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Recently, someone asked if species could share a latin name. In his answer, Remi.b said the latin name is unique to the species, and I think he is right. However, this made me remember that I once stumbled upon a latin name that is shared between a genus of birds, and a genus of plants: oenanthe.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wheatear

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_dropwort

My question is: how come? Is it allowed for genera to share a name (not likely)? And why did Linnaeus, who named both, choose to do so? Error?

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No, not an error. Plants, Animals and Bacteria each have their own independent nomenclatural codes. So while it is not advised, it is not forbidden by the code to have the same genera. It would be forbidden to have the same genus within one of the three codes. As a side issue, don't forget that the species ALWAYS includes the genus. Species are always binomens. The species epithet is the second word in the species binomen. Thus our species is Homo sapiens, not sapiens.

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  • $\begingroup$ The different nomenclatural code is probably because they belong to different kingdoms in the Linnean taxonomy. $\endgroup$ – Dr. Evenor Jul 3 '18 at 13:24

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