species name


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species name (plural species names)

  1. (taxonomy) A scientific name at the rank of species, with two terms: the generic name (or generic epithet, the genus of the species) and the specific name (a term used only in zoology, never in botany, for the second part of a binomial) or the specific epithet (the term always used in botany, which can also be used in zoology).
  2. (taxonomy) specific epithet, species epithet, specific name
    • 1983, Richard E. White, Peterson Field Guides: Beetles. A Field Guide to the Beetles of North America, p. 54:
      Every animal that has been described by scientists has a scientific name, which consists of both a genus and species name. [...] The genus name is capitalized and given first, and the species name is given next [...]
    • 2006, V.B. Rastogi & B. Kishore, A Complete Course in ISC Biology. Vol I for Class XI, Unit II p. 7:
      According to this system, each organism, whether plant or animal, bears two names : the first is generic name and second is the species name. [...] For example, the scientific name of modern man is Homo sapiens sapiens, where Homo is the generic name, and sapiens is the species name.

Usage notesEdit

The scientific name of a species is typeset in italics, the genus name (alone) having an initial capital letter (the specific epithet is not capitalized); for example the scientific name of the lion is Panthera leo.