March 14, Science writing and editing: How to write scientific names The Latin scientific name of a species, be it plant, animal, bacterium, fungus, etc.
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.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.
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. Quite literally, each species is identified by a combination of "two names": its genus name and its specific epithet. A familiar example is that of human beings, Homo sapiens.
Usually the Latin name is followed by the last name of the person who first gave the name to the species in non-italicized text. Other than the genus name and species name, there is the trinomial name (in case of animals it is referred to as trinomen), which is given to subspecies.
For instance, the trinomen of the Arctic wolf, a subspecies of the gray wolf, is Canis lupus arctos. The Latin scientific name of a species, be it plant, animal, bacterium, fungus, etc., is a two-part name consisting of the genus name first (by the way: one genus, two genera) and the species name second.
For example, the domestic cat is known as Felis catus. Binomial nomenclature ("two-term naming system") also called binominal nomenclature ("two-name naming system") or binary nomenclature, is a formal system of naming species of living things by giving each a name composed of two parts, both of which use Latin grammatical forms, although they can be based on words from other languages.