Correct notation for subspecies x subspecies hybrid?

I want to add a hybrid (observation(s) waiting for ID, and “This intergrade / hybrid entity is actually very common where the two types come together in a broad band.” according to the observer) between two subspecies: Barnardius zonarius subsp. semitorquatus and Barnardius zonarius subsp. zonarius.

I’ve created a taxon:

but I suspect this may be the wrong way to format this name. Do I need to amend this name, and if yes, how?


We can create intergrades now?

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ah well this shows my ignorance, I wasn’t aware that ssp x ssp is not considered a hybrid. I guess I should delete this taxon in that case

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Isn’t it considered as an infrahybrid ?


I based my comment on what I was told in a similar situation:

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I would think it should be formulated as Barnardius zonarius semitorquatus × zonarius zonarius; as how other taxa are on iNat. And labelled as “infrahybrid”.


Two threads that may be of value:


If this hybrid has not been described and named in the scientific literature, we probably shouldn’t be creating a taxon for it, as we don’t allow undescribed taxons on iNat. (Note that I’m not a fan of this policy, but if we’re going to have it, it should be adhered to consistently.)


This hybrid has been described and named in the scientific literature, and there are multiple scientific papers discussing it (eg call differences)


That’s not how most other intergrades/infrahybrids on iNat are formatted, though (among vertebrates at least*). Of the other 13ish bird intergrades (and couple additional non-bird vertebrate intergrades) on iNat, all but one**, including another Australian parrot, are formatted as “Genus species subspecies1 × subspecies2” (which happens to coincide with the format used by eBird, including for the specific example in question), so the original name given to this taxon on iNat—Barnardius zonarius semitorquatus × zonarius—would be more consistent with the rest.

(“Name1 name2 name3 × name4” placed within the species “Genus species” in iNat’s taxonomic hierarchy implies “Genus species [subspecies1 × subspecies2]” or “Genus species subspecies1 × Genus species subspecies2”—i.e., that the third and fourth words in that name are the epithets of two subspecies within that overarching species—just as “Name1 name2 × name3” implies “Genus [species1 × species2]” or “Genus species1 × Genus species2”—i.e., that name2 and name3 are the epithets of two species within that genus.)

*Several intergrades among Lepidoptera have the format “Genus species subspecies1 × genus species subspecies2”; unfortunately the fix a little while back that allowed genus names to be capitalized after × appears to have only applied to hybrids [and genushybrids if that wasn’t already the case—I unfortunately can’t remember], not infrahybrids [that’s not a reason to disallow that expanded format, though, but rather a reason to allow capitals after the × in infrahybrids on iNat]. I won’t speak to the situation with the varied formats of plant hybrid formulas on iNaturalist, since while the ICZN doesn’t regulate the format of hybrid formulas, the ICN does. “Genus species1 × species2” (iNat’s guideline for hybrid name formats), or “Genus species subspecies1 × subspecies2”, is explicitly against the rules for plants/algae/fungi/etc.—but “Genus species subspecies1 × species subspecies2” would be just as wrong, as the ICN requires including the genus [abbreviated or not] after the × in hybrid formulas. Whether ICN’s rules should be applied to animal hybrids too on iNat, with the genus being included after the × in all cases, is a different issue, but I don’t see a situation where having “species subspecies” sans “Genus” after the × in an intergrade would be considered more correct than just “subspecies” after the × in an intergrade)

**(which contra iNat’s guidelines uses x rather than ×)


Yes, thanks for bringing that up. Repeating the initial subspecific epithet would indeed be redundant - in the same way repeating the generic name in a specific hybrid would be so. My mistake.

  • Australian Ringneck (Twenty-eight x Port Lincoln) Barnardius zonarius semitorquatus x zonarius

Good one @thebeachcomber
I have a couple of intergrades, identified as Australian Ringneck and noted as B.z.semitorquatus x zonarius.

Will be interesting to see the reaction, as even subspecies are often ignored by identifiers for various reasons.

Further information:

eBird taxonomy update intergrades

First noted:
“The south-western forest form, semitorquatus, with its all-green
belly and prominent red frons, intergrades sharply with the smaller,
inland and arid-country form zonarius, with its broad yellow-
breast-band and vestigial red frons, on the eastern margins of the
sclerophyll forest of jarrah-marr-kam (Fisher 1970; Serverty &
Whittell 1976; Forshaw 1981). Following widespread land clear-
ing, zonarius genes have now introgressed semitorquatus on the
Swan coastal plain (Fisher 1970).”

“Hybrid Zones in Australian Birds
Julian Ford
To cite this article: Julian Ford (1987) Hybrid Zones in Australian Birds, Emu - Austral Ornithology,
87:3, 158-178, DOI: 10.1071/MU9870158”

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