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Terms and abbreviations
- auct.; auctt. (Auctorum) A name used in the sense of a number of subsequent authors and not in its (different) sense as established by the original author. It is often used in conjunction with nec or non to indicate a misapplied name.
- autonym. An automatically generated infrageneric or infraspecific name.
- basionym. In botany, the first valid and legitimate name ("base name") used for a taxon. Equivalent to protonym in zoology, and basonym in bacteriology.
- basonym. In bacteriology, the first name used for a taxon. Equivalent to protonym in zoology, and basionym in botany.
- Candidatus. In bacterial nomenclature, Candidatus is a component of the taxonomic name for a bacterium that cannot be maintained in a bacteriology culture collection. It is an interim taxonomic status for yet-to-be-cultured organisms. According to the "Ad Hoc Committee for the re-evaluation of the species definition in bacteriology", microbiologists are encouraged to use the Candidatus concept for well characterised but as-yet uncultured organisms. The names included in this category are usually written as: Candidatus (in italics), the subsequent name(s) in Roman type (with an initial capital letter for the genus name) and the entire name in quotation marks. For example, "Candidatus Carsonella", and "Candidatus Carsonella ruddii".
- cf. (confer). Latin for "compare", marking an uncertain identification.
- comb. inval. (combinatio invalida). A combination not validly published according to ICBN.
- comb. illeg. (combinatio illegitima). A validly published name that is not in accordance with one or more rules in ICBN.
- comb. nov. (combinatio nova). A newly published name that is introduced based on a pre-existing name, often the specific epithet is used with another genus name.
- comb. superfl. (combinatio superflua). Superfluous combination, creating an illegitime homonym.
- cum descr. (cum descriptione). With description.
- emend. (emendavit). The diagnostic characters or the circumscription of a taxon has been altered ("emended").
- et al. or & al. (Grammatical genders: et alii [masculine], et aliae [feminine] or et alia [neuter]). Latin for: and others, used to indicate other authors of a published work. Should always be italicized when using as an abbreviation.
- ex Used to credit the coiner of a name, when said name was never, or invalidly published. Usage differs between botany and zoology:
- In botany, the "correct" author goes last, same as with combination authors.
- In zoology, the "correct" author goes first, as it is closest to the name.
- excl. var. (exclusis varietatibus). This taxonomic concept excludes varieties which other authors have subsequently included.
- floruit (often abbreviated fl. or occasionally, flor.) Latin meaning "he/she flourished", and denotes a date or period during which a person was known to have been alive or active. In English, the word may also be used as a noun indicating the time when someone "flourished", e.g. a period in life when an author of taxa was the most active.
- Hemihomonyms The same name used for taxa from different nomenclature jurisdictions.
- holotype A single physical example (or illustration) of an organism, known to have been used when the species (or lower-ranked taxon) was formally described.
- ICBN. International Code of Botanical Nomenclature now known as the International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (ICN) maintained by the International Association for Plant Taxonomy.
- ICZN. International Code of Zoological Nomenclature.
- in litt. (in litteris). In correspondence.
- in obs. (in observatione). In observation.
- in sched. (in schedis). On a herbarium sheet.
- incertae sedis. Of uncertain placement. A term used for a taxonomic group where its broader relationships are unknown or undefined.
- ined. (ineditus). Unpublished and not validated, provisional name.
- isonym. The same name based on the same type, published independently at different times.
- juv. (iuvenilis). Individual organism that has not yet reached its adult form, sexual maturity, or size.
- lectotype A specimen or illustration designated from the original material as the nomenclatural type, in conformity with Art. 9.9 and 9.10, if no holotype was indicated at the time of publication, or if it is missing, or if it is found to belong to more than one taxon (see also Art. 9.13).
- loc. cit. (loco citato). From the Latin: 'in the place mentioned'
- nec (or non) Warning, that a homonym could be misinterpreted.
- neotype A specimen or illustration later selected to serve as the single type specimen when an original holotype has been lost or destroyed, or where the original author never cited a specimen (Art. 75 ICZN and Art. 9.6, 9.15 ICN).
- nom. alt. (nomen alternativum). A name of a family that is treated as validly published due to long usage (Art 18).
- nom. ambig. (nomen ambiguum). An ambiguous name, name commonly used by mistake for more than one taxon. Often impossible to typify.
- nom. cons. (nomen conservandum)
- A name of a family, genus or species [or infraspecies] ruled as legitimate and with precedence over other specified names even though it may have been illegitimate when published or lack priority (Art. 14.1-14.7).
- A name for which its type, orthography, or gender has been fixed by the conservation process (Art. 14.1, 14.9-14.11).
- nom. cons. prop. (nomen conservandum propositum). Proposed conserved name.
- nom. dub. (nomen dubium). A dubious name without certain attribution.
- nom. et typ. cons. (nomen et typus conservandum). Both name and type of a family, genus or species [or infraspecies] ruled as legitimate and with precedence over other specified names even though they may have been illegitimate when published or lack priority (Art. 14.1-14.7).
- nom. illeg. (nomen illegitimum). A validly published name that is not in accordance with one or more rules (Art. 6.4), principally those on superfluity (Art. 52) and homonymy (Art. 53 and 54).
- nom. illeg. hom. (nomen illegitimum homonymum). A validly published name that is not in accordance with the one or more of the rules on homonymy (Art. 53 and 54). A later or junior homonym.
- nom. illeg. superfl. (nomen illegitimum superfluum). A validly published name that is not in accordance with the rule of superfluity (Art. 52). See also nom. superfl.
- nom. inadmiss. (nomen inadmissibile). Illegitime renaming of the type.
- nom. inval. (nomen invalidum). A name not validly published according to Art. 29-45 or H.9 (Art. 6.2).
