Q:

What are the rules for writing scientific names?

A:

Quick Answer

There are several rules to remember when writing scientific names; the two main rules are to write the name of a plant or organism with two names, a genus or generic name first, followed by an epithet or species name. These rules govern the proper naming of plant and animals, regardless of species or kingdom. The act of assigning names to various organisms in a structured manner dates back to the 1700s, when scientist Linnaeus developed a precise method for identifying and classifying all living beings.

Continue Reading
What are the rules for writing scientific names?
Credit: Adam Crowley Blend Images Getty Images

Full Answer

According to Texas A&M University, there are several rules governing the proper writing of both generic and species names. When writing in binomial nomenclature, the genus name is always written first. Additionally, it appears underlined or in italics. The first letter of the genus name should also be capitalized. The specific epithet, or species name, is written second. Like the generic name, the species name is either underlined or italicized. In contrast to the generic name, however, the first letter of the species name is never capitalized. In addition to standard scientific writing, there are scientific naming systems used to identify mutations (such as different size, growth habitat or color) along with variations that occur in nature.

Learn more about Biology

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is mosaic evolution?

    A:

    Mosaic evolution occurs when the gene alleles of an organism or species evolve at different rates. Marks of mosaic evolution include the development of features within a species or organism at different times.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the scientific name for potato?

    A:

    There are more than 600 scientific names for cultivated potatoes, but they fall into four species: Solanum ajanhuiri, Solanum curtilobum, Solanum juzepczukii and Solanum tuberosum. The lengthy list of names illustrates the variety of potatoes that are commercially grown.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the scientific name of virus?

    A:

    Viruses are named scientifically similarly to organisms; they are referred to by genus and species name. Above these, two classification systems, supplemental to each, create a taxonomy for viruses.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the scientific name of a paramecium?

    A:

    "Paramecium" is the scientific name for the genus of at least eight species of microscopic single-celled organisms. These species, like others in phylum Ciliophora, are covered in hair-like filaments known as cilia.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore