New heights in iSpot education for students

Now we know! Latest research by the OU IT team shows that Butterflies are not Invertebrates after all.

All rather fishy if you want my opinion!

How on earth does this travesty happen???

Yes and insects in general are not insects but some Other Organism

And something very fishy in Milton Keynes

Oh yes, and reptiles are Fish

(Read the comments though)

No! you missed it!!!

Your examples are of higher taxa given meaningless groups.

In the case illustrated above, iSpot has taken Lepidoptera (Butterflies) and linked it to Lepidoperca - a fish.

The ID box says Lepidoptera, but if you click on it, it shows Lepidoperca - a fish.
see what you get if you click on the ID box that says (Lepidoptera)

Note that this is totally spurious!!! This is not a dictionary error, but an iSpot messup.

(I can only assume that the user typed Lepido and clicked on Lepidoperca, realized their mistake and fixed the spelling and saved it - and iSpot gloriously cocked up! (by showing the corrected name but linking to the click)).

I’m not so certain - it obviously LOOKS like it but I cannot replicates it.

I have been to the Communities and only the UKSI show a stupid response (Other Organism). Might you think this is a one-off - have you tried to do a Lep in SANBI? I have and it seems OK - Invertebrates. My graphic is not very clear sorry.

I replicated it, by following my suggestion. see ID 2 to replicate error and ID 3 to fix it.

Now iSpot regards Mothes as Mosses!!! Heaven help us! What bad programming.

Yes, I see. I am fast coming to the conclusion that the WHOLE programme need to be rewritten, not just tinkered with - the Proposed Changes will be a disaster too.
Here’s another UK test just now. I did not add anything to the Drop-down, just chose Butterfly Invertebrate. Perhaps there is a higher form of Intelligence here that stored my attempts to get a better OO score!

Hi Tony, yes as good as I can remember, that is pretty much what happened! Chrissie

Is there a fungus called Polydesmus as well as a millipede? Or is this another example of the new iSpot taxonmy?

Polydesmus Mont. is a Fungus genus with about 10 species (Ascomycota)
Polydesmus Latreille, 1802 is a Millipede genus (Family: Polydesmidae) with over 200 species

This is an example of a hemihomonym: an identical name in zoology and botany used for different organisms. We have over 100 genera like this in southern Africa, and one species (Tritonia pallida).

But look here:

this has no parents and no children. And no group!!!

But it is not only iSpot that is confused:

(Oh - you dont believe me: see here: (sorry: no pictures on iSpot yet)

1 Like

(Tritonia pallida is a species of dendronotid nudibranch. and
I do…That is a very full and useful response Tony. Thanks

There is a page devoted to this in the old forums on iSpot, but I cannot find it using the search.

Found some:

Here are a few pages from our “lost” forum (sorry the dates are in Spanish).

This is actually a significant problem!!
5 !long-mes-nombre Febrero 2016 - 8:14am Tony RebeloBotanical Society of South Africa A-teamCape Bird ClubEntomological Society of Southern AfricaFriends of Tokai ParkProtea Atlas ProjectSenior Scout AdventureSouth African National Biodiversity InstituteSouth African National Parks Honorary RangersToyota Enviro OutreachWestern Leopard Toad Volunteer
See here:

Duplicate generic names in different systems (no triplicates found yet).

