Species where the common name is the same as the scientific name (genus) - but not instances where there is no common name

I thought this might be fun to see how many species there are that meet this criteria.

  1. Must have an accepted common name
  2. Common name and scientific name must be the same (generally Genus, but we can expand that to include the specific Species portion as well or as an alternative)
  3. Does not include species that do not have a common name
  4. Excluding non-avian dinosaurs


  • Boa Constrictor (Boa constrictor)
  • Python (eg. Indian Python Python molurus, ball python Python regius, etc)
  • Puma (Puma concolor)
  • Magnolia (eg. Sweetbay Magnolia Magnolia virginiana, Southern Magnolia Magnolia grandiflora, etc)

What other species can the iNat group mind come up with for this?


Don’t know about English names, but here garden flowers will often have the same exact name as latin one, just checking the Asteraceae: Telekia, Calendula, Galinsoga, Jacobaea, Cyclachaena, Aster, Rudbeckia, Psephellus, Ixeridium, Amberboa, Chrysanthemum, etc.
And it’s all without taking in mind plant names where common name is just a translated latin name, there’re thousands of those!


Some birds come to my mind, mostly tropical:

Some genera of endemic Hawaiian birds as well probably, not so familiar with those. Might largely be onomatopoeic names

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  • Genus Gorilla
  • Genus Iguana
  • Genus Lynx
  • Genus Bison
  • Genus Oryx
  • Indri indri (monospecific genus)
  • Genus Anhinga including Anhinga anhinga
  • Genus Jacana including Jacana jacana

Possible examples include Giraffa, Gennetta, Gazella, Hoolock, Marmota, Basilicus, Salamandra and Banjos, all of which are close to but not the same as their species common names.


Most organisms are referred to by Latin names, but this has mostly been “accepted” as “common names” for vertebrates.

Do direct translations count? For example, it’s the same in English or Scientific Greek/Latin: Fourleaf Manyseed (Polycarpon tetraphyllum)

In horticulture there’s a lot of plants whose common name is the genus they used to belong in, ha


Tyrannosaurus rex


Ooh I’ve got a few (though I feel like most of these cases are cases where there’s multiple common names, one of which is the genus name)

Trillium - While they do have other common names (toadshade, wake-robin, etc) I feel like most people I hear just say trillium

Viola - Yeah yeah, they go by violets or pansies too, but I heard Viola used a lot as a kid too. Probably doesn’t hurt that both of my grandmothers were named viola

Junco - full name dark-eyed Junco, but no one ever says that man, they just call the little dudes Junco

Geranium, Crocus, Iris, Rhododendron, Lantana and Phlox don’t even really need elaboration

I feel like there’s absolute gobs of mushroom species where the common name is just a small descriptor tacked on to the genus name - Amanita, Russula, Mycena, Galerina, Cortinarius, Suillus all come to mind

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There’s an interesting case where the common name of a moth species on iNat is the same as its scientific name, except that the two names are switched around. I am reffering to the Hemerophila diva moth, whose common name is known as Diva Hemerophila.

And also Genus Lantana actually qualifies

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I think that in these cases, the genus was named after an existing common name. And the same holds in plants for Genus Sassafras.


These don’t have English names? It’s unusual for big shrooms, Amanita is fly-killer, Russula is “fresh edible”, Suilius is “oiler”, the latter two being regularly eaten, there must be a name for them before the binominals.

The Common Merganser matches its species epithet but not genus - Mergus merganser.

Ginkgoes/Ginkgo trees (Ginkgo biloba).

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Not the best example, but maybe Homo sapien? We call ourselves homosapiens a lot

It depends on the specific one; the more iconic ones tend to have unique names (So like Fly Agaric for Amanita muscaria, or Destroying Angel for a few different species in section phalloideae, or Chicken Fat Mushroom for Suillus americana) but then you’ll get something like the Springtime Amanita, Amanita velosa, or the Dotted-Stalk Suillus Suillus Granulatus, or the Green Quilt Russula Russula virosa

I have no clue if these common names came after the binomial or before, though. Or if they just kind of evolved together.

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Here’s what I found that no one’s said yet… Mimosa, Ruellia, Alligator and Caiman, Iguana.

Also I found out about a species of gecko called Gekko gecko which is fun. Honorable mention for Rattus rattus also

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Although how that evolved into champagne and citrus juice is a mystery to me.

Which reminds me: fruits of the genus Citrus are commonly referred to as citrus fruits.

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Supposedly it comes from the color of the flowers of the Mimosa acacia tree, not the Mimosa sensitive plant. The acacia flowers are bright yellow and same color as the drink.


This isn’t uncommon for small fish, especially gobies - Stiphodon, Eviota and Drombus come to mind

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