How to rename to hybrid

What’s the correct way to rename a species to include the ‘×’ hybrid designation? The only way to seem to do it is create a new taxon with the ‘×’ and then perform a taxon swap.

PS. It also looks like iNat is using a space between the ‘×’ and species name - is this a defined standard? My state herbarium doesn’t.

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Any change to a name (unless you are the person who created the taxa) can only be done via a taxa swap.


Or by getting one of the staff to update it.

Kew’s Plants of the World Online adds the space after the hybrid symbol. Space or no space is optional, at least in the plant code, and it’d be nice to be consistent, so I’ve been keeping the space.


Yes, me too. And when I add a hybrid taxon, I also add the various permutations as non-accepted synonyms, to make sure people can always look it up correctly. So for the hybrid

Salix × sepulcralis

I would also add synonyms for
Salix x sepulcralis
Salix ×sepulcralis
Salix xsepulcralis


thanks all - I already did a swap yesterday - the species is Pterostylis toveana BTW

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Should the name not be the hybrid formula?
Salix alba × babylonica
Salix × sepulcralis is a synonym?

Strictly taxonomists merely retain hybrid names because they were originally described as species and subsequently been found to be hybrids (i.e. they are valid taxonomical names, but not species).

But I guess we need a directive as to whether iNat prefers hybrid formulae to their botanical synonyms.
The curator guide does not even mention hybrid formulae.

It is all very well to say that iNat does not focus on cultivars and hybrids, but when a sizeable fraction of records are of these, it is ridiculous not to include them: e.g.
for instance: Leucadendron laureolum × salignum with 164 observations, is the twelfth-most recorded taxon of the 90 in the genus (with 2% of observations for the genus).

I’ve since created this (mouthful of a) feature request which has garnered a moderate amount of support so far:

Yes, thanks for pointing out this discrepancy - actually it looks like the Curator Guide mentions only hybrid formulae and not named hybrids. Since the ICN allows either named hybrids or hybrid formulae without preference, I expected that iNat would as well, and it certainly has so far.

I certainly think we should allow both, both to conform with the ICN (and hopefully ICZN – can’t speak to that one), and because not every named hybrid may have a known hybrid formula, and vice versa.

I should also note that the hybrid formulae currently used by iNat do not conform with the ICN, which requires that the Genus name (or initial) be included with both names in the formula, not just the first one.