How to Write Scientific Names of Animals Introduction Scientific names must be printed or written in certain ways to reduce misunderstandings among scientists working in different countries, subdisciplines or time periods. The many rules seem very picky to lay people, but as biologists and zoologists, you must learn to write and use scientific names properly and understand at least some of the jargon of biological nomenclature.
Scientific names for animals in popular writing Primary tabs Revisions Introduction Having a name for something allows us to talk about it — but everyday names for animals can be imprecise, and vary between people and languages.
This problem was solved in by Carl Linnaeus, a practical Swedish biologist. Linnaeus gave each species a two-word name made up of a genus name and a specific name, e. Homo sapiens for modern humans.
The method soon caught on and is still used by scientists today. The rules ensure that the same scientific name can be used for the same animal by all scientists across the world. This means scientists can confidently and precisely communicate with each other about animals. New species are described in a particular way, published in a scientific paper, with a description and illustrations.
Names of species can be descriptive: Elephas maximus for the Asian elephant; or describe where the animal comes from e. Alces americanus for the Moose; or commemorate a significant person e. Problems can be resolved, e.
Similarly if two species have the same name, the species with the older name keeps the name and the other is renamed. How to write names Zoological names are written in a standard way so they can be easily recognised. The genus name is first, and must start with a capital, the specific name second, starting with a lower-case letter.
This shows the hierarchy between genus and species. The genus and specific name are conventionally written in italics or other contrasting typeface to distinguish the name from surrounding text. Only the 26 letters of the Latin alphabet are used.
Gaps, accents, apostrophes, hyphens except rare instances and numbers are not used. Species names should be written in full at first, but for later mentions, the genus name can be abbreviated e.
Homo sapiens can be written H. The names of higher-ranking groups e. For example, the honey bee is called Apis mellifera, shortened to A. It belongs to the genus Apis, which also includes other species such as Apis cerana. Together with other genera of bees, Apis is included in the bee family Apidae the Latin name for the family or apids the common derivation of the family name.
Apidae and other related families of insect make up the order Hymenoptera ants, bees, wasps etc. Names for mythological non-existent creatures, e. To find out about recently described new species, look at the publication in which the scientist s first formally described them, and speak to the scientist themselves - contact details are usually given in these publications.
More information and advice The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature supports science writers and editors who use zoological names. Some commonly used zoological names A malaria-causing parasite.How to Write a Scientific Name Correctly There are precise conventions to follow when writing a scientific name.
Genus Name. 1.
The genus name is written first. 2. The genus name is always. underlined. or italicised. 3. The first letter of the genus name is always capitalized Example: Astrophytum. or Astrophytum. Specific Name. 1. The specific. The genus name is first, and must start with a capital, the specific name second, starting with a lower-case letter.
This shows the hierarchy between genus and species. The genus and specific name are conventionally written in italics (or other contrasting typeface) to distinguish the name from surrounding text. In binomial nomenclature, the genus name forms the first part of the binomial species name for each species within the genus.
E.g. Panthera leo (lion) and Panthera onca (jaguar) are two species within the genus Panthera. Panthera is a genus within the family Felidae. How to Write a Scientific Name. The system of nomenclature used today is based on the binomial system of nomenclature, developed by Linnaeus in the late 's.
The binomial system of nomenclature is structured so that the scientific name of a plant consists of two names: (1) the genus or generic name, and (2) the specific epithet or species name. The scientific name of a species is formed by the combination of two terms The first name (capitalized) is the genus of the organism, the second (not capitalized) is its species..
How to Write the Scientific Name of a plant: There are precise convention to follow when writing a scientific name. Genus is the first part of a binomial name, that groups together closely related species.
Species is the second part of a binomial name, that is a group of living things that are so closely related, that they can breed with one another and produce offspring that can breed as well.