Binomial Nomenclature

What is Binomial Nomenclature?

Carl Linnaeus introduced the concept of binomial nomenclature. Multiple local names make identifying an organism globally incredibly difficult and keeping track of the number of organisms. And it is causing a lot of uncertainty. A standard protocol came up to get rid of that confusion. According to it, each and every organism would have one scientific name that everyone would use to classify an organism. This systematic naming method is known as Binomial Nomenclature.


Living objects that are most well known have common names. You 're probably familiar with, for example, the little red insects dotted with little black spots. You may call them 'ladybugs' or 'ladybird beetles.' But do you know that these insects are in fact several different species? Just using common names will make it difficult for scientists to differentiate between them, so each species gets a specific scientific name.


Binomial nomenclature is the standardized naming scheme used by all scientists to name living objects. It gives a bipartisan scientific name to each species. A ladybug found in the United States, for example, goes by Harmonia axyridis fancy name.


The first element of a scientific name is named the genus, close to Harmonia. Usually, one genus is the term for a particular group of closely related species. The second part of a scientific name, axyridis in this example, is the specific epithet. This is used to classify a specific species as being distinct from those that belong to the same genus. The genus plus the specific epithet together is the full scientific name for an organism.


I bet you know the scientific name for at least one species already, even though you may not have known it. Ever learned of the dinosaur. Hey, rex? T. Rex is, in fact, a scientific name - 'T' is simply an abbreviation of the genus Tyrannosaurus. And basically the scientific name is Tyrannosaurus rex.


All Living Species have their own scientific names including plants, animals, birds, and even some microbes. For example:

  • The tiger 's scientific name is given as Panthera tigris. 'Panthera' stands for the genus and 'Tigris' reflects a specific species or epithet.

  • Human scientific name is given as Homo sapiens. 'Homo' stands for the genus and 'sapiens' represents an individual.

  • The Indian bullfrog is written as Rana tigrina in science. 'Rana' is the genus name and the specific species is called 'tigrina'.


Rules of Binomial Nomenclature

Since scientific names are specific identifiers of organisms, they ensure that there is never any ambiguity about which organism a scientist may refer to. Therefore, to keep all binomial names consistent, certain essential rules must be followed:

1. The full two-part name has to be written in italics (or emphasized when handwritten).

2. The name of the genus is always read first.

3. The name of the genus must be capitalized upon.

4. Never capitalizing on the specific epithet.

A Biologist from around the world is pursuing a common collection of rules to name the species. There are two universal codes that are accepted for the naming procedure by all the biologists all over the world. They are as follows:

  •  International Botanical Nomenclature Code (ICBN)-Deals with plant biological nomenclature.

  •  Universal Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) – Deals with animal bio nomenclature.

Such codes ensure that every organism is assigned a specific name, and that name is known globally.


The naming follows on from some conventions. Each scientific name has two Components

  •  Name generic

  •  Epithet specific


The remainder of the Binomial Nomenclature rules for the writing of organisms' scientific names include:

  1. All the names of the scientific organisms are usually Latin. So, they 're printed in italics.

  2. Two pieces of a name do exist. The first word identifies the genus and identifies the species by the second word.

  3. When handwritten, the names are highlighted or italicized when typed. This is done to suggest its roots in Latin.

  4. The genus name starts with a capital letter, and the species name begins with a short letter.


Drawbacks of Binomial Nomenclature

Some of the main drawbacks of binomial nomenclature are:

  • If two or more names are actually in use in compliance with the priority rule, the appropriate name will be used first and the other names will end up being synonyms because authenticity is synonymous with the senior. This must be stressed ensuring consistency in the naming and classification of species.

  • The names used by Linnaeus before those included in the "SystemaNaturae" are also not recognized.


Binomial Nomenclature

Often known as the sequential nomenclature, this systematic method of naming organisms consists of two Latin names, the genus and the species. All living things, and some viruses, have a scientific name.

We should add up the advantages of the binomial scheme are as follows: 

1) It is simple and very precise in its uniformity. In this, all species are in a simple uniform manner.

2) This is extensible and may show the names of the organisms to be used for the future. 

3) It offers a description of the affinities for us, which serve as an assistant. 

Memory and provides basic plant information that we don't know about. 

4) It makes it easier to talk about groups of species that have certain characteristics that are common.

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q1 - What does Binomial Nomenclature mean?

Ans - Binomial Nomenclature is the biological method of naming the organisms in which the name consists of two words, where the first term refers to the genus and the second term refers to the individual itself.

Q2 - Give an example on Binomial Nomenclature?

Ans - One example is Yucca filamentosa, a plant of the genus Yucca and the unique species filamentosa. When the binomial nomenclature scheme is applied, the species name is written in italics or enclosed inside quotation marks"). The name of the genus starts in a capital letter, while the specific epithet starts in a small letter. Also, the class can be written by abbreviating to its initial name. For eg, Yucca filamentosa abbreviated to Y based on the preceding case. Filamentosa, that is. The name given to a specific species is called a binomial or scientific name.