Synonym (taxonomy)

In scientific nomenclature, a synonym is a scientific name that applies to a taxon that (now) goes by a different scientific name,[1] although the term is used somewhat differently in the zoological code of nomenclature.[2] For example, Linnaeus was the first to give a scientific name (under the currently used system of scientific nomenclature) to the Norway spruce, which he called Pinus abies. This name is no longer in use: it is now a synonym of the current scientific name, Picea abies.

Unlike synonyms in other contexts, in taxonomy a synonym is not interchangeable with the name of which it is a synonym. In taxonomy, synonyms are not equals, but have a different status. For any taxon with a particular circumscription, position, and rank, only one scientific name is considered to be the correct one at any given time (this correct name is to be determined by applying the relevant code of nomenclature). A synonym cannot exist in isolation: it is always an alternative to a different scientific name. Given that the correct name of a taxon depends on the taxonomic viewpoint used (resulting in a particular circumscription, position and rank) a name that is one taxonomist's synonym may be another taxonomist's correct name (and vice versa).

Synonyms may arise whenever the same taxon is described and named more than once, independently. They may also arise when existing taxa are changed, as when two taxa are joined to become one, a species is moved to a different genus, a variety is moved to a different species, etc. Synonyms also come about when the codes of nomenclature change, so that older names are no longer acceptable; for example, Erica herbacea L. has been rejected in favour of Erica carnea L. and is thus its synonym.[3]

General usage

To the general user of scientific names, in fields such as agriculture, horticulture, ecology, general science, etc., a synonym is a name that was previously used as the correct scientific name (in handbooks and similar sources) but which has been displaced by another scientific name, which is now regarded as correct. Thus Oxford Dictionaries Online defines the term as "a taxonomic name which has the same application as another, especially one which has been superseded and is no longer valid."[4] In handbooks and general texts, it is useful to have synonyms mentioned as such after the current scientific name, so as to avoid confusion. For example, if the much advertised name change should go through and the scientific name of the fruit fly were changed to Sophophora melanogaster, it would be very helpful if any mention of this name was accompanied by "(syn. Drosophila melanogaster)". Synonyms used in this way may not always meet the strict definitions of the term "synonym" in the formal rules of nomenclature which govern scientific names (see below).

Changes of scientific name have two causes: they may be taxonomic or nomenclatural. A name change may be caused by changes in the circumscription, position or rank of a taxon, representing a change in taxonomic, scientific insight (as would be the case for the fruit fly, mentioned above). A name change may be due to purely nomenclatural reasons, that is, based on the rules of nomenclature; as for example when an older name is (re)discovered which has priority over the current name. Speaking in general, name changes for nomenclatural reasons have become less frequent over time as the rules of nomenclature allow for names to be conserved, so as to promote stability of scientific names.


Triturus boscai.001
The Latin Caudata and Greek Urodela both mean "tailed" and have been used as a scientific name at the taxonomic rank of order for the salamanders (as opposed to the tail-less frogs). Thus they are synonyms.

In zoological nomenclature, codified in the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, synonyms are different scientific names of the same taxonomic rank that pertain to that same taxon. For example, a particular species could, over time, have had two or more species-rank names published for it, while the same is applicable at higher ranks such as genera, families, orders, etc. In each case, the earliest published name is called the senior synonym, while the later name is the junior synonym. In the case where two names for the same taxon have been published simultaneously, the valid name is selected accorded to the principle of the first reviser such that, for example, of the names Strix scandiaca and Strix noctua (Aves), both published by Linnaeus in the same work at the same date for the taxon now determined to be the snowy owl, the epithet scandiaca has been selected as the valid name, with noctua becoming the junior synonym (this species is currently classified in the genus Bubo, as Bubo scandiacus[5]).

