Binomial Nomenclature Examples Importance (scientific name)

What is Binomial Nomenclature or Binomial Distribution?

The first part of this unique name identifies the genus to which the species belongs, and the second part is the specific epithet or specific name. This specific name identifies the species within the genus.
For example, human beings belong to the genus Homo and within this genus to the species Homo sapiens.

Binomial Distribution or Binomial Nomenclature is a formal system of naming living species; by giving a unique name composed of two parts. Both of these parts use Latin grammatical forms. Although; they can be based on words belonging to other languages. Such a name is called a binomial name, a binomen, r a scientific name. 

Who developed the system of Binomial Nomenclature?

Carlous Linnaeus (Binomial Nomenclature)

A Swedish botanist, Carolus Linnaeus (1707 — 1778) formed a system for the naming of organisms. It is called binomial nomenclature. His system is used today internationally. He discarded the common names of the plants and gave each plant a scientific name.

He used Latin words for these scientific names. Linnaeus published the list of names of plants in 1753. His system became popular. Later, he used this system for the naming of animals.

He published the list of names of animals in 1758. Linnaeus’s system of giving each species a scientific name comprising two words is known as binomial nomenclature.

  • The first name is of the genus (pl. genera). It is called a generic name. It always begins with a capital letter.
  • The second name is of species name. It follows the generic name. It begins with a small letter. These names are given on the basis of some characteristics of the organism or person who collects them. Many of his names are used today.

Scientific Names (Binomial Nomenclature)

Some of the rules are universally adopted while suggested and documented scientific names are:

  • Scientific names are usually printed in italics, such as Homo sapiens. When handwritten they are underlined.
  • The first term (generic name) always begins with a capital letter, while the species name is never capitalized (even when derived from a proper name).
  • The scientific name is generally written in full when it is first used. But when several species from the same genus are listed, it may then be abbreviated by just an initial for the genus; for example, Escherichia coli becomes coli.

What are Binomial Nomenclature Examples Importance?

The scientific names of:

  • Onion: Allium cepa.
  • Amaltas: Cassia fistula.
  • Man: Homo sapiens.
  • Potato: Solanum tuberosum.
  • Tomato: Solanum esculentum.

Every species has only one scientific name all over the world. Initially, this classification was based on appearance or morphology. Later, there was an advancement in the knowledge of cytology, physiology, genetics, and molecular biology. So the classification of the organisms has been modified.

The name ‘blackbird’ is used for crow as well as for ‘raven’.Common names have no scientific basis.
For example; A fish is a vertebrate animal with fins and gills. But several common names of ‘silverfish’, ‘Crayfish’, ‘jellyfish’, and ‘starfish’ do not fit the biologist’s definition of a fish.

To avoid all these confusions, organisms are given scientific names by using binomial nomenclature. The values of this system are due to its widespread use and the stability of its name.

In binomial nomenclature, every species can be unambiguously identified with just two words. Some names can be used all over the words, in the languages, avoiding difficulties of translation.

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Background/History of Binomial Nomenclature

Nomenclature is combined with classification as it deals with the real name to be applied to a known taxonomy. It is better to use scientific names rather than vernacular or common names. Now a day; no two genera could have the same generic name. Also, no two species within a given genus; could have the same specific name.

In biological history; there are various examples of different nomenclatural codes. These codes are simultaneously prepared and followed by different organizations. However; such a process became less common. To achieve universality and stability in the name of animals; “The Stickland Code” (also known as First Zoological Code) was developed in 1842. It is developed by a commission that included Water house, Darwin, Westwood, and Hanslow. However; a truly cultured set of rules was not accepted until 1898.

You should know that the first code for Botany was presented by Augustin de Candolle in 1813. In 1947; the first International code in Bacteriology was accepted. Similarly, recognition of universally viral nomenclature was indicated by the virus subcommittee first. The virus subcommittee of the International Commission on Bacteriology was established in 1951. The first statement on nomenclature and classification of viruses was published in 1971.

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The Virological Codes are the most recent these days. Virological Codes are subject to considerable amendment before being finalized. The Botanical nomenclature and Zoological nomenclature are independent of each other. Every attempt should be made to avoid the introduction of those generic names in Botany; which are already in use in Zoology. The experimental or scientific names of animals from sub-genera and above are always uninominal. The names of these species are binomial and those of sub-species are always trinomial.

