Binomial Nomenclature – Definition, Rules, Examples, Advantages, Disadvantages

Binomial nomenclature means a system that is used to provide a unique name to organisms, including plants, animals, microorganisms, and other living things.

This naming system makes it easier to understand them better and also separates each species from others. Therefore a universally accepted naming system is essential.

Binomial nomenclature definition

Binomial nomenclature is a widely accepted naming system, which is used in the naming of living things. Multiple native names make it extraordinarily tough to establish an organism globally and maintain an observation of the variety of species. Thus, it creates quite a lot of confusion. To eliminate this confusion, a normal protocol came up. According to it, every organism would have one scientific title which might be utilized by everybody to establish an organism. 

What is binomial nomenclature?

  • Binomial Nomenclature follows a universally accepted naming system, which is used to provide a scientific name to a known organism.
  • Binomial Nomenclature also known as the binary nomenclature.
  • It uses two-terms during the nomenclature of a specie (plants, animals, and living organisms) that is why it called two-term naming system.
  • The scientific name of an organism or binomial nomenclature consists of two words, such as the generic epithet and describes the genus and the specific epithet and refers to the species of the organism.
  • Both of this term is written in italic and the genus name is capitalized.
  • Binomial nomenclature was given by Swedish botanist and physician Carl Linnaeus. He also called the founder of modern taxonomy.
  • Carl Linnaeus described and classified thousands of species of plants and animals in his book Systema Naturae.
  • In this technique, there are particular guidelines that are followed while naming organisms. This normal algorithm is relevant to plants and animals whereas giving them distinctive names inside a given system.
  • There are two worldwide codes such as the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN) deal with the biological nomenclature for plants and the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) deal with the biological nomenclature of animals.
  • These two codes agreed upon by all of the biologists over the world for the naming protocol. These codes ensure that every organism will get a selected identity and that identity is globally recognized.
Binomial Nomenclature
Binomial Nomenclature

Rules of binomial nomenclature – principle of binomial nomenclature

1. The scientific name of each organism should be written in italic an in Latin.

Example –  Homo sapiens.

2. The first word of the scientific name will identify the genus and the last word will identify the species.

Example –  Panthera tigris is a scientific name of the tiger, where ‘Panthera’ is the genus and ‘Tigris’ is a particular species or specific epithet.

3. In handwriting, both the words of scientific name should be underlined separately or printed in italic to indicate that they are originated from Latine.

Example – Homo sapiens.

4. The genus name should be started with a capital letter, and the species name should be started with a small latter.

Example –  Homo sapiens.

5. When used with a common title, the scientific title usually follows in parentheses, though this varies with publication.

Example – “The house sparrow (Passer domesticus) is decreasing in Europe.”

6. The binomial title ought to usually be written in full. The exception to that is when a number of species from the identical genus are being listed or mentioned in the identical paper or report, or the identical species is talked about repeatedly; during which case the genus is written in full when it’s first used, however, could then be abbreviated to a preliminary (and an interval/full cease).

Example – Escherichia coli is often written as just E. coli.

7. The abbreviation “sp.” is used when the precise particular title can not or needn’t be specified. The abbreviation “spp.” (plural) signifies “several species”. These abbreviations should not be italicized (or underlined).

Example – “Canis sp.” refers as “an unspecified species of the genus Canis”, whereas “Canis spp.” refers as “two or more species of the genus Canis” 

8. The abbreviation “cf.” (i.e. confer in Latin) is used to match individuals/taxa with recognized/described species. Conventions to be used of the “cf.” qualifier range. In paleontology, it’s usually used when the identification will not be confirmed.

Example –  “Corvus cf. nasicus” was used to indicate “a fossil bird similar to the Cuban crow but not certainly identified as this species”.

9. In some contexts, the dagger image (“†”) could also be used before or after the binomial title to point that the species is extinct.

Binomial Nomenclature
Binomial Nomenclature

Binomial Nomenclature Examples

Apple – Pyrus maleus

Banana – Musa paradiscium

Camel – Camelus camelidae

Carrot – Daucas carota

Cat – Felis catus

Deer – Artiodactyl cervidae

Dog – Cannis familiaris

Dolphin – Delphinidae delphis

Elephant – Proboscidea elephantidae

Horse – Eqqus caballus

Human – Homo sapiens

Lemon – Citrus limonium

Maize – Zea mays

Onion – Allium cepa

Orange – Citrus aurantium

Pig – Artiodactyla suidae

Pineapple – Ananus sativus

Potato – Solanium tuberosum

Rabbit – Leporidae cuniculas

Watermelon – Citrullus vulgaris

Wheat – Triticum aestivum

Advantages of Binomial Nomenclature

  • These biological names are simple, meaningful, and universally accepted.
  • Easy to remember and understand.
  • This also shows us the evolutionary history of the species.
  • It helps to distinguish each organism from others.
  • It has stability.

Limitations/Drawbacks of Binomial Nomenclature

  • If two or extra names are presently in use, in response to the regulation of priority, the right title would be the one used first and the others end up being synonyms as validity is the senior synonym. Providing stability within the naming and classification of organisms has to be emphasized.
  • Also, the names used prior to these included within the “Systema Naturae”, by Linnaeus aren’t acknowledged.

FAQ On Binomial Nomenclature

1. who developed binomial nomenclature?

Binomial nomenclature, was established in the 1750s by Carolus Linnaeus.

2. what is binomial nomenclature?

The system of nomenclature in which two terms are used to denote a species of living organism, the first one indicating the genus and the second the specific epithet.

3. Binomial nomenclature was introduced by _____________

Binomial nomenclature was introduced by Swedish botanist and physician Carl Linnaeus.

Who proposed binomial nomenclature?

Linnaeus established the practice of binomial nomenclature—that is, the denomination of each kind of plant by two words, the genus name and the specific name, as Rosa canina, the dog rose.

Why is binomial nomenclature important?

These names are important because they allow people throughout the world to communicate unambiguously about animal species.



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