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32 votes
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Why do both the mango and the bee have "Indica" in their binomial name?

In short, we do not think about the uniqueness of the second part of the binomial (the species epithet) but about the uniqueness of the binomial itself (the genus and the species epithet). Thus, the ...
NatWH's user avatar
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26 votes

What is a fungus formally?

Formal definitions aren't really a thing in Biology or anywhere outside of mathematics. For cladistics, the closest you will get is that species are arranged based on common ancestry. Fungi are a ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
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25 votes
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Can 'human' become a genus due to space colonization?

The concept you are referring to is speciation and it has been well studied in a wide variety of different natural organisms. I suppose here we are talking about the biological species concept. The ...
user438383's user avatar
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23 votes
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Explaining "paraphyly" for the layperson?

These are terms to describe names we give things that don't really follow phylogeny accurately. Fish, for example - a monophyletic group involving fish would include humans, too, yet there are many ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
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15 votes

What instances are there in which two species share the same binomial name?

There are four other instances of species-level hemihomonyms I can find: Agathis montana can be either a critically endangered species of conifer or a parasitic insect. Centropogon australis can be ...
hamilthj's user avatar
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14 votes

Explaining "paraphyly" for the layperson?

One very simple example that most people are familiar with is the vernacular use of "animal". Most people recognize that humans are animals and more closely related to other animals than ...
WaterMolecule's user avatar
12 votes

Why do both the mango and the bee have "Indica" in their binomial name?

That is the species name it is often the same for unrelated organisms, that is why we use a two name system. Binomial nomenclature (literally, two term naming system) goes Genus species respectively. ...
John's user avatar
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12 votes

Animal specific names with non-alphabetic characters

Short Answer Very few hyphenated specific epithets (i.e., species' names) exist due to the regulatory body (the ICZN) that governs the nomenclature code for animals. The code has multiple rules ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
10 votes

What are these two insects (or at least one of them)?

After tiring hours of research of not knowing what even is the second bug's order I've finally found the second bug as other part of the answer. The second bug is Slender meadow katydid, Conocephalus ...
KKZiomek's user avatar
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10 votes
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What are these two insects (or at least one of them)?

I the first insect is a cricket, female Fall Field Cricket,Gryllus pennsylvanicus. It is widespread across much of North America.They are often found around areas of human habitation. The the ...
Tyto alba's user avatar
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9 votes
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Can prawns be classified as fish, or is their position ambiguous?

Introduction to phylogeny What makes that two species being closely related or not has nothing to do with whether they look a like or whether they live in similar environment. It has to do with their ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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9 votes

Why the "cfr." in 'Cirrhipathes cfr. anguina' and not "cf."?

It's the same as cf. Both abbreviate confer-- meaning the specimen has most of the defining features of the species indicated, and the ID would likely be confirmed with comparison to reference ...
Kara's user avatar
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8 votes

Why are turtles classified as reptiles and not amphibians?

In addition to @Gerardo's answer: Reptiles The term Reptiles as used in popular language does not represent a monophyletic group. When using the term Reptiles, one is typically thinking of turtles, ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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8 votes
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Why is traditional rank based taxomomy considered by some as logically inconsistent with phylogenetic knowledge?

You can find discussions of problems with rank-based taxonomy in light of phylogenetics in Ereshefsky 1994, de Queiroz 1996 and Ereshefsky 2002. To summarize, the main problems they identify are: It'...
Gaurav's user avatar
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8 votes

Do common terms for animals such as amphibian or reptile fall somewhere in taxonomy levels?

This is all a matter of how we define terms, and which definitions are scientifically useful. Traditionally (since Linnaean times), organisms were classified based on their outward similarities (...
canadianer's user avatar
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8 votes
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What do the qualifiers used in botanical species names mean?

agg. means aggregate and is used when species have been grouped together. s.s. stands for sensu stricto and is used for a strict or narrow usage of definition. s.l. stands for sensu lato and is ...
John's user avatar
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8 votes
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blackberry: what morphological features suggested the species epithet "bifrons"?

As @acvill pointed out, R. bifrons was named in 1821 by Lorenz Chrysanth von Vest. The original description can be found here (pages 163-164). The latin bifrons translates to "two faces". I'...
Darlingtonia's user avatar
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7 votes

Is there a downloadable list of all species along with their traditional classification?

ITIS To expand on the answer from @Rodrigo, the Integrated Taxonomic Information System seems to be a reasonable answer. It gives you a database of every taxonomic node in the Tree of Lifeā„¢ and each ...
hackerb9's user avatar
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7 votes
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What is the difference between a human being, a Homo sapiens, and a Neanderthal?

Homo sapiens / Homo sapiens sapiens Human being, in the popular culture generally refers to modern humans, called either Homo sapiens or Homo sapiens sapiens. The existence of the two names will make ...
Remi.b's user avatar
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7 votes
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How do you call "pocoya" bird in English?

I have done some reading based on your descriptors of the bird and your examples, the bird in question is a nightjar and I think they are referring to the Common Paruaque. All nightjars fit your first ...
JC11's user avatar
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7 votes
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Number of families in Animal kingdom

The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) is maintained regularly by a consortium of North American governmental agencies, and will give you a list of all the classes, orders, families or ...
Gaurav's user avatar
  • 1,148
7 votes
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What does it mean to have square brackets around a genus name?

The NCBI Taxonomy staff places square brackets around the genus for some species (examples: [Bacillus] aminovorans, [Candida] auris) to indicate that they are misclassified*, meaning placed ...
Retardi Grade's user avatar
7 votes

Is the Orca a Whale?

When common names are misleading, it can help to look at the taxonomy. Cetaceans include both MYSTICETES (baleen whales) and ODONTOCETES (toothed whales). Odontocetes include the family Delphinidae (...
Amalis's user avatar
  • 191
7 votes

Repetition of "Clade" in a taxonomic tree

Wikipedia employs multiple taxonomy databases. The page gives an idea of conflicts of consensus and for official species classification. The ball python has 10 levels of classification and the rose ...
bandybabboon's user avatar
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7 votes

Where does Actino- come from in the genus Actinomycetota?

This one is easily answered. The Actino part of is derived from the first described genus in this group; Actinomyces and means "ray" as the formation of a colony has a light-ray-like ...
bob1's user avatar
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6 votes
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How many (taxonomic) families are there?

The 2011 paper How Many Species Are There on Earth and in the Ocean? indirectly answers this question as well as any other source you'll find I imagine. It estimates how many species there are total ...
Oosaka's user avatar
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