Since binomials are required to be unique only within a kingdom, two species can share the same binomial name if they are in different kingdoms. I know of one instance of this, Orestias elegans: this name denotes a species of fish (kingdom Animalia) as well as a species of orchid (kingdom Plantae).

Are there other instances where one binomial name validly refers to two (or more!) species?

  • $\begingroup$ This is a fascinating and surprising tidbit of information that practically begs to be used as the point of a puzzle story. $\endgroup$ – Kilian Foth Nov 12 '18 at 10:59
  • $\begingroup$ But why on earth did anyone think it would be a good idea to allow such a thing? $\endgroup$ – user21820 Nov 12 '18 at 16:10

There are four other instances of species-level hemihomonyms I can find:

  1. Agathis montana can be either a critically endangered species of conifer or a parasitic insect.
  2. Centropogon australis can be either a fish or a plant with a long red flower.
  3. Asterina gibbosa can be either a sea star or a type of fungus
  4. Baileya australis can be a moth or a yellow flowering plant
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