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Species Examples

Examples of common and scientific names of living things, which could be marked up with a "species" (or similar) microformat. Note use of matching pairs of examples, where possible.

Note: the original name of the proposed microformat, "species", is likely to change, probably to "biota" or "taxon". The former has been retained here, to avoid having to make many repetitive and perhaps redundant edits

If you find a link which is not working, please replace it with a suitable alternative, rather than simply deleting it. Thank you.

Types of publishers

There are, perhaps, three types of publisher of taxonomic information (with all the usual overlaps and exceptions one finds when generalising so much!):

  1. Those which publish a full or partial hierarchy, like UBIO.
  2. Those which publish a binominal, or a binominal with a qualifier, like a subspecies, variety, breed, hybridisation - but still referring to a single type of living thing, with no higher- level taxonomy. e.g the West Midland Bird Club's county lists
  3. These which publish common (or "vernacular") names, but who would be interested in "aliasing" those to the scientific equivalent. e.g the West Midland Bird Club's news from Ladywalk

Interestingly, some sites (Wikipedia, for example) have pages which fall into each of the three categories!

  1. Bar tailed Godwit
  2. Genetics of humans
  3. Ladywalk

AndyMabbett 12:05, 23 Oct 2006 (PDT)



Black-tailed Godwit on West Midland Bird Club's Ladywalk reserve latest news page

<b class="bird">Black-tailed Godwit</b>

Limosa limosa West Midland Bird Club county lists

<th scope="col">Common Name</th><th scope="col">Scientific Name</th>
<th scope="row" class="bird">Black-tailed Godwit</th><td class="sci">Limosa limosa</td>

Eurasian Bittern Bitterns at LAdywalk

<b class="bird">Eurasian Bitterns</b>, (<i class="sci">Botaurus stellaris</i>)


Wolf on International Wolf Center

Canis_lupus on Animal Diversity Web


Northern pike on Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Esox lucius on Pike & Zander


Death’s Head Hawkmoth on Animal Teachers

Acherontia atropos on UK Moths

Migrant Hawker (Aeshna mixta) on Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre


Rose Trantula on Pet Care Forum

Araneus angulatus on Sussex Biodiversity Record Centre (this is a duplicate. BenWest 21:56, 21 Oct 2006 (PDT))


Bog Pimpernel on Map Reading's Wildflower Images

Anagallis tenella on BioImages

Persicaria campanulatum on rECOrd - The Biodiversity Information Centre for the Cheshire region

Galeopsis tetrahit s.s. West Midland Bird Club

<i class="sci">Galeopsis tetrahit 
<abbr lang="la" title="sensu stricto">s.s.</abbr>
 (<b class="plant">Common Hemp-nettle</b>)


Amanita muscaria on California Fungi

  • as Amanita muscaria (L. per Fr.) Hooker
  • as Amanita muscaria var. flavivolvata

Fly Agaric on Trees for Life

Rhodocollybia maculata (Albertini & Schweinitz: Fries) Singer on [1]

  • also written as Rhodocollybia maculata (Albertini & Schweinitz ex Fries) Singer
  • (This is where a post-Linnean author is given special rights (because his descriptions were comparatively complete - i.e. recognisable) so his interpretation of earlier names is taken as the sense meant by the original author. Think these used to be "apud" and are now "ex" although a colon has also been used. There are only a few sanctioning authors, the main one being Elias Fries.(Fr.) )

More than binominals


Pica pica Linnaeus, (1758) on Wikipedia: European Magpie

(i.e. named by Linnaeus in 1758)

Anarhynchus frontalis Quoy and Gaimard, 1830 on Wikipedia: Wrybill

note two-person authority

Unspecified species

Podiceps sp. on Bird Life

<i>Podiceps</i> sp.

Psyllid plant hopper on Ramblings of a Naturalist blog



Larus glaucoides kumlieni on BirdGuides

Kumlien's Gull on Birds Ireland


Pisum sativum L. subsp. sativum on [2] (also has other examples; note lack of required italics)

<b>Pisum sativum</b> L. subsp. <b>sativum</b>

Cultivars (plant)

Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Aureomarginata' on Wikipedia: Cultivar

<dd><i>Chamaecyparis lawsoniana</i> 'Aureomarginata'</dd>

Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Golden Wonder' on plantago.nl

Cultivar groups (plant)

Brassica oleracea Botrytis Group on Wikipedia: Cultivar

Trade names (plant)

Rosa Peace on Wikipedia: Cultivar

("Peace" is a trade designation or "selling name" for the cultivar R. 'Madame A. Meilland' and should therefore be printed in a different typeface from the rest of the name, without any quote marks)

Sunflower 'Giant Single' on Johnsons Seeds

Sunflower 'Infrared' F1 on Johnsons Seeds

(Note "F1" cross designation)

Variety (plant)

Pisum sativum var. macrocarpon on Dave's Garden

Sub-variety (plant)

Betula ermani var. genuina subvar. brevidentata on National Council for the Conservation of Plants and Gardens, Gloucestershire Group (plus many other examples)

Form (plant)

Acanthocalycium spiniflorum f. klimpelianum on Wikipedia: form (botany)

  • aka Acanthocalycium spiniflorum forma klimpelianum

Sense (plant)

Ranunculus aquatilis s.l. and R. aquatilis s.s; on Blithfield Reservoir: Survey of Flowering Plants... (see also footnotes on that page)

Cross (plant)

Digitalis x mertonensis on Hortax

The hybrid name for all plants derived from the cross between D. purpurea and D. grandiflora. The "x" indicates the hybrid status.