One basic principle of zoological nomenclature is that the earliest correctly published (and thus available) name, the senior synonym, by default takes precedence in naming rights and therefore, unless other restrictions interfere, must be used for the taxon. However, junior synonyms are still important to document, because if the earliest name cannot be used (for example, because the same spelling had previously been used for a name established for another taxon), then the next available junior synonym must be used for the taxon. For other purposes, if a researcher is interested in consulting or compiling all currently known information regarding a taxon, some of this (including species descriptions, distribution, ecology and more) may well have been published under names now regarded as outdated (i.e., synonyms) and so it is again useful to know a list of historic synonyms which may have been used for a given current (valid) taxon name.

Objective synonyms refer to taxa with the same type and same rank (more or less the same taxon, although circumscription may vary, even widely). This may be species-group taxa of the same rank with the same type specimen, genus-group taxa of the same rank with the same type species or if their type species are themselves objective synonyms, of family-group taxa with the same type genus, etc.[6]

In the case of subjective synonyms, there is no such shared type, so the synonymy is open to taxonomic judgement,[7] meaning that there is room for debate: one researcher might consider the two (or more) types to refer to one and the same taxon, another might consider them to belong to different taxa. For example, John Edward Gray published the name Antilocapra anteflexa in 1855 for a species of pronghorn, based on a pair of horns. However, it is now commonly accepted that his specimen was an unusual individual of the species Antilocapra americana published by George Ord in 1815. Ord's name thus takes precedence, with Antilocapra anteflexa being a junior subjective synonym.

Objective synonyms are common at the rank of genera, because for various reasons two genera may contain the same type species; these are objective synonyms.[8] In many cases researchers established new generic names because they thought this was necessary or did not know that others had previously established another genus for the same group of species. An example is the genus Pomatia Beck, 1837,[9] which was established for a group of terrestrial snails containing as its type species the Burgundy or Roman snail Helix pomatia—since Helix pomatia was already the type species for the genus Helix Linnaeus, 1758, the genus Pomatia was an objective synonym (and useless). At the same occasion Helix is also a synonym of Pomatia, but it is older and so it has precedence.

At the species level, subjective synonyms are common because of an unexpectedly large range of variation in a species, or simple ignorance about an earlier description, may lead a biologist to describe a newly discovered specimen as a new species. A common reason for objective synonyms at this level is the creation of a replacement name.

It is possible for a junior synonym to be given precedence over a senior synonym,[10] primarily when the senior name has not been used since 1899, and the junior name is in common use. The older name may be declared to be a nomen oblitum, and the junior name declared a nomen protectum. This rule exists primarily to prevent the confusion that would result if a well-known name, with a large accompanying body of literature, were to be replaced by a completely unfamiliar name. An example is the European land snail Petasina edentula (Draparnaud, 1805). In 2002, researchers found that an older name Helix depilata Draparnaud, 1801 referred to the same species, but this name had never been used after 1899 and was fixed as a nomen oblitum under this rule by Falkner et al. 2002.[11]

Such a reversal of precedence is also possible if the senior synonym was established after 1900, but only if the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) approves an application. (Note that here the C in ICZN stands for Commission, not Code as it does at the beginning of § Zoology. The two are related, with only one word difference between their names.) For example, the scientific name of the red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta was published by Buren in 1972, who did not know that this species was first named Solenopsis saevissima wagneri by Santschi in 1916; as there were thousands of publications using the name invicta before anyone discovered the synonymy, the ICZN, in 2001, ruled that invicta would be given precedence over wagneri.

To qualify as a synonym in zoology, a name must be properly published in accordance with the rules. Manuscript names and names that were mentioned without any description (nomina nuda) are not considered as synonyms in zoological nomenclature.


