Whats the difference? Same common name but different scientific names

I recently was IDing and noticed that there are spiders with the same common name, just different scientific names. I was wondering the difference?

I edited the title to make it more specific to the question being asked.

They look very similar, so (probably) the people who found them named them both the Green Huntsman Spider. Their scientific name would be different because they are two genetically different species.

Edit: As well as looking very similar they are also in the same genus


Sometimes this is evidence that a common name more appropriately applies to the genus instead of multiple species. People often add common names to inappropriately low ranks.


Common names vs. scientific names is a subject that comes up not infrequently in this forum. Personally I can’t stress enough the importance of using scientific names in any situation where you’re wanting to communicate at a certain level and with people from anything but a very restricted local area. I’ve changed country three times (so far!) and have also worked as a translator for scientific/natural history subjects and battling my way through situations where the same common name is applied to a range of organisms, or alternatively different common names are attributed to the same organism, has taught me to be VERY wary. Yes, I know the argument that common names are the best, perhaps only, way to share knowledge at a local level, and that even scientific names may “fluctuate” over time. But heck, nothing’s perfect!


2 spiders in the same genus, are unlikely to have unique common names, unless non-scientists can see a noticeable difference - appearance, behaviour, colouring, habitat.
Away from iNat all spiders are called Kill It With Fire, Run for Your Life, Move Out of Your House ASAP (but, not by me)


I didn’t know people had that bad of arachnophobia to move out of their house!

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If we were to invent a different common name for one of them, I’d suggest Ligurian Huntsman Spider for M. ligurina. But we can’t do that.

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Common names develop colloquially, not systematically. I have come across at least five different kinds of plants called “elephant’s ear,” and the only thing they have in common is the large size of the leaves.


Another good example: “Daddy longlegs” is commonly used for two different orders of arachnids, as well as crane flies. As @jasonhernandez74 said, common names are generally not developed or maintained systematically.

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One of our friends has arachnophobia that’s almost that bad. Her recent purchase of a new house was not because of recurring populations of Black Widows in the garage of her old house, but I’m sure that it was lurking somewhere in the back of her mind.

She loves snakes, though.


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