Issue 18320

Hedyotis microphylla homonym results in incorrect distribution map

Reporter: rdmpage
Type: Feedback
Summary: Hedyotis microphylla homonym results in incorrect distribution map
Priority: Unassessed
Resolution: Fixed
Status: Closed
Created: 2016-03-13 15:40:45.254
Updated: 2016-07-27 15:21:22.408
Resolved: 2016-07-27 15:19:59.421
Description: The occurrence in the Philippines is interpreted as _Hedyotis microphylla_ Kunth, which is a synonym of _Arcytophyllum filiforme_ (Ruiz & Pav.) Standl. found in South America.

This odd distribution (South American plant found in the Philippines) is because the actual name is _Hedyotis microphylla_ Merr. (see ), described in:

Merrill, E. D. (1906). New or noteworthy Philippine plants, V. The Philippine journal of science, 1(Supplement 3), 169-246. Retrieved from

The status of this name is unclear, but this is not  _Hedyotis microphylla_ Kunth. _Hedyotis microphylla_ Merr. is in IPNI, so ideally when matching this name and authors it should be recognised as a distinct name and we wouldn't have this odd distribution.

Created: 2016-03-14 10:24:31.967
Updated: 2016-03-14 10:24:31.967
Yes, the old backbone ignored authorship pretty much and required binomial names to be unique (it did cope with genus homonyms).
This is one of the major goals for the improved backbone.

We hope to advertise a first public preview of the new backbone at the end of this week. 

Created: 2016-03-14 16:12:08.472
Updated: 2016-03-14 16:12:08.472
Luckily this seems to be fixed in the upcoming preview. There are 3 names now with different authors, all of them being synonyms:

With Hedyotis microphylla Merr. being a synonym of Praravinia microphylla (Merr.) Bremek.:

Created: 2016-03-14 18:12:00.972
Updated: 2016-03-14 18:12:00.972
... or in the new nub browser (details page waiting for an index rebult still)

Author: rdmpage
Created: 2016-03-14 18:45:10.055
Updated: 2016-03-14 18:45:10.055
"There are 3 names now with different authors, all of them being synonyms:" I think it's more complicated than that. For example, lists these names as synonyms, but IPNI has:

Hedyotis microphylla Merr Philipp. J. Sci. 1(Suppl. 3): 239 1906
Lucinaea microphylla Merr. Mitt. Inst. Bot. Hamburg vii. 286 (1937).
Urophyllum microphyllum Merr. Philipp. J. Sci., C 12: 161 1917

These are three different names, and Praravinia microphylla (Merr.) Bremek. has the basionym Urophyllum microphyllum Merr. Philipp. J. Sci., C 12: 161 1917 (see ) NOT Lucinaea microphylla Merr. as shown in  - PS the browser is nice but doesn't work in Safari :(

I think we're hitting the limits of matching names, IPNI has most if not all of this as explicit links with IDs which should help avoid these situations.


Created: 2016-03-15 11:20:57.481
Updated: 2016-03-15 11:20:57.481
That's the hopefully rare case I was waiting for when the same author described several species with the same epithet in the same family.

The trouble is that the old IPNI copy we have does not provide any basionym information:
So in this case the basionym is derived by looking at the authorship. And because the authorship information particulary of zoological names is often missing brackets, our algorithm considers multiple names with original authors as potential recombinations.

If there are more cases like this we should probably not create new basionym relations programmatically in such problematic cases. We would then end up with all of those names being accepted as IPNI does not indicate a synonymy.

The only good solution would be to have IPNI or someone else providing us that information

Comment: See POR-2989 for ideas about improving a too eager programmatic basionym grouping
Created: 2016-03-17 10:42:34.822
Updated: 2016-03-17 10:42:34.822

Author: mblissett
Created: 2016-03-17 11:18:10.865
Updated: 2016-03-17 11:18:10.865
@Markus, the old IPNI DWCA does have some basionyms present.  For example, appears once as a taxonID and once as a BasionymID.

There's an original name usage on the record:

However, I don't remember how complete IPNI's basionym links are. It could be that they don't have them in their database. (I really can't remember.)

Created: 2016-07-27 15:19:45.976
Updated: 2016-07-27 15:21:22.403
The upcoming August 2016 backbone has this fixed:
 - 7713093 Hedyotis microphylla DC. ACCEPTED within Hedyotis L.(Rubiaceae)
 - 2892803 Hedyotis microphylla Kunth SYNONYM of Arcytophyllum filiforme (Ruiz & Pav.) Standl. (Rubiaceae)
 - 7912822 Hedyotis microphylla Merr. DOUBTFUL within Hedyotis L. (Rubiaceae)
 - 2899451 Lucinaea microphylla Merr. SYNONYM of Schradera polysperma (Jack) Puff, R.Buchner & Greimler
 - 5338582 Urophyllum microphyllum Merr. SYNONYM of Praravinia microphylla (Merr.) Bremek.

Again we are missing any basionym due to an old IPNI copy ( and the less eager basionym grouping. Should be adressed in POR-3160