Same Genus name for an insect and a plant--Phoebe

There appears to be an identical Genus name for a plant and an insect taxon in iNat… the Plant one seems valid according to POWO.
Plant: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/185244-Phoebe
Insect: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/185074-Phoebe

Need to remove/swap out the insect one?

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No need for a taxon change, it’s allowed. They are both valid and accepted since they are in different kingdoms: Animalia & Plantae.

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Here’s a list of generic homonyms:
https://species.wikimedia.org/wiki/List_of_valid_homonyms

Although I don’t see Phoebe there.

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Ah thanks… I did not know that, but it seems to create a couple of problems in iNat. One is that when I import a list with Phoebe it seems to pick the insect genus as default rather than the plant genus. I then have to fix it manually. The second is that the About page for the insect genus on iNat (link given earlier) pulls details from Wikipedia for the Plant genus rather than the insect genus.

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Another issue that occurs with such homonyms is what I call a “drop down menu homonym error”. If I type in Phoebe in a taxon search, I am given a choice of a plant, an insect (both scientific names), a fish, and a bird (both common names). This type of result can pull from common names that may not be in your language of choice. I have noticed that identifiers will on occasion miss their mark and select the wrong homonym in the list when identifying and they have typed in the choice of identification. The result is a conflict of Phylum or Kingdom sentencing the observation to Life. It can be quite surprising when a prolific identifier does this - even more so when they do not respond to mentions.

I understand how this can happen and the thumbnails are small and hard to see (I am being forgiving). Possibly if the thumbnail had an iconic taxon coloured frame the error would occur less? Maybe not.

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Well, there’s also a pretty big photo near them and also parent taxon mentioned, it won’t save us from misclics, but the fact that it always pulls out names from other languages, often as 1st option, before fitting names in the set language is quite a problem, connected with that not that old feature request for changing name order in dropdown menu. I’d add that the whole “most used” order is not really useful:


Here you see alternative name shown before the first name which is the same!

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Unfortunately this happens with all homonyms on iNat. Both have now been prevented from accepting automatic imports, instead a flag will be raised for a curator to manually graft any new taxa. The two trees hiding in the insects have been moved.

The insect genus is now linked to the Phoebe_(beetle) page on wikipedia, but it will take iNat some time to update.

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Ever since I discovered that homonyms are allowed in scientific naming I’ve wanted to ban the practice for new names and start changing all the old ones. It’s such a pain in the ass.

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Consider it something to keep smart ones on their toes

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All those obs sadly languishing in ‘Life’ agree with @trh_blue
It. Is. A pain.

Why don’t botanists and zoologists live on the same planet? Use scientific names they say. It avoids confusion. Not.

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There have been efforts to either combine the several nomenclatural codes, or at least have them acknowledge each other in such ways, but supposedly the unification efforts fizzled out. Especially given the destabilizing effects of genetics on the existing taxonomy.
But yeah, if you have the rare privilege to name a new genus, is it really so hard to look up whether the name is already in use?

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Since taxonomists are constantly changing names, and rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic … if a taxonomist sees a mistake (an ambiguous use of the same name) why are they not allowed to sort it out?

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I suspect a majority of the generic homonyms were created long before the Internet came along, back when it was more difficult to determine if a name was already in use in the literature. And the fact that there were two codes for nomenclature meant you didn’t have to consult the botanical literature if you were a zoologist, or vice versa. On those occasions when a zoological or botanical name was repeated, then the describer or someone else could come along and propose another.

The homonyms don’t bother me. They’re uncommon enough not to create a problem most of the time. Although once I did start reading an interesting paper about Gomphus (the dragonfly genus) before realizing it was actually about Gomphus (the moss).

Correction: Gomphus is a genus of fungi, not moss.

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Just to add to the fun, there is also the International Code of Nomenclature of Prokaryotes, which I don’t know anything about. Other than that there’s a genus of bacterium called Arizona, same name as the New World colubrid snake genus.

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Let’s not forget taxons higher than genus that seem to be able to be the same even within Animalia.

Do you mean things that are the same except for the ending?
Pelecaniformes
Pelecani
Pelecanidae
Pelecanus
As far as I know only genus, species, and subspecies can me exactly the same.
Bison bison bison
(Genus and species names being exactly the same is not allowed in botanical nomenclature)

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Last one I saw was a tribe or subfamily of insects and another group, but I forgot to write it down and of course can’t remember it now!

In the 18th, 19th, and most of the 20th centrury, it was. Taxonomists didn’t have every paper, and therefore were only checking the relevant papers and books to make sure the name wasn’t used, and that the species wasn’t already described under a different name.

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Yes. We tend to forget how difficult it could be to find information before computers and search engines. When was the last time any of us went to a university library to research some topic in paper journals? I certainly spent a lot of time doing that a mere 30 years ago.

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I think your solution is to just add a parenthetical note. I requested to have this done for Opercularia and the solution has almost completely eliminated accidental miscategorizations of the genus.

I am not the curator, but I believe the implementation was simply to add a common name to the ciliate like so:

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