View Full Version : Binomial nomenclature

05-May-2010, 10:00 PM
The formal system of naming species is called binomial nomenclature . Binominal nomenclature , or binary nomenclature.

The essence of it is that each species name is in Latin and has two parts, so that it is popularly known as the Latin name of the species, although this terminology is avoided by biologists and philologists, who prefer the term scientific name.

Instead of using the full seven-category system (kingdom-phylum-class-order-family-genus-species) in naming an organism, Carl von Linne chose to use a two-word naming system. He adopted the binomial nomenclature scheme, using only the genus name and the specific name or epithet which together form the species name.

For example, humans belong to genus Homo and their specific name is sapiens. Humans as a species are thus classified as Homo sapiens.

The first letter of the first name, the genus, is always capitalized, while that of the second is not, even when derived from a proper noun such as the name of a person or place.

Conventionally, all names of genera and lower taxa are always italicised, while family names and higher taxa are printed in plain text. Species can be divided into a further rank, giving rise to a trinomial name for a subspecies .

Each species under the Binomial nomenclature is unique , therefore it is accurate versus common names which can differ from region to region and localities on the same species , which often leads to confusion.