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Homonyms on EOL

Last updated 3 months ago

If the same taxon name is applied to different groups of organisms, you've got a homonym, and that can cause all kinds of problems for biodiversity databases like EOL. If homonyms go undetected, we may put content for different groups on the same taxon page. Please join the Homonym Hunters community and help us find all the homonyms on EOL!

This collection is for all kinds of homonyms:


Cross-code homonyms


Homonyms across nomenclatural codes (ICBN, ICZN, ICNB, ICTV) are allowed, so there are plenty of them. Example: Satyrium, the orchid genus and Satyrium, the butterfly genus.


Cross-rank homonyms


At least in zoological nomenclature, homonyms are allowed if they refer to groups at different ranks. Example: Polyphaga, the roach genus and Polyphaga, the beetle suborder.


Invalid homonyms


Within codes and ranks, homonyms are not allowed, so only one of the homonymous names can be valid/accepted. If EOL gets these invalid names from a provider, we will have a page for it, and we'll need to keep that page around until we get information about the valid replacement name. Example: Acanthurus, the surgeon fish genus and Acanthurus, the weevil genus.



Comprehensive lists of homonyms have also been compiled elsewhere:

IRMNG Homonyms

Systema Naturae 2000: Homonyms

Wikispecies: List of valid homonyms



  • Abas

    Split these fulgoroid HEs (for the second time) from the protist concept.

  • Abas R. Ross et P. A. Sims, 1980

    Protistan Abas

    This is the protist genus

  • 90120_88_88

    Abietinella

    This page is missing the Distribution article that's erroneously place on the Hydrozoan page. We should be able to figure out this kind of thing by classifying content providers. It's unlikely that MoBot will give us any content about Hydrozoans, and any WORMS content for bryophytes would be equally suspect.

  • Abietinella

    Abietinella Hydrozoan

    This is the hydrozoan concept.

  • Absidia

    The fungus.

  • Absidia

  • 47278_88_88

    Acacallis

    The orchid.

  • Acacallis

    The moth.

  • 66556_88_88

    Acanthocarpus

    Page is blank - 06/20/2012

  • 91209_88_88

    Acanthocarpus

    Contains wiki entries for both the crab genus and the plant - 06/20/2012

  • 46458_88_88

    Acanthocephala

    Leaf-footed Bugs

    This page currently looks clean: September 2011.

  • 32223_88_88

    Acanthocephala

    Spiny-headed Worms

    September 2011: There are bug images in the media tab of this page, the Wikipedia article is about the bug genus, and there are a few bug references in the BHL list.

  • Acanthocephalus

    Page is blank - 6/20/2012

  • Acanthocephalus

    Detail page contains wiki article relating to the plant - 6/20/2012

  • 18795_88_88

    Acanthurus

    Surgeonfishes

    Acanthurus Forsskål, 1775. This page currently looks clean: September 2011.

  • Acanthurus

    Probably a junior homonym of Acanthurus Forsskål, 1775.

  • Achaeta

    Split the grass genus, which is apparently defunct, into its own concept.

  • Acharia

    Separated plant & moth concepts.

  • 50220_88_88

    Acharia

  • 74100_88_88

    Achlya

    This is the moth genus from Catalogue of Life.

  • 31409_88_88

    Achlya

    This is the oomycete (misclassified by ITIS as a myxomycete). The media collection is contaminated with moth images.

  • Achlya flavicornis

    Split this oomycete HE off the moth species concept. It's doubtful that Linnaeus used the same name for an oomycete and a moth, so this HE is probably bogus.

  • 74100_88_88

    Achlya flavicornis

    Yellow Horned

    Oy, it looks like Linnaeus used this binomial for both a moth and an oomycete. Really?

  • 42932_88_88

    Acrocephalus

    Reed-warblers

    Contains wiki entry and several photos relating to the Acrocephalus plant genus, which does not seem to be represented on EOL. 6/20/2012

  • 44777_88_88

    Acrocephalus

    Split these plant genus HEs from the bird genus concept.

  • 67673_88_88

    Actaea

    Mud Crabs

    This is the crab genus, but the media tab has mostly plant images.

  • 91925_88_88

    Actaea

    Baneberry

    This is the plant genus, family Ranunculaceae. The page looks currently clean. October 2011.

  • Actaea

    This is another error in Catalogue of Life. For some reason, they have a couple of baneberry species misplaced in the Rosaceae.

  • 35174_88_88

    Actidium

  • Actidium

  • Actinopeltis

    All information appears to be correctly associated. 6/20/2012

  • Adenophora

    Page is blank. 6/20/2012

  • 13473_88_88

    Adenophora

    All information appears to be correctly associated. 6/20/2012

  • 15803_88_88

    Aegle

    All information appears to be correctly associated. 6/20/2012

  • 50862_88_88

    Aegle

    All information appears to be correctly associated. 6/20/2012

  • 26193_88_88

    Afzelia

    Mahogany

    legume

  • Afzelia

    tachinid fly

  • 80244_88_88

    Agarista

    Contains wiki entry and a few photos that should be associated with the Agarista moth genus. 6/20/2012

  • 48648_88_88

    Agarista

    Hobblebush

    Contains common name and a few photos that should be associated with the Agarista plant genus. 6/20/2012

  • 40190_88_88

    Agathis

  • 90451_88_88

    Agathis

    Kauri Pines

  • Agathis montana

  • Agathis montana

    Species-level homonym! Great find!

  • Agnesia

    All information appears to be correctly associated. 6/20/2012

  • Agnesia

    All information appears to be correctly associated. 6/20/2012

  • Agonis

    Page is currently blank. 6/20/2012

  • 15235_88_88

    Agonis

    Willow Myrtle

    All information appears to be correctly associated. 6/20/2012

  • Alania

    Page is currently blank. 6/20/2012

  • Alania

    Page is currently blank. 6/20/2012

  • Albertinia

    Page is currently blank. 6/20/2012