The Universal Code for Zoological Nomenclature also brings out some serious declarations. It is declared that the committee or commission is allowed to implement the arrangement for the modifications of the universal code. The formal indexes of invalid and rejected names and the official tests of confirmed names are approved ones. Although; published by the trust independently; they are considered to be essential parts of the Universal Zoological Code.

Important Rules of Binomial Nomenclature

  • The first name is a generic name which is the name of the genus.
  • The second name is the name of the species, i.e. specific name.
  • Genus name is written by a capital letter.
  • The species name is written in a small letter.
  • Both names should be underlined or should be written in italic form.

Significance of Binomial Nomenclature

Why is binomial nomenclature important?
There are three reasons for giving a scientific name to organisms:

  • Different names for the same Organism

Different people gave different names to the same organism in the past time. There was no system of giving names to the organisms. Different regions had different names of the same organism.
For example amaltas, argvad, gurmala, golden shower, and purging cassia are different common names of the same plant.

  • Same name for different organisms

In some cases, a single name is given to several different plants and animals. For example:

  1. Dozens of plants with bell-shaped flowers are named ‘bluebell’.
  2. The name ‘blackbird’ is given to the crow and raven.
  • Common name without scientific basis

Common name has no scientific basis. Fish is a vertebrate animal. It has backbone, fins, and gills. Silverfish (an insect), crayfish, jellyfish, and starfish do not have these characteristics. So they cannot be placed in fishes.

Advantages of Binomial Nomenclature (Scientific Names)

The binomial nomenclature or scientific name has a number of advantages over everyday and common names.

  • Well Organized & Classified

The organism can be smoothly or easily categorized. This genuinely helps to make it easier and straight-forward to understand the characteristics of a specific organism or creature in an organized chart.

  • Clarity and Precision

These names are always unique with each organism or creature having only one scientific name. It helps avoid confusion or turbulence created by common names.

  • Universal Recognition

Scientific names are accepted and standardized universally. However; popular or common name changes with area location or language. These names are always the same among scientific people all over the Globe.

  • Stability

The Scientific Names are maintained even if the species are shifted to other genera; based on new observations & knowledge.  Using scientific names; different characteristics or properties of the organism or species can be obtained.

  • Interspecific relationship

Binomial or Scientific terms help understand the differences & similarities between different species or organisms belonging to the same genera. It is useful in establishing a relation between the two species.

  • A lesser or minor error in communication regarding the knowledge or studies of any organism because these names are unique to it and the same all over the globe.
  • The scientific name’s a big advantage is its exactness.
  • The scientific name or Binomial Name is regulated by The International Code of Binomial Nomenclature.

Disadvantages of Binomial Nomenclature (Scientific Names)

  • The versatility of binomial names is limited by the fact that their classification is not fixed in size. A taxon may have a changing circumscription.
  • The class of a particular binomial name is quite limited according to some community and really big according to other communities. This will depend on the taxonomic system or taxonomic point of view.
  • Some binomial names refer to groups or communities that are very stable (e.g. Magnoliaceae, Equisetaceae). Although, for other names; a careful and mindful check is needed to see which limitation is being used (e.g. Scrophulariaceae, Fabaceae).
  • Latin words or names are also difficult to memorize. For this logic, some government agencies and organizations are trying to create a list of some official names based on the official language or native of the country.
  • They are lengthy and very hard to learn.
  • To normal people, they are unknown in Latinized Greek meaningless or Latin language.

List of Common and Scientific Names of Plants

This appendix contains a fine list of the scientific and common names of plant species. These names are mentioned in the content/text of the EIS.

Grasses and Grass-like Plants

Common Name Scientific Name
Alkali Sacaton Sporobolus airoides
Barley, Foxtail Hordeum jubatum
Bluegrass Poa spp.
Bluegrass, Alkali Poa juncifolia
Bluegrass, Kentucky Poa pretensis
Bluegrass, Nevada Poa nevadensis
Bluegrass, Sandberg’s Poa secunda
Brome, Downy Bromus tectorum
Brome, Mountain Bromus carinatus
Brome, Red Bromus rubens
Cheatgrass Bromus tectorum
Cordgrass, Alkali Spartina gracilis
Fescue, Idaho Festuca idahoensis
Grama, Blue Bouteloua gracilis
Hairgrass, Tufted Deschampsia cespitosa
Muhly Grass Muhlenbergia capillaris
Muttongrass Poa fendleriana
Needle-and-thread Hesperostipa comata
Needlegrass, Columbia Achnatherum nelsonii
Needlegrass, Letterman’s Achnatherum lettermanii
Needlegrass, Thurber’s Achnatherum thurberianum
Needlegrass, Western Achnatherum occidentale
Quackgrass Elymus repens
Redtop Agrostis gigantea
Ricegrass, Indian Achnatherum hymenoides
Rush, Baltic Juncus balticus
Rush, Spike Eleocharis spp.
Saltgrass Distichlis spicata
Saltgrass, Inland Distichlis spicata
Sedge, Clustered Field Carex praegracilis
Sedge, Nebraska Carex nebrascensis
Sedge, Water-loving Carex aquatilis
Squirreltail Elymus spp.
Squirreltail, Bottlebrush Elymus elymoides
Timothy, Alpine Phleum alpinum
Wheatgrass, Bluebunch Pseudoroegneria spicata
Wheatgrass, Crested Agropyron cristatum
Wheatgrass, Slender Elymus trachycaulus
Wheatgrass, Western Pascopyrum smithii
Wildrye, Basin Leymus cinereus

Forbs and Nonvascular Plants

Common Name Scientific Name
Balsamroot Balsamorhiza spp.
Bassia, Fivehook Bassia hyssopifolia
Buckwheat, Beatley Eriogonum beatleyae
Bulrush Scirpus spp.
Cat-tail Typha latifolia
Cinquefoil Potentilla spp.
Clover, Sierra Trifolium sp.
Cress, Hoary Cardaria draba
Eriogonum Eriogonum spp.
Forage Kochia Bassia prostrata
Goldenweed Haplopappus acaulis
Halogeton Halogeton glomeratus
Hawksbeard Crepis spp.
Iris, Wild Iris missouriensis
Knapweed, Russian Acroptilon repens
Knapweed, Spotted Centaurea stoebe
Lahontan Beardtongue Penstemon palmeri
Least Phacellia Phacelia minutissima
Locoweed Oxytropis lambertii
Lupine Lupine spp.
Milkvetch, One-leaflet Torrey Astragalus calycosus
Mint Mentha spp.
Mustard, Tansy Descurainia pinnata
Mustard, Wild Sinapis arvensis
Nevada Willowherb Epilobium nevadense
Onion Allium sp.
Paintbrush, Monte Neva Castilleja salsuginosa
Penstemon Penstemon spp.
Phlox Phlox spp.
Pickleweed Salicornia sp.
Puncturevine Tribulus terrestris
Ragwort, Tansy Senecio jacobaea
Reedgrass Calamagrostis spp.
Scarlet Globe-mallow Sphaeralcea coccinea
Seepweed Suaeda intermedia
Snakeweed Gutierrezia spp.
Snakeweed, Broom Gutierrezia sarothrae
Sorrel Rumex acetosa
Spikerush Elocharis spp.
Spurge, Leafy Euphorbia esula
St. Johnswort, Common Hypericum perforatum
Thistle, Bull Cirsium vulgare
Thistle, Canada Cirsium arvense
Thistle, Musk Carduus nutans
Thistle, Russian Salsola tragus
Thistle, Scotch Onopordum acanthium
Watercress Nasturtium officinale
Whitetop, Tall Lepidium latifolium
Yarrow Achillea spp.

Shrubs and Trees

Common Name Scientific Name
Aspen, Quaking Populus tremuloides
Bitterbrush, Antelope Purshia tridentata
Bud Sagebrush Picrothamnus desertorum
Ceanothus Ceanothus sp.
Chokecherry Prunus virginiana
Cottonwood, Black Populus balsamifera var. trichocarpa
Fir, White Abies concolor
Gooseberry Ribes spp.
Greasewood Sarcobatus spp.
Greasewood, Black Sarcobatus vermiculatus
Greenstem Paperflower Psilostrophe sparsiflora
Hemlock, Poison Conium maculatum
Hopsage Grayia spp.
Hopsage, Spiny Grayia spinosa
Horsebrush, Littleleaf Tetradymia glabrata
Iodine Bush Allenrolfea occidentalis
Juniper, Utah Juniperus osteosperma
Mahogany, Cur-leaf Mountain Cercocarpus ledifolius
Manzanita Arctostaphylos spp.
Mormon Tea Ephedra spp.
Nevada Ephedra Ephedra nevadensis
Pine, Limber Pinus flexilis
Pinyon, Singleleaf Pinus monophylla
Poison hemlock Conium maculatum
Rabbitbrush Chrysothamnus spp. and Ericameria spp.
Rabbitbrush, Douglas’ Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus
Rabbitbrush, Rubber Chrysothamnus nauseosus
Rose, Wild Rosa spp.
Sage, Mediterranean Salvia aethiopis
Sagebrush Artemisia spp.
Sagebrush, Basin Big Artemesia tridentata tridentata
Sagebrush, Big Artemisia tridentata
Sagebrush, Black Artemisia nova
Sagebrush, Low Artemisia arbuscula
Sagebrush, Mountain big Artemesia tridentata ssp vaseyana
Sagebrush, Wyoming big Artemesia tridentata spp. whyomingensis
Saltbush Atriplex spp.
Saltbush, Four-wing Atriplex canescens
Saltcedar (tamarisk) Tamarix ramosissima
Serviceberry Amelanchier utahensis
Shadscale Atriplex confertifolia
Snowberry Symphoricarpos albus
Willow Salix spp.
Willow, Arroyo Salix lasiolepis
Willow, Narrow-leaf Salix exigua
Willow, Rock Salix vestita
Winterfat Krascheninnikovia lanata

List of Common and Scientific Names of Invertebrates

This appendix contains a fine list of the scientific and common names of invertebrate species. These names are mentioned in the content/text of the EIS.

Common Name Scientific Name
Beetle Coleoptera
Caddisfly Trichoptera
Fly Diptera
Leach Hirdinea
Mayfly Ephemeroptera
Snail Gastropoda
Springsnail Pyrgulopsis spp.
Stonefly Plecoptera
True Bug Hemiptera

List of Common and Scientific Names of Fish

This appendix contains a fine list of the scientific and common names of fish species. These names are mentioned in the content/text of the EIS.

Common Name Scientific Name
Chub, Newark Valley Tui Siphateles bicolor newarkensis
Chub, Tui Gila spp.
Dace, Monitor Valley Speckled Rhinichthys osculus spp.
Dace, Speckled Rhinichthys osculus
Shiner, Redside Cyprinella lutrensis
Sucker, Mountain Catostomus platyrhynchos
Sucker, Tahoe Catostomus tahoensis
Trout, Brook Salvelinus frontinalis
Trout, Brown Salmo trutta
Trout, Rainbow Oncorhynchus myliss

List of Common and Scientific Names of Reptiles & Amphibians

This appendix contains a fine list of the scientific and common names of reptiles and amphibians species. These names are mentioned in the content/text of the EIS.

Common Name Scientific Name
Boa, Rubber Charina bottae
Coachwhip Masticophis flagellum
Frog, Columbia Spotted Rana luteiventris
Frog, Northern Leopard Lithobates pipiens
Lizard, Great Basin Collared Crotaphytus bicinctores
Lizard, Greater Short-horned Phrynosoma douglasii
Lizard, Long-nosed Leopard Gambelia wislizenii
Lizard, Sagebrush Sceloporus graciosus
Lizard, Western Fence Sceloporus occidentalis
Rattlesnake, Western Crotalus oreagnus
Snake, Long-nosed Rhinocheilus lecontei
Snake, Ringneck Diadophis punctatus
Toad, Great Basin Spadefoot Spea intermontana
Toad, Western Anaxyrus boreas
Whipsnake, Striped Masticophis taeniatus ornatus

List of Common and Scientific Names of Birds

This appendix contains a fine list of the scientific and common names of bird species. These names are mentioned in the content/text of the EIS.

Common Name Scientific Name
American Bittern Botaurus lentiginosus
American Kestrel Falco sparverius
American Robin Turdus americanus
Black Rosy-finch Leucosticte atrata
Bluebird, Mountain Sialia currucoides
Bluebird, Western Sialia mexicana
Chickadee, Mountain Poecile gambeli
Cuckoo, Yellow-billed Coccyzus americanus
Dove, Mourning Zenaida macroura
Eagle, Bald Haliaeetus leucocephalus
Eagle, Golden Aquila chrysaetos
Falcon, Prairie Falco mexicanus
Falcon, Peregrine Falco peregrinus
Finch, Cassin’s Haemorhous cassinii
Flicker, Northern Colaptes auratus
Flycatcher, Gray Empidonax wrightii
Flycatcher, Willow Empidonax traillii
Gnatcatcher, Blue-gray Polioptila caerulea
Goose, Canada Branta canadensis
Goose, Snow Chen hyperborea
Hawk, Cooper’s Accipiter cooperi
Hawk, Ferruginous Buteo regalis
Hawk, Red-tailed Buteo jamaicensis
Hawk, Rough-legged Buteo lagopus
Hawk, Sharp-shinned Accipiter striatus
Hawk, Swainson’s Buteo swainsoni
Heron, Black-crowned Night Nycticorax nycticorax
Heron, Great Blue Ardea herodias
Jay, Pinyon Gymnorhinus cyanocephalus
Jay, Western Scrub Apelocoma californica
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Meadowlark, Western Sturnella neglecta
Merlin Falco columbarius
Nighthawk, Common Chordeiles minor
Northern Coot Fulica americana
Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis
Northern Harrier Circus cyaneus
Nuthatch, Red-breasted Sitta canadensis
Owl, Barn Tyto alba
Owl, Flammulated Otus flammeolus
Owl, Great Horned Bubo virginianus
Owl, Long-eared Asio otus
Owl, Northern Pygmy Glaucidium gnoma
Owl, Northern Saw-whet Aegolius acadicus
Owl, Short-eared Asio flammeus
Owl, Western Burrowing Athene cunicularia
Partridge, Chukar Alectoris graeca
Quail, Mountain Oreortyx pictus
Raven, Common Corvus corax
Robin, American Turdus americanus
Sage-grouse, Greater Certrocercus urophasianus
Screech-owl, Western Otus asio
Shrike, Loggerhead Lanius ludovicianus
Solitaire, Townsend’s Myadestes townsendi
Sora Porzana carolina
Sparrow, Black-throated Amphispiza bilineata
Sparrow, Brewer’s Spizella breweri
Sparrow, Lark Chondestes grammacus
Sparrow, Sage Amphispiza belli
Swan, Tundra Cygnus columbianus
Thrasher, Sage Oreoscoptes montanus
Titmouse, Juniper Baeolophus ridgwayi
Towhee, Green-tailed Pipilo chlorurus
Vulture, Turkey Cathartes aura
Warbler, Black-throated Gray Setophaga nigrescens
Warbler, Macgillvray’s Geothlypis tolmiei
Warbler, Orange-crowned Oreothlypis celata
Warbler, Virginia’s Vermivora virginiae
Waxwing, Cedar Bombycilla cedrorum
Woodpecker, Lewis’ Melanerpes lewis

List of Common and Scientific Names of Mammals

This appendix contains a fine list of the scientific and common names of mammal species. These names are mentioned in the content/text of the EIS.

Common Name Scientific Name
Antelope, Pronghorn Antilocapra americana
Bat, Little Brown Myotis lucifugus
Bat, Silver-haired Lasionycteris noctivagans
Bat, Townsend’s Big-eared Corynorhinus townsendii
Cottontail, Mountain Sylvilagus nuttallii
Cougar Puma concolor
Cow, Domestic Bos primigenius taurus
Coyote Canis latrans
Deer, Mule Odocoileus hemionus
Horse Equus ferus caballus
Jackrabbit, Black-tailed Lepus californicus
Marmot, Hoary Marmota caligata
Mouse, Dark Kangaroo Microdipodops megacephalus
Mouse, Deer Peromyscus maniculatus
Mouse, Pinyon Peromyscus truei
Myotis, California Myotis californicus
Fringed, Myotis Myotis thysanodes
Myotis, Hoary Lasiurus cinereus
Myotis, Long-eared Myotis evotis
Long-legged, Myotis Myotis volans
Western Small-footed, Myotis Myotis ciliolabrum
Pipistrelle, Western Parastrellus hesperus
Porcupine Erethizon dorsatum
Rabbit, Pygmy Brachylagus idahoensis
Rat, Desert Kangaroo Dipodomys deserti
Rat, Ord’s Kangaroo Dipodomys ordii
Sheep, Bighorn Ovis canadensis
Sheep, Domestic Ovis aries
Shrew, Montane Sorex monticolus
Vole, Sagebrush Lemmiscus curtatus
Woodrat, Bushy-tailed Neotoma cinerea

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