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Binomial nomenclature

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A system of naming a species often in a Latinized form and in two parts, i.e. the generic name (genus) and the specific epithet


The binomial nomenclature is a system used to name a species of a particular organism. It is often based in Greek or Latin language. Although Latin is now a defunct language, the naming of organisms is still being classified using this language. Apart from using these languages, the binomial nomenclature entails two parts: (1) generic name (genus) and (2) specific epithet. An example is Yucca filamentosa, a plant of the Yucca genus and the unique filamentosa species. When applying the binomial nomenclature system, the name of the species is written in italics or enclosed within the quotation marks (""). The genus name begins in capital letter whereas the specific epithet, in small letter. The genus may also be written by abbreviating it to its initial letter. For instance, based on the previous example,Yucca filamentosa abbreviated to Y. filamentosa. The name given to a particular species is called binomial name or scientific name.

Also called:

  • binominal nomenclature
  • binary nomenclature

See also: