by clicking Curation>Flag for Curation: https://www.inaturalist.org/flags/488927

Publicado por bouteloua hace casi 3 años (Marca)

In general, I think it is important to assume good faith and that curators are just trying to best represent taxa on iNaturalist. Many believe they are abiding by site guidelines.

If a name seems misapplied or fabricated, the user who added it may have misinterpreted a source. Alternatively, they may be familiar with an accredited resource that is valid but somewhat obscure.

Publicado por bobby23 hace casi 3 años (Marca)

@bouteloua Got it, thanks!
@bobby23 Understood.
From now on I won't delete common names without flagging & tagging.

Publicado por ceiseman hace casi 3 años (Marca)

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