In botanical nomenclature, a synonym is a name that is not correct for the circumscription, position, and rank of the taxon as considered in the particular botanical publication. It is always "a synonym of the correct scientific name", but which name is correct depends on the taxonomic opinion of the author. In botany the various kinds of synonyms are:

  • Homotypic, or nomenclatural, synonyms (sometimes indicated by ) have the same type (specimen) and the same taxonomic rank. The Linnaean name Pinus abies L. has the same type as Picea abies (L.) H.Karst. When Picea is taken to be the correct genus for this species (there is almost complete consensus on that), Pinus abies is a homotypic synonym of Picea abies. However, if the species were considered to belong to Pinus (now unlikely) the relationship would be reversed and Picea abies would become a homotypic synonym of Pinus abies. A homotypic synonym need not share an epithet or name with the correct name; what matters is that it shares the type. For example, the name Taraxacum officinale for a species of dandelion has the same type as Leontodon taraxacum L. The latter is a homotypic synonym of Taraxacum officinale F.H.Wigg.
  • Heterotypic, or taxonomic, synonyms (sometimes indicated by =) have different types. Some botanists split the common dandelion into many, quite restricted species. The name of each such species has its own type. When the common dandelion is regarded as including all those small species, the names of all those species are heterotypic synonyms of Taraxacum officinale F.H.Wigg. Reducing a taxon to a heterotypic synonym is termed "to sink in synonymy" or "as synonym".

In botany, although a synonym must be a formally accepted scientific name (a validly published name): a listing of "synonyms", a "synonymy", often contains designations that for some reason did not make it as a formal name, such as manuscript names, or even misidentifications (although it is now the usual practice to list misidentifications separately[12]).

Comparison between zoology and botany

Although the basic principles are fairly similar, the treatment of synonyms in botanical nomenclature differs in detail and terminology from zoological nomenclature, where the correct name is included among synonyms, although as first among equals it is the "senior synonym":

  • Synonyms in botany are equivalent to "junior synonyms" in zoology.
  • The homotypic or nomenclatural synonyms in botany are equivalent to "objective synonyms" in zoology.
  • The heterotypic or taxonomic synonyms in botany are equivalent to "subjective synonyms" in zoology.
  • If the name of a species changes solely on account of its allocation to a new genus ("new combinations"), in botany this is regarded as creating a synonym in the case of the original or previous combination but not in zoology (where the fundamental nomenclatural unit is regarded as the species epithet, not the binomen, and this has generally not changed). Nevertheless, in popular usage, previous or alternative/non current combinations are frequently listed as synonyms in zoology as well as in botany.

Synonym lists

Scientific papers may include lists of taxa, synonymizing existing taxa and (in some cases) listing references to them.

The status of a synonym may be indicated by symbols, as for instance in a system proposed for use in paleontology by Rudolf Richter. In that system a v before the year would indicate that the authors have inspected the original material; a . that they take on the responsibility for the act of synonymizing the taxa.[13]

Other usage

The traditional concept of synonymy is often expanded in taxonomic literature to include pro parte (or "for part") synonyms. These are caused by splits and circumscriptional changes. They are usually indicated by the abbreviation "p.p."[14] For example:

  • When Dandy described Galium tricornutum, he cited G. tricorne Stokes (1787) pro parte as a synonym, but explicitly excluded the type (specimen) of G. tricorne from the new species G. tricornutum. Thus G. tricorne was subdivided.
  • The Angiosperm Phylogeny Group's summary of plant classification states that family Verbenaceae "are much reduced compared to a decade or so ago, and many genera have been placed in Lamiaceae", but Avicennia, which was once included in Verbenaceae has been moved to Acanthaceae. Thus, it could be said that Verbenaceae pro parte is a synonym of Acanthaceae, and Verbenaceae pro parte is also a synonym of Lamiaceae. However, this terminology is rarely used because it is clearer to reserve the term "pro parte" for situations that divide a taxon that includes the type from one that does not.

See also


  1. ^ ICN, "Glossary", entry for "synonym"
  2. ^ ICZN, "Glossary", entry for "synonym"
  3. ^ ICN, Appendix IV
  4. ^ Definition of synonym from Oxford Dictionaries Online, retrieved 2011-11-28
  5. ^ BirdLife International (2017). " Bubo scandiacus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T22689055A119342767. Retrieved 10 December 2017.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  6. ^ ICZN, Art. 61.3
  7. ^ ICZN, Art. 61.3.1
  8. ^ ICZN, Art. 61.3.3
  9. ^ p. 43 in Beck, H. 1837. Index molluscorum præsentis ævi musei principis augustissimi Christiani Frederici. – pp. 1–100 [1837], 101–124 [1838]. Hafniæ.
  10. ^ ICZN, Art. 23.9 "reversal of precedence"
  11. ^ Falkner, G., Ripken, T. E. J. & Falkner, M. 2002. Mollusques continentaux de France. Liste de référence annotée et bibliographie. – pp. [1–2], 1–350, [1–3]. Paris.
  12. ^ ICN, Recommendation 50D
  13. ^ Matthews, S. C. (1973), "Notes on open nomenclature and synonymy lists" (PDF), Palaeontology, 16: 713–719.
  14. ^ Berendsohn, W. G. (1995), "The concept of "potential taxa" in databases" (PDF), Taxon, 44 (2): 207–212, doi:10.2307/1222443, JSTOR 1222443.



The suffix -onym, in English and other languages, means "word, name", and words ending in -onym refer to a specified kind of name or word, most of which are classical compounds. For example, an acronym is a word formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term (as radar). The use of -onym words provides a means of classifying, often to a fine degree of resolution, sets of nouns with common attributes.

In some words, the -onym form has been modified by replacing (or dropping) the "o". In the examples ananym and metanym, the correct forms (anonym and metonym) were pre-occupied by other meanings. Other, late 20th century examples, such as hypernym and characternym, are typically incorrectly formed neologisms for which there are more traditional words formed in -onym (hyperonym and charactonym).

The English suffix -onym is from the Ancient Greek suffix -ώνυμον (ōnymon), neuter of the suffix ώνυμος (ōnymos), having a specified kind of name, from the Greek ὄνομα (ónoma), Aeolic Greek ὄνυμα (ónyma), "name". The form -ōnymos is that taken by ónoma when it is the end component of a bahuvrihi compound, but in English its use is extended to tatpurusa compounds.

The suffix is found in many modern languages with various spellings. Examples are: Dutch synoniem, German Synonym, Portuguese sinónimo, Russian синоним (sinonim), Polish synonim, Finnish synonyymi, Indonesian sinonim.

According to a 1988 study of words ending in -onym, there are four discernible classes of -onym words: (1) historic, classic, or, for want of better terms, naturally occurring or common words; (2) scientific terminology, occurring in particular in linguistics, onomastics, etc.; (3) language games; and (4) nonce words. Older terms are known to gain new, sometimes contradictory, meanings (e.g., eponym and cryptonym). In many cases, two or more words describe the same phenomenon, but no precedence is discernible (e.g., necronym and penthonym). New words are sometimes created, the meaning of which duplicating existing terms. On occasion, new words are formed with little regard to historical principles.

Bacterial taxonomy

Bacterial taxonomy is the taxonomy, i.e. the rank-based classification, of bacteria.

In the scientific classification established by Carl Linnaeus, each species has to be assigned to a genus (binary nomenclature), which in turn is a lower level of a hierarchy of ranks (family, suborder, order, subclass, class, division/phyla, kingdom and domain).

In the currently accepted classification of life, there are three domains (Eukaryotes, Bacteria and Archaea), which, in terms of taxonomy, despite following the same principles have several different conventions between them and between their subdivisions as are studied by different disciplines (botany, zoology, mycology and microbiology), for example in zoology there are type specimens, whereas in microbiology there are type strains.


In biodiversity informatics, a chresonym is the cited use of a taxon name, usually a species name, within a publication. The term is derived from the Greek χρῆσις chresis meaning "a use" and refers to published usage of a name.

The technical meaning of the related term synonym is for different names that refer to the same object or concept. As noted by Hobart and Rozella Smith, zoological systematists had been using "the term (synonymy) in another sense as well, namely in reference to all occurrences of any name or set of names (usually synonyms) in the literature." Such a "synonymy" could include multiple listings, one for each place the author found a name used, rather than a summarized list of different synonyms. The term "chresonym" was created to distinguish this second sense of the term "synonym." The concept of synonymy is furthermore different in the zoological and botanical codes of nomenclature.

