Concept

Synonym (taxonomy)

Summary
The Botanical and Zoological Codes of nomenclature treat the concept of synonymy differently.
  • In botanical nomenclature, a synonym is a scientific name that applies to a taxon that (now) goes by a different scientific name. For example, Linnaeus was the first to give a scientific name (under the currently used system of scientific nomenclature) to the Norway spruce, which he called Pinus abies. This name is no longer in use, so it is now a synonym of the current scientific name, Picea abies.
  • In zoology, moving a species from one genus to another results in a different binomen, but the name is considered an alternative combination rather than a synonym. The concept of synonymy in zoology is reserved for two names at the same rank that refers to a taxon at that rank – for example, the name Papilio prorsa Linnaeus, 1758 is a junior synonym of Papilio levana Linnaeus, 1758, being names for different seasonal forms of the species now referred to as Araschnia levana
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