||The basionym (base name) is the first name validly
given to a biological species or
genus which has priority over other
names later given to the same species by different
authors and the
author of this
name is called the basionym author.
Further studies and revisions may reject the basionym as the most
correct one, but it still is useful as a nomenclatural reference for
Also after a taxonomic revision that results in a species being
reclassified in another genus, the specific epithet must remain the same
as the one in the basionym. For instance the cactus Eriosyce
napina (current name attributed by Kattermann in 1994) was
formerly classified by Philippi in 1872 as Echinocactus
When a species name changes, to show the connection to the source of the
new name, botanists retain the
name of the basionym author by placing it in parentheses, the
of the new combination is placed after the parentheses e.g.
Eriosyce napina (Philippi) Kattermann 1994.
A unique exception
to this general rule regards the name of the Prickly pear classified by
Linnaeus in 1754 as Cactus opuntia (L.) 1754 (basionym),
this plant has been renamed later in 1768 by Miller under the new
name of Opuntia ficus-indica (L.) Mill. 1768 (current name).
Basionyms are examples of
Synonymy in scientific classification.