Acanthopsis (A) Acanthopsis §
Acrocephalus (A) Acrocephalus §
Agathis (A) Agathis §
Amaryllis (A) Amaryllis §
Ammophila (A) Ammophila §
Anemia §
Anthelia (A) Anthelia §
Arenaria (A) Arenaria §
Asterina (A) Asterina (F)
Braunsia (A) Braunsia §
Bullockia (A) Bullockia §
Burchellia (A) Burchellia §
Callilepis (A) Callilepis §
Chaenostoma (A) Chaenostoma §
Chondrilla (A) Chondrilla §
Cordia (A) Cordia §
Crambe (A) Crambe §
Culcita (A) Culcita §
Dictyophora (F)
Diphasia (A) Diphasia §
Dregea (A) Dregea §
Dryas (A) Dryas §
Dufourea (A) Dufourea (F)
Eberlanzia (A) Eberlanzia §
Elegia (A) Elegia §
Empusa (A) Empusa (F)
Erikssonia (A) Erikssonia (F)
Euclasta (A) Euclasta §
Gouania (A) Gouania §
Gymnogramma (A) Gymnogramma §
Halopteris (A) Halopteris §
Heterotis (A) Heterotis §
Hewittia (A) Hewittia §
Hildebrandtia (A) Hildebrandtia §
Hydrophilus (A) Hydrophilus §
Hymenolepis (A) Hymenolepis §
Hystrix (A) Hystrix §
Isotoma (A) Isotoma §
Lactarius (A) Lactarius (F)
Laelia (A) Laelia §
Lepista (A) Lepista (F)
Leptotes (A) Leptotes §
Leucoptera (A) Leucoptera §
Leucothoe (A) Leucothoe §
Lindera (A) Lindera §
Liparis (A) Liparis §
Ludia (A) Ludia §
Lysidice (A) Lysidice §
Macrocoma (A) Macrocoma §
Macrostylis (A) Macrostylis §
Mallotus (A) Mallotus §
Mansonia (A) Mansonia §
Mauritia (A) Mauritia §
Microdon §
Morus (A) Morus §
Nicandra (A) Nicandra §
Oenanthe (A) Oenanthe §
Osbeckia (A) Osbeckia §
Oxyrhachis (A) Oxyrhachis §
Petalidium (A) Petalidium §
Pieris (A) Pieris §
Plecoptera (A)
Pogononeura (A) Pogononeura §
Polydora (A) Polydora §
Polypogon (A) Polypogon §
Pseudographis (A) Pseudographis (F)
Rondeletia (A) Rondeletia §
Rothia (A) Rothia §
Ruspolia (A) Ruspolia §
Salacia (A) Salacia §
Schrankia (A) Schrankia §
Scoparia (A) Scoparia §
Scuticaria (A) Scuticaria §
Sparrmannia (A) Sparrmannia §
Sphaerocoryne (A) Sphaerocoryne §
Stigmella (A) Stigmella (F)
Thalia (A) Thalia §
Tritonia (A) Tritonia §
Tritoniopsis (A) Tritoniopsis §
Tulbaghia (A) Tulbaghia §
Turbinaria (A) Turbinaria (O)
Victoria (A) Victoria §
Woodsia (A) Woodsia §

(missing instances dont have the alternate genus in our region.)
(sorry we use O for Bacteria, not B)

You will have to wait until the new dictionary is loaded to see these …


Duplicate generic names in different systems: HEMIHOMONYMS
15 julio 2016 - 9:35pm Riaan Stals1K WeevilsEntomological Society of Southern AfricaLepidopterists’ Society of Africa

I reckoned these “duplicate names” should have a fancy name, and here it is: hemihomonyms

I came across this paper in a somewhat obscure but still active journal of nomenclature::

SHIPUNOV, A. 2011. The problem of hemihomonyms and the on-line hemihomonyms database (HHDB). Bionomina 4: 65–72.
Hemihomonyms (same nomina which are used for ta xa from different nomenclature jurisdictions) are an overlooked but genuine nuisance in biological nomenclature. We compiled the first list of hemihomonyms for nomina in bacteriological, botanical and zoological nomenclatures and prepared an on-line database, the “Hemihomonym database” or HHDB ( ). HHDB now includes 1164 nomina, including 12 triple hemihomonyms. A simple suffix-based solution (like “Oenanthe (z)” for Oenanthe in zoology) could be used in case of hemihomonymy. More effort should be afforded towards the resolution of long-standing nomenclature confusing situations such as hemihomonymy, including regarding the nomina of higher taxa, nomina of intermediate ranks and ambiregnal nomina.

There are several copies of this paper available on the interwebs:
, but if that doesn’t work for you, please ask me for a copy.

The paper itself contains a large table with 1164 problem names, whereas the online database (as of now) contains not many more, 1230.

At first I found the online database useless, but then I cracked it:: Do not use the top search box under the caption “Soluton” and with button text “check name”. Rather use the search box further down and to the right of the page, just above the table and just above the word “Bacterial”.


Hemihomonyms - a catalogue
18 julio 2016 - 4:38pm Tony RebeloBotanical Society of South Africa A-teamCape Bird ClubEntomological Society of Southern AfricaFriends of Tokai ParkProtea Atlas ProjectSenior Scout AdventureSouth African National Biodiversity InstituteSouth African National Parks Honorary RangersToyota Enviro OutreachWestern Leopard Toad Volunteer
From: Tony Rees
Sent: 16 July 2016 01:39
Subject: Re: Hemihomonyms

Thanks for the note. By the way, my database (“IRMNG”) is nothing to do with Alexey Shipunov’s one and is much more extensive, listing “all genera” and quite a lot of species; the homonyms list is merely the subset of names that occur more than once…

Thanks for the notification of Tritonia pallida as a hemihomonym (I call these cross-code homonyms but I guess hemihomonym may gain acceptance). Currently IRMNG does not contain either of the instances but I will add them… unfortunately there is a complication here, I left CSIRO in 2014 and the instance of IRMNG there (which generates the homonym lists) is “frozen” as at 2014; the master copy of IRMNG has been moved (with my assistance) to VLIZ in Belgium which is the copy I can now edit, but that one currently is not set up to generate the homonym lists - though I will suggest it to the VLIZ folk as a useful feature to be added.

Thank you for your interest. You might like to add the link to my (CSIRO) homonyms page to the discussion for folk’s information as I am not a member - the relevant link is .
Best regards - Tony