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Just a silly question: I don't remember how the species giving its name to an upper-level clade is called.

e.g. the name of family Canidae derives from Canis lupus

You could say it is the "name-giving" species, but I'm certain a specific term exists.

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I guess you are looking for the type species. Although it is defined to be a "name giver" for the genus or subgenus level you could potentially extend this to higher up levels.

EDIT: After looking this up and actually reading the full article myself, yes, at least in zoology you can extend it to higher levels by for example using the type genus.

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  • $\begingroup$ Hmm... Thank you I guess "type genus" is closer to what I was looking for, since it concerns supra-generic clades. Although I recall once using a term of somewhat greek origin, like blahblah-nymic... but I don't recall what it was... Maybe "hyponymic species"? $\endgroup$ – KermittDuss Jul 14 '16 at 11:46

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