Glossary of scientific naming

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This is a list of terms and symbols used in scientific names for organisms, and in describing the names. For proper parts of the names themselves, see glossary of scientific names. Note that many of the abbreviations are used with or without a stop.

General terms[edit]


Rank names[edit]

The main ranks are kingdom, phylum or division, class, order, family, genus and species. The ranks of section and series are also used in botany for groups within genera, while section is used in zoology for a division of an order. Further levels in the hierarchy can be made by the addition of prefixes such as sub-, super-, infra-, and so on.

It is possible for a clade to be unranked, for example Psoroptidia (Yunker, 1955).

Latin descriptions of names or taxa[edit]

  • nomen nudum (nom. nud.; plural: nomina nuda) – a name published without an accompanying description
  • nomen dubium (nom. dub.; plural: nomina dubia) – a name of questionable application
  • nomen illegitimum (nom. illeg.; plural: nomina illegitima) – an illegitimate name
  • nomen conservandum (nom. cons.; plural: nomina conservanda) – a conserved name
  • nomen protectum (nom. prot.; plural: nomina protecta) – a name granted protection
  • nomen suppressum (nom. supp.; plural: nomina suppressa) – a name that has been suppressed and cannot be used
  • nomen rejiciendum (nom. rej.; plural: nomina rejicienda) – a name that has been rejected and cannot be used
  • nomen oblitum (nom. obl.; plural: nomina oblita) – a name which has been overlooked and is no longer valid
  • nomen novum (nom. nov.; plural: nomina nova) – a replacement name
  • incertae sedis – of uncertain placement
  • ex errore – made in error

Abbreviations and symbols[edit]

See also[edit]