- nom. nov. (nomen novum). A nomen novum (new name) is a replacement name based on a legitimate or illegitimate, previously published name. The previous name is its replaced synonym and, when legitimate, does not provide the final epithet, name, or stem of the replacement name. New names are created in order to avoid homonymy.
- nom. nud. (nomen nudum). A "naked name". A name of a new taxon published without a description or diagnosis, nor with reference to a description or diagnosis (50B.1).
- nom. provis. (nomen provisorium). Provisional name.
- nom. rej. (nomen rejiciendum). A name rejected in favour of a name conserved under Art. 14 or a name ruled as rejected under Art. 56 (App. II, III, IV, and V).
- nom. rej. prop. (nomen rejiciendum propositum). Proposed rejected name.
- nom. superfl. (nomen superfluum). Superfluous name; usually used for illegitimate names where the correct name or basionym is mentioned at the time of publication.
- nom. utique rej. prop. (nomen utique rejiciendum propositum). Name proposed for rejection to the ICBN (Art. 56.1), because otherwise it would cause a disadvantageous nomenclatural change.
- non design. (non designatus). Not designated.
- opus utiq. oppr./opera utiq. oppr. (Opus utique oppressum/Opera utique oppressa). Works, ruled as suppressed. In these names, in specified ranks, are not validly published. "Opus" is singular, "opera" is plural.
- orth. cons. (orthographia conservanda). Conserved orthographic variant.
- orth. emend. (orthographia emendata). Orthography emended in accordance with ICBN requirements.
- orth. err. Orthography error correctable in accordance with ICBN requirements.
- orth. var. Orthographic variant.
- parahomonyms Under ICN, names that are similar enough that they are likely to be confused, are also considered to be homonymous (Art. 53.3). For The zoological code has a set of spelling variations (Art. 58) that are considered to be identical.
- paralectotype In botany a specimen prior to lectotypification included among the syntypes, other than the chosen lectotype and isolectotypes. Duplicates are isoparalectotype(s). Not covered by ICN.
- paratype In both zoology and botany it is a specimen of an organism that helps define what the scientific name of a taxon actually represents. However, it is not the holotype and in botany it is also neither an isotype nor a syntype.
- p.p. or pro parte. "In part", regarding synonyms caused by subdivided taxa and circumscriptional changes.
- preocc. (praeoccupatis). Preoccupied, i.e. name already published for another taxon.
- pro hybr. or pro hybrid. (pro hybrido). As hybrid.
- pro sp. (pro specie). As species.
- pro syn. (pro synonymo). As synonym.
- protonym. In zoology, the first name used for a taxon. Equivalent to basionym in botany, and basonym in bacteriology.
- rank. The following endings indicate rank in botanical nomenclature:
- -obiotina = subkingdom
- -ophytanae = superdivision or superphylum
- -ophyta = division or phylum
- -ophytina = subdivision
- -opsida = class
- -idea = subclass
- -anae = superordo
- -ales = ordo
- -ineae = subordo
- -ariae = superfamilia
- -aceae = familia
- -indae = supersubfamilia
- -oideae = subfamilia
- -odae = supertribus
- -eae = tribus
- -odinae = supersubtribus
- -inae = subtribus
- sensu auct. (sensu auctorum). As used by the cited author, but specifically excluding the original meaning.
- s.l. (sensu lato). In the wide sense.
- s.s., s.str. (sensu stricto). In the narrow sense.
- sine dign. defin. (sine dignitate definita). Unranked taxa.
- sine descr. (sine descriptione). Without a description in nomenclature.
- species inquirenda. Species of doubtful identity requiring further investigation.
- sphalm. (sphalmate). By mistake, mistakenly.
- syn. or synonym. A scientific name that applies to a taxon that now goes by a different scientific name. Synonyms may arise whenever the same taxon is described and named more than once, independently. They may also arise when existing taxa are changed, as when two taxa are joined to become one, a species is moved to a different genus, a variety is moved to a different species, etc. A synonym is always the synonym of a different scientific name and cannot exist in isolation. One taxon may have several synonyms, but can only have one valid scientific name. An example of this is the domestic dog. It was originally described as Canis aegyptius. Some years later it was redescribed as Canis minor (and several other names), and today it is named Canis lupus familiaris. Hence both Canis aegyptius and Canis minor are synonyms of the now valid scientific name Canis lupus familiaris – but they all apply to the same taxon.
- syntype In botany, any specimen cited in the protologue when there is no holotype, or any one of two or more specimens simultaneously designated as types (Art. 9.5). In zoology, each specimen of a type series (q.v.) from which neither a holotype nor a lectotype has been designated [Arts. 72.1.2, 73.2, 74]. The syntypes collectively constitute the name-bearing type.
- tautonym A tautonym is a scientific name of a species in which both parts of the name have the same spelling, as Pica pica. It is permissible in zoological nomenclature but prohibited in botanical taxonomy.
- tax. nov. (taxon novum). A new taxon.
- t.b.c. To be confirmed.
- topotype A specimen from the type locality.
- typ. cons. (typus conservandus). With a conserved type.
- typus or type A particular specimen (or in rare cases a group of specimens) to which the scientific name is formally attached. The type is an example that serves to anchor a particular scientific name in a particular taxon.
- type genus genus from which the name of a family or subfamily is formed. The type genus is not necessarily the most representative, but is usually the earliest described, largest or best known. In botany type genus has no formal standing, but this is not the case in zoology.
- type locality The geographical location where a type specimen was originally found.
- type species Each genus must have a designated type species with which it is permanently associated. In botany type species has no formal standing, but this is not the case in zoology.
- abbrev. sys.
- International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (Melbourne Code). Accessed 13 March 2018.