A name that correctly refers to a taxon is further termed an orthochresonym while one that is applied incorrectly for a given taxon may be termed a heterochresonym.

Hyponymy and hypernymy

In linguistics, a hyponym (from Greek hupó, "under" and ónoma, "name") is a word or phrase whose semantic field is included within that of another word, its hyperonym or hypernym (from Greek hupér, "over" and ónoma, "name"). In simpler terms, a hyponym is in a type-of relationship with its hypernym. For example, pigeon, crow, eagle and seagull are all hyponyms of bird (their hypernym); which, in turn, is a hyponym of animal.Other names for hypernym include umbrella term and blanket term. A synonym of co-hyponym based on same tier (and not hyponymic) relation is allonym (it means different name).

List of bacterial genera named after geographical names

Several bacterial species are named after geographical locations.

For the generic epithet, all names derived from people or places (unless in combination) must be in the female nominative case, either by changing the ending to -a or to the diminutive -ella, depending on the name. If a Latin word for the locality exists that should be used ignoring geopolitical differences, e.g. Sina for China.

Aegyptianella – Aegyptus (the Latin name of Egypt)

Aidingimonas – Ayding Lake (Xinjiang province of north-west China)

Antarctobacter – Antarctica

Balneola – Balneola (the medieval Latin name of Banyuls, France)

Bavariicoccus – Bavaria (Germany)

Beutenbergia – Beutenberg (Germany)

Bogoriella – Lake Bogoria (Kenya)

Brooklawnia – Brooklawn (the contaminated site from which members of the genus were first isolated)

Budvicia – Budvicium (the Latin name of the city České Budějovice)

Daeguia – Daegu (Korea)

Delftia – Delft (the Netherlands)

Dokdonella – Dokdo (the Korean name of Liancourt Rocks)

Dokdonia – Dokdo (the Korean name of Liancourt Rocks)

Donghaeana – Donghae (the Korean name of the Sea of Japan)

Donghicola – Donghae (the Korean name of the Sea of Japan)

Gallaecimonas – Galicia (region of northwest Spain)

Gangjinia – Gangjin Bay (Korea Strait, Korea)

Gelria – Gelre or Gelderland (one of the 12 provinces in The Netherlands)

Georgenia – St Georgen (a village in Styria)

Hafnia – Hafnia (the Latin name for Copenhagen, Denmark)

Herminiimonas – Mons Herminius (a mountain range of Lusitania)

Hwanghaeicola – Hwanghae (a historical Korean province)

Indibacter – India

Jejuia – Jeju Island (the largest island in Korea)

Jeongeupia – Jeongeup (Korean city, where Naejang mountain is located)

Kiloniella – Kilonium (the Latin name of the northern German city of Kiel, Germany)

Kinneretia – Kinneret Lake (Israel)

Koreibacter – Korea

Lutaonella – Lutao (a small volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean)

Massilia (bacterium) – Massilia (the Latin name of Marseille, France)

Mechercharimyces – Mecherchar (a marine lake located on Mecherchar Island in the Republic of Palau)

Mitsuaria – Matsue City (Shimane prefecture, Japan)

Nevskia – Neva (a river in St. Petersburg, Russia)

Okibacterium – Oka River (Russia)

Orientia – The Orient

Pannonibacter – Pannonia (the Roman province in what is now Hungary), and also Pannon lakes (Hungary)

Phocaeicola – Phocaea (a maritime town of Ionia, modern-day Foça in Turkey)

Pragia – Prague (Czech Republic)

Providencia – Providence (Rhode Island, U.S.A)

Reinekea – Reineke Island (Peter the Great Bay, Sea of Japan, Russia)

Rhodanobacter – Rhodanus (River Rhône)

Salana – River Saale (Germany)

Sejongia – King Sejong Station (Korea) – the strain was isolated form this station which is named after King Sejong of Joseon Dynasty.

