Homonym (biology)

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In biology, a homonym is a name for a taxon that is identical in spelling to another such name, that belongs to a different taxon. Homonym (biology)_sentence_0

The rule in the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature is that the first such name to be published is the senior homonym and is to be used (it is "valid"); any others are junior homonyms and must be replaced with new names. Homonym (biology)_sentence_1

It is, however, possible that if a senior homonym is archaic, and not in "prevailing usage," it may be declared a nomen oblitum and rendered unavailable, while the junior homonym is preserved as a nomen protectum. Homonym (biology)_sentence_2

Homonym (biology)_description_list_0

  • For example:Homonym (biology)_item_0_0
    • Cuvier proposed the genus Echidna in 1797 for the spiny anteater.Homonym (biology)_item_0_1
    • However, Forster had already published the name Echidna in 1777 for a genus of moray eels.Homonym (biology)_item_0_2
    • Forster's use thus has priority, with Cuvier's being a junior homonym.Homonym (biology)_item_0_3
    • Illiger published the replacement name Tachyglossus in 1811.Homonym (biology)_item_0_4

Similarly, the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN) specifies that the first published of two or more homonyms is to be used: a later homonym is "illegitimate" and is not to be used unless conserved (or sanctioned, in the case of fungi). Homonym (biology)_sentence_3

Homonym (biology)_description_list_1

  • Example: the later homonym Myroxylon L.f. (1782), in the family Leguminosae, is conserved against the earlier homonym Myroxylon J.R.Forst. & G.Forst. (1775) (now called Xylosma, in the family Salicaceae).Homonym (biology)_item_1_5

Parahomonyms Homonym (biology)_section_0

Under the botanical code, names that are similar enough that they are likely to be confused, are also considered to be homonymous (article 53.3). Homonym (biology)_sentence_4

For example, Astrostemma Benth. Homonym (biology)_sentence_5

(1880) is an illegitimate homonym of Asterostemma Decne. Homonym (biology)_sentence_6

(1838). Homonym (biology)_sentence_7

The zoological code has a set of spelling variations (article 58) that are considered to be identical. Homonym (biology)_sentence_8

Hemihomonyms Homonym (biology)_section_1

Both codes only consider taxa that are in their respective scope (animals for the ICZN; primarily plants for the ICN). Homonym (biology)_sentence_9

Therefore, if an animal taxon has the same name as a plant taxon, both names are valid. Homonym (biology)_sentence_10

Such names are called hemihomonyms. Homonym (biology)_sentence_11

For example, the name Erica has been given to both a genus of spiders, Erica Peckham & Peckham, 1892, and to a genus of heaths, Erica L. Homonym (biology)_sentence_12

Hemihomonyms are possible at the species level as well, with organisms in different kingdoms sharing the same binomial. Homonym (biology)_sentence_13

For instance, Orestias elegans denotes both a species of fish (kingdom Animalia) and a species of orchid (kingdom Plantae). Homonym (biology)_sentence_14

Such duplication of binomials occurs in at least eight instances. Homonym (biology)_sentence_15

Homonym (biology)_table_general_0

AnimalHomonym (biology)_cell_0_0_0 Plant/FungusHomonym (biology)_cell_0_0_1
Adesmia muricata (Linnaeus, 1758) (a beetle)Homonym (biology)_cell_0_1_0 Adesmia muricata (Jacq.) DC. (a legume)Homonym (biology)_cell_0_1_1
Agathis montana Shestakov, 1932 (a wasp)Homonym (biology)_cell_0_2_0 Agathis montana de Laub. (the Mount Panié kauri, a conifer)Homonym (biology)_cell_0_2_1
Asterina gibbosa (Pennant, 1777) (the starlet cushion star, a starfish)Homonym (biology)_cell_0_3_0 Asterina gibbosa Gaillard (a fungus)Homonym (biology)_cell_0_3_1
Baileya australis (Grote, 1881) (the small baileya moth)Homonym (biology)_cell_0_4_0 Baileya australis Rydb. syn. B. multiradiata (a desert marigold)Homonym (biology)_cell_0_4_1
Centropogon australis (White, 1790) (the fortescue, a waspfish)Homonym (biology)_cell_0_5_0 Centropogon australis Gleason (a bellflower)Homonym (biology)_cell_0_5_1
Cuspidaria cuspidata (Olivi, 1792) (a bivalve)Homonym (biology)_cell_0_6_0 Cuspidaria cuspidata (M. Bieb.) Takht. syn. Erysimum cuspidatum (a wallflower)Homonym (biology)_cell_0_6_1
Ficus variegata Röding, 1798 (the true fig shell, a sea snail)Homonym (biology)_cell_0_7_0 Ficus variegata Blume (the common red-stem fig)Homonym (biology)_cell_0_7_1
Gaussia princeps (T. Scott, 1894) (a copepod)Homonym (biology)_cell_0_8_0 Gaussia princeps H.Wendl. (a palm)Homonym (biology)_cell_0_8_1
Orestias elegans Garman, 1895 (a pupfish)Homonym (biology)_cell_0_9_0 Orestias elegans Ridl. (an orchid)Homonym (biology)_cell_0_9_1
Tritonia pallida Stimpson, 1855 (a nudibranch)Homonym (biology)_cell_0_10_0 Tritonia pallida Ker Gawl. (an iris)Homonym (biology)_cell_0_10_1

See also Homonym (biology)_section_2

Homonym (biology)_unordered_list_2

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homonym (biology).