Content Author Object Flagger Flag Created Reason Resolved by Resolution
Carolina Mantis (Stagmomantis carolina) bouteloua Fri, 23 Oct 2020 15:45:53 +0000

discussion of split

Not Resolved



As mentioned on the forum, a split was recently committed of S. carolina into S. carolina (sensu stricto) + S. conspurcata.

No atlases were defined, causing all the IDs of S. carolina to be bumped to genus. A rough map of the US-only distribution is provided on page 12 of the PDF in the recent publication in Volume 1, Issue 1 of "Soothsayer" a (self-published?) journal.

Whereas carolina occurs within the East Coast and higher elevations of the Midwest, conspurcata occurs throughout the lowland regions of the lower Midwest, Texas, and Gulf Coast, ranging into northern Mexico.

That said, S. conspurcata is still listed as a synonym in Mantodea Species File (, the designated taxon authority on iNaturalist for this group.

I’m not sure how or if it’s possible for me to search for IDs that were withdrawn due to a taxon change, but there are currently 27,000 withdrawn IDs of S. carolina, 456 obs of S. carolina, and 226 obs of S. conspurcata.

Is there a discussion somewhere about deviating from the taxon authority for this group?

Posted by bouteloua 3 months ago (Flag)

is this the split? yes it seems deviating should have been discussed first and altalses should have been made

Posted by loarie 3 months ago (Flag)

yep that split

Posted by bouteloua 3 months ago (Flag)

I think @kueda is reverting

Posted by loarie 3 months ago (Flag)

Pinging @i_fox in case they have comments about this. It seems like the best course of action would be to revert the split (if that isn't too difficult or disruptive), then discuss whether a taxon split is actually warranted yet, and if so create atlases for the two new taxons. My personal opinion is that iNaturalist should stick with established taxon authorities where possible and not react to every taxon change proposed in a paper (with all due respect to @mantodea who wrote the paper in question), especially when it comes to well-established well-known species. Over in the spiders, we usually wait for changes to come in through the World Spider Catalog rather than making taxon changes as they are published. For example, was described as a new species back in September, but we're fine with leaving it at genus level until the WSC accepts the new species.

Posted by zygy 3 months ago (Flag)

copying comment from Ken-ichi on the split from 23 October 2020:

I'm in the process of reverting this split b/c it contradicts the authority for mantids we've listed in the Curator's Guide, specifically because Stagmomantis conspurcata isn't listed in Mantodea Species File. If iNat needs to diverge from the authority we're following, that divergence should be registered in the form of a "deviation" from that authority (see before being used in a split.

The lack of atlases here also meant that all observations of S. carolina got re-identified at the genus level, so atlases for output taxa are also an important pre-req for a good split.

The recommendation of several curators at and was to revert, with the possibility of re-committing this in the future after the deviation has been registered and atlases made, so I've executed the reversion part of that.

I'm hoping the reversion will be complete some time today.

(reversion has since completed)

Posted by bouteloua about 2 months ago (Flag)

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