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Homonyms on EOL

Last updated over 1 year 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

Homonyms that apply to groups of different ranks are allowed under certain circumstances and they are also quite common. 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