Taxonomy mnemonic

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The hierarchy of scientific classification

Taxonomy mnemonics are used to memorize the scientific classification applied in taxonomy. They are usually constructed with a series of words that begin with the letters KPCOFGS, corresponding to the initials of the primary taxonomic ranks. Words beginning with D (corresponding to domain) are sometimes added to the beginning of the sequence, and words beginning with S (corresponding to subspecies) are sometimes added at the end of the sequence.

For example:

King Phillip came over for good spaghetti[1] has the first letter of each word corresponding in order to the first letter of the descending order of scientific classification.

Mnemonic Zoology term
King Kingdom
Phillip Phylum
Came Class
Over Order
For Family
Good Genus
Spaghetti Species

Zoology mnemonics[edit]

Zoology mnemonics, which are used to memorize the scientific taxonomic classification system, include:

  • "Keep pond clean or fish get sick"[1]
  • "Kids pick candy over fancy green salad"
  • "King penguins congregate on frozen ground sometimes"
  • "King Phillip came over for good soup"
  • "King Phillip came over for great spaghetti"
  • "King Phillip come out, for goodness sake"
  • "Kings play chess on fine grained sand"
  • "Dignified kings play chess on fancy golden stools"

Botany mnemonics[edit]

Botanical taxonomy uses the rank of division in place of phylum. Some botany mnemonics follow one of the "King Phillip" variants, with David in place of Phillip.

See also[edit]