Seohaeicola – Seohae (the Korean name of the Yellow Sea)

Sinobaca – Sina (the medieval Latin name of China)

Sinobacter – Sina (the medieval Latin name of China)

Sinococcus – Sina (the medieval Latin name of China)

Sinomonas – Sina (the medieval Latin name of China)

Sinorhizobium – Sina (the medieval Latin name of China)

Sinosporangium – Sina (the medieval Latin name of China)

Stygiolobus – River Styx (a river in Greek mythology which formed the boundary between Earth and the Underworld)

Tamlana – Tamla (the old name for Jeju Island, Korea) according to the description in the IJSME article

Tateyamaria – Tateyama City (Chiba prefecture, Japan)

Turicella – Turicum (the Latin name of Zurich, Switzerland)

Turicibacter – Turicum (the Latin name of Zurich, Switzerland)

Victivallis – Referring to the Wageningen 'Food Valley', an area of The Netherlands in which Food Science is a major research topic

Wandonia – Wando (an island located on the Southern Sea in Korea)

Yeosuana – Yeosu City (Korea)

List of bacterial genera named after institutions

Several bacterial species are named after institutions, including acronyms which are spelled as they would be read; e.g., CDC becomes Ce+de+ce+a.

The names are changed in the female nominative case, either by changing the ending to -a or to the diminutive -ella, depending on the name.

Afipia – AFIP (Armed Force Institute of Pathology), USA

Basfia – BASF SE (a chemical company in Ludwigshafen, Germany)

Cedecea – CDC (Centers for Disease Control), USA

Deefgea – DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; German Science Foundation), Germany

Desemzia – DSMZ (Deutsche Sammlung von Mikroorganismen und Zellkulturen), Germany

Emticicia – MTCC (Microbial Type Culture Collection and Gene Bank), India

Iamia – IAM (Institute of Applied Microbiology at the University of Tokyo), Japan

Ideonella – Ideon Research Center, University of Lund, Sweden

Inhella – Inha University, Korea

Kaistella – KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), Korea

Kaistia – KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology), Korea

Kistimonas – KIST (Korea Institute of Science and Technology ), Korea

Kordia – KORDI (Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute), Korea

Kordiimonas – KORDI (Korea Ocean Research and Development Institute), Korea

Kribbella – KRIBB (Korean Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology), Korea

Kribbia – KRIBB (Korean Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology), Korea

Lonepinella – Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (a private zoo), Australia

Mameliella – MME laboratory (Marine microbial ecology laboratory), China

Mesonia – MES (Marine Experimental Station of the Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry), Russia

Niabella – NIAB (National Institute of Agricultural Biotechnology), Korea

Niastella – NIAST (National Institute of Agricultural Science and Technology), Korea

Nubsella – NUBS (Nihon University College of Bioresource Sciences), Japan

Pibocella – PIBOC (Pacific Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry), Russia

Rikenella – RIKEN (Rikagaku Kenkyusho; Institute of Physical and Chemical Research), Japan

Rudaea – RDA (Rural Development Administration), Korea

Rudanella – RDA (Rural Development Administration), Korea

Sciscionella – SCISCIO (South China Sea Institute of Oceanology), China

Stakelama – State Key Laboratory of Marine Environment Science, China

Tistrella – TISTR (Thailand Institute of Scientific and Technological Research), Thailand

Waddlia – WADDL (Washington Animal Disease Diagnostic-Laboratory), USA

Woodsholea – Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Massachusetts, USA

Yimella – YIM (Yunnan Institute of Microbiology), China

Yokenella – Kokuritsu-yoboueisei-kenkyusho (National Institute of Disease Prevention and Health), Japan

List of bacterial genera named after mythological figures

Several bacterial species are named after Greek or Roman mythical figures.

The rules present for species named after a famous person do not apply, although some names are changed in the female nominative case, either by changing the ending to -a or to the diminutive -ella, depending on the name.

Acidianus and Janibacter: Janus, a god in Roman mythology with two faces.

Amphritea: Amphitrite ('Αμφιτρίτη), a sea-goddess and wife of Poseidon in Greek mythology and one of the 50 daughters of Nereus and Doris.

Breoghania: Breogán, the first mythical Celtic king of Gallaecia in Celtic mythology.

