Scientific binomials in biology

I’ve talked about scientific binomial nomenclature here before especially in the context of tautonyms, where each part of the binomial (or trinomial even) is the same word e.g Carduelis carduelis, Bufo bufo, Gorilla gorilla gorilla. The repetition lets you know the species in question is the “type of the family.

People often call these scientific names, the Latin name for a plant or animal. However, they’re rarely Latin, they are Latinised, made to look like Latin words, but they’re often derived from proper Latin, assimilated from Greek or simply faked. Heteropoda davidbowie is a good example of why these aren’t really Latin names.

Anyway, a point that I’d overlooked in recent years is that the scientific name for an organism has to be qualified by the name of the person that named/discovered the organism and the year that was first recorded. So, for example, the full name of the spider with the orange mullet should be as follows: Heteropoda davidbowie, [Jäger, 2008]. In printed works, the binomial should be in italic lettering and the name and year in brackets.

Now, that I’ve remembered this point, I’ve made a start updating the lists associated with my bio photo galleries at Imaging Storm: LepidopteraBirds, and other Wildlife to include the discoverer/namer and year. It’s going to take me a while so please just in enjoy scrolling through my photos for now.


Author: bob投注平台

Award-winning freelance science writer, author of Deceived Wisdom. Sharp-shooting photographer and wannabe rockstar.