× Fatshedera lizei on Scientific Plant Names, Oregon State Univ., Landscape Plants

Strain (bacteria)

Escherichia coli O157:H7 on FDA.gov

E.Coli on BBC news


The Tarpan, Equus ferus ferus:

The Tarpan was first described by Johann Friedrich Gmelin in 1774; he had seen the animals in 1769 in the region of Bobrovsk, near Voronezh. In 1784 Pieter Boddaert named the species Equus ferus, referring to Gmelin's description. Unaware of Boddaert's name, Otto Antonius published the name Equus gmelini in 1912, again referring to Gmelin's description. Since Antonius' name refers to the same description as Boddaert's it is a junior objective synonym.

on http://web.archive.org/web/20070503224316/http://www.westmidlandbirdclub.com/biblio/bb/71-338.htm:

some authors still refer to Scandinavian Herring Gulls as L. a. omissus; others regard omissus as no longer valid (a synonym of argentatus)

On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devario_chrysotaeniatus:

Devario chrysotaeniatus [...] former Names and Synonyms
  • Danio chrysotaeniatus

On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetracanthus:

Echinocactus tetracanthus synonym of Parodia erinacea - cactus

On http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jostia_teaguei (using a "taxobox")

Binomial name
Jostia teaguei
(Luer) Luer
Masdevallia teaguei Luer, 1978

On http://www.coleopterist.org.uk/haliplidae-list.htm

HALIPLUS Latreille, 1802
Subgenus HALIPLUS Latreille, 1802
confinis Stephens, 1828
pallens Fowler, 1887
halberti Bullock, 1928

i.e. Haliplus pallens and H. halberti are synonyms of H. confinis.

See also Wkipedia search for "species synonym"


Superseded names

Tringa bartramia superseded by Bartramia longicauda on West Midland Bird Club's Upland Sandpiper article


NBN Taxon Key for European Otter, Lutra lutra, on NBN Species Dictionary: NBNSYS0000005133

LSID (Life Science Indicator) for Popillia japonica on uBio: urn:lsid:ubio.org:namebank:3377001


Black-tailed Godwit on Wikipedia: Black-tailed Godwit

Wikipedia uses several sets of markup, e.g. (in-line styles and links, plus some other markup, removed, for clarity):

<p>The <b>Black-tailed Godwit</b>, <i>Limosa limosa</i>


Wikipedia uses the standard convention of having species italicised. Internal links to species may be to the common name or scientific name depending on which is used as the article's title (usually common for animals, scientific for plants, although there are exceptions). Links to scientific names work regardless:

''[[Limosa limosa]]''

Link to common name:

[[Black-tailed Godwit]]

Link to common name, but displaying scientific name:

''[[Black-tailed Godwit|Limosa limosa]]''

These types of links are not used in the Black-tailed Godwit article itself, but in others related to it. e.g. British avifauna


Wiki markup for the taxobox (taxonomy infobox) on the English Wikipedia, as used on the Black-tailed Godwit article, with irrelevant fields removed:

| name = Black-tailed Godwit
| regnum = [[Animal]]ia
| phylum = [[Chordate|Chordata]]
| classis = [[bird|Aves]]
| ordo = [[Charadriiformes]]
| familia = [[Scolopacidae]]
| genus = ''[[Godwit|Limosa]]''
| species = '''''L. limosa'''''
| binomial = ''Limosa limosa''
| binomial_authority = ([[Carolus Linnaeus|Linnaeus]], 1758)

Above is vaguely displayed in an HTML table as (with formatting and links removed):

	<td>L. limosa</td>

	<th>binominal name</th>
	<td>Limosa limosa</i>
	<td>(Linnaeus, 1758)</td>

Also allows for other levels of taxonomy (e.g. genus or subspecies), and synonyms.

Quantitative evidence

For evidence of quantitative, rather than qualitative, use of species' and other taxonomic names, see species-examples-quantitative

Notable websites

These high-profile websites use species names

  • Encyclopaedia Britannica - all species, e.g.
  • Nature Network, Boston
    • The student and the squid N.B. site already supports rel-tag, hCard for user profiles and hCalendar for marking up events across the site.
  • Snopes (Urban Legends Reference Pages)
  • United States of America Government
    • ITIS, e.g. Passer Domesticus - "authoritative taxonomic information on plants, animals, fungi, and microbes of North America and the world"

Breaking news

In under two weeks, the BBC News website carried the following stories, all including the scientific names of species:

Use in blogs

And finally...

Gary Larson, in his book The Far Side Gallery (Warner Books, 1980, ISBN 0751502367) has a cartoon, showing two entomologists sitting down to eat dinner in a jungle. One says to the other "Hey! What's this Drosophila melanogaster doing in my soup?"


See also