Chimaereicella: Chimaera (Χίμαιρα), a Greek mythological monstrous fire-breathing female creature with the fore part a lion, in the hinder a serpent, and in the middle a goat.

Cronobacter: Cronos (Κρόνος), in Greco-Roman mythology leader of the Titans who swallowed each of his children as soon as they were born, excluding Zeus.

Demetria (genus): Demeter, the Greek goddess of harvest.

Ekhidna (genus): Echidna (Ἔχιδνα), a slimy woman/snake sea creature in Greek mythology.

Eudoraea: Eudora (Εὐδώρα), one of the Hyades in Greek mythology

Haliea: Halie (Ἁλίη), a sea nymph, also one of the 50 daughters of Nereus and Doris.

Hellea: Helle (Ἕλλη), a Greek sea goddess.

Melitea: Melite (Μελίτη), one of the naiads, daughter of the river god Aegaeus, and one of the many loves of Zeus and his son Heracles. Her son was Hylas.

Neptuniibacter and Neptunomonas: Neptunius, the Roman god of the sea, equivalent of the Greek Poseidon.

Nereida: A Nereid, which are sea nymphs daughters of Nereus.

Nisaea (genus): Nicaea, a sea nymph and daughter of the river-god Sangarius and Cybele.

Opitutus: Ops, a Roman Earth and harvest goddess married to Saturn. Equivalent of the Greek Rhea.

Pandoraea: Pandora (Πανδώρα), the first woman who opened a jar, known as Pandora's box releasing evil into the world, in Greek mythology.

Persephonella: Persephone (also known as Kore), is the daughter of Zeus and the harvest goddess Demeter, and queen of the underworld; she was abducted by Hades the king of the underworld.

Proteus and Thermoproteus: Proteus (Πρωτεύς), an early sea-god able to change himself into different shapes.

Telluria: Tellus, a Roman goddess personifying the Earth.

Vampirovibrio: A vampire, mythological beings who subsist by feeding on the life essence of other creatures.

Vulcanibacillus, Vulcanisaeta and Vulcanithermus: Vulcanus, the Roman god of fire.

Niebla eburnea

Niebla eburnea is a fruticose lichen that grows on rocks along the foggy Pacific Coast of North America, from Mendocino County in California south to near Punta Santa Rosalillita in Baja California, and also in the Channel Islands. The epithet, eburnea is in reference to the ivory like appearance of the cortex.

Synonym (disambiguation)

A synonym is a word with an identical or very similar meaning to another word.

Synonym may also refer to:

Synonym (taxonomy), a different scientific name used for a single taxon

Synonym (database), an alias or alternate name for a table, view, sequence, or other schema objects in a database

Synonyms (film), a 2019 filmSynonymous may refer to:

Synonymous substitution, an evolutionary substitution in a DNA sequence coding for a protein, such that the coded amino acid remains unmodified.

Taxon in disguise

In bacteriology, a taxon in disguise is a species, genus or higher unit of biological classification whose evolutionary history reveals has evolved from another unit of similar or lower rank, making the parent unit paraphyletic. This happens when rapid evolution makes a new species appear radically different from the ancestral group, so that it is not (initially) recognised as belonging to the parent phylogenetic group, leaving the latter an evolutionary grade.

While the term is from bacteriology, parallel examples are found throughout the tree of life. E.g. four-footed animals have evolved from piscine ancestors, yet are not generally considered fish. The four footed animals can thus be said to be "fish in disguise". In many cases, the paraphyly can be resolved by re-classifying the taxon in question under the parent group, but in bacteriology renaming groups may have serious consequences as it may cause confusion over the identity of pathogens, and is generally avoided for some groups.

Valid name (zoology)

In zoological nomenclature, the valid name of a taxon is the zoological name that is to be used for that taxon following the rules in the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN). In other words: a valid name is the correct zoological name of a taxon.In contrast, an invalid name is a name that violates the rules of the ICZN. An invalid name is not considered to be a correct scientific name for a taxon. Invalid names may be divided into:

Subjectively invalid names - Names that have been rendered invalid by individual scientific judgement or opinion. Taxonomists may differ in their opinion and names considered invalid by one researcher, can be accepted as valid by another; thus they are still potentially valid names. It includes:Junior subjective synonyms - synonyms described from different types previously described as separate taxa.

Junior secondary homonyms - species synonyms arising from merging two taxonomic groups previously considered separate. In this case, the taxa are separate species, but by chance, had the same specific name resulting in homonymy when their generic names are synonymized.

Conditionally suppressed names - are special cases where a name which would otherwise have been valid has been petitioned for suppression by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. This is usually because the junior synonym (the later name) has wider common usage than the senior synonym (the older name).Objectively invalid names - Names that have been rendered invalid for factual reasons. These names are universally accepted as invalid and not merely a matter of individual opinion as is the case with subjectively invalid names. It includes:Junior objective synonyms - names describing a taxon (the junior synonym) that have already been described by another name earlier (the senior synonym). ICZN follows the Principle of Priority, in which the oldest available name is applied in preference to newer names where possible.

Junior homonyms in the family and genus group - names of families and genera which have the same spelling but refer to different taxa.

Junior primary homonyms in a species group - species synonyms resulting from two different organisms being originally described with the same name spelled in the same way. Compare with the previously discussed junior secondary homonyms.

Completely suppressed names - are special cases where a name is completely suppressed by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. It is treated as if it had never been published and is never to be used, regardless of actual availability.

Partially suppressed names - are special cases where a name is partially suppressed by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. Unlike completely suppressed names, partially suppressed names are still acknowledged as having been published but is used only for the purpose of homonymy, not priority.

Vermilacinia howei

Vermilacinia howei is a fruticose lichen that grows on trees and shrubs in the fog regions along the Pacific Coast of North America in the coastal scrub region of the Channel Islands of California, and around Bahía de San Quintín, Baja California and further south in the Vizcaíno Desert. The epithet is in honor of Reginald Heber Howe, Jr. for his contributions to lichenology, especially acknowledged for providing images of the type (biology) specimens in his revision of the genus Ramalina.

Vermilacinia leonis

Vermilacinia leonis is a fruticose lichen usually found on branches of shrubs in the fog regions along the Pacific Coast of North America and South America; in North America it is found on the southern half of the main peninsula of Baja California north to the southern coast of the Vizcaíno Peninsula. In South America, it occurs on bushes and rocks in Chile; reported from Colchaqua (Valley) and Santiago The epithet is in regard to absence of the black transverse bands often seen in other species such as V. leopardina, V. tigrina and V. zebrina.

Vermilacinia leopardina

Vermilacinia leopardina is a fruticose lichen usually that grows abundantly on the branches of shrubs in the fog regions along the Pacific Coast of North America, in the Channel Islands and on the mainland of California from Santa Barbara County south to the Vizcaíno Peninsula of Baja California. The species is also reported to occur in Chile, based on a single specimen mounted on a large index card off to one corner with the type (biology) of Usnea tumidula (variant of V. ceruchis) in the center and bottom (plate 45.2 in Spjut 1996); it is possible that the specimen of V. leopardina was from North America and placed on the card for the purpose of making a comparison to the type for Usnea tumidula, which was annotated Ramalina ceruchis var. gracilior Muell.Arg., a name of uncertain status. The epithet, leopardina, is in reference to the black transverse bands and irregularly shaped black spots commonly seen on the thallus branches that obviously imply a similarity to the leopard animal, while also making comparative distinctions to other black banded species: V. tigrina and V. zebrina, obviously to a tiger and zebra, and to V. leonis, obviously a lion, which has no black stripes.

Vermilacinia nylanderi

Vermilacinia nylanderi is a fruticose lichen (lichenized fungi) that grows on branches of shrubs in the fog regions along the Pacific Coast of North America in the Channel Islands and in Baja California from near El Rosario south to the Vizcaíno Peninsula The epithet is in honor of William Nylander who published a monograph on the related genus Ramalina in 1870.


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