31 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 ...
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  • 930
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 ...
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  • 2,053
20 votes
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Can scientists name themselves in the scientific name when they discover a new taxon?

The answer is that in general, self-naming is severely frowned upon in the scientific community, but the act itself is not disallowed. There have been at least two instances of self-naming recorded ...
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  • 9,304
19 votes

What insect is this? (India)

This is mostly a guess and loose suggestion, since the picture is not very clear (would need to see the larvae in more detail). However, Bagworm moths (Psychidae), Case moths (Coleophoridae) and ...
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17 votes
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When writing about past research should I use the species name they employed or the modern version?

3. is right thing to do. You can mention in the introduction that "Campylobacter fetus, which was previously known as Vibrio fetus [Ref] ........." You should not use the old name anywhere again (...
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  • 35k
16 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 (...
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  • 391
14 votes

What is the scientific name of this plant?

The plant is of Lamiaceae family and its common name is Shell Flower or Bells of Ireland. Its "scientific" aka latin name is Moluccella laevis.
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  • 5,620
13 votes
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Dreadnoughtus: Why are new taxa named using Dog Latin?

There is an International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, to which submissions for new organisms' names is strongly recomended. The discoverer does have some leeway within this system if there ...
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13 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 ...
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  • 891
12 votes

19th century Latin species description

The pollex was a Roman length measurement, approximately equivalent to an inch. The pollex was also known as the uncia, which is where the word "inch" comes from. There were 12 unciae in a pes ...
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  • 22.7k
12 votes
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Regarding the kingdom Animalia, which phylogenic tree is more common: Molecular Comparisons or Body-Plan Grades

Long story short, use sequence information if you can. The long story long: Sequence information and the trees generated from them are strictly more reliable than morphological characters. For ...
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  • 3,978
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. ...
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  • 13.1k
10 votes
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What is a subspecies?

In practice, subspecies are often fairly loosely-defined, reflecting a degree of uncertainty and ambiguity at this level of taxonomy. There are systematists who take the view that subspecies-level ...
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  • 3,273
10 votes
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Was the dodo a dinosaur?

Yes, dodos were dinosaurs, but that probably doesn't quite mean what you think it does. Dodos were birds, closely related to pigeons. All birds are dinosaurs.
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  • 3,273
10 votes
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Binomial nomenclature: Why am I seeing different genera with the same species name?

Two different species can have the same species epithet if they belong to different genera ('species name' is referring to the full binomial name). Consider for example Pinus glabra and Ilex glabra P....
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  • 67.5k
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 ...
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  • 8,754
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 ...
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  • 233
9 votes

Which species were first described by Charles Darwin?

I don't know if these are his earliest descriptions but Darwin did describe several species of Planaria, such as Planaria vaginuloides, P. oceania, plus a new genus, Diplanaria in 1844. Darwin, C. R. ...
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9 votes

What is the proper format for genus and species names in latin?

The correct latin nomenclature is Sander vitreus, with the genus capitalized and the species name in lowercase. This is known as binomial nomenclature. Carl Linnaeus chose to use a two-word naming ...
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  • 953
9 votes

What is the scientific name of this evergreen plant?

The tree in question belongs to the Araucariaceae family, There are multiple species of Genus Araucaria, I'd place Araucaria araucana on the first place, but there are multiple others: Araucaria ...
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  • 5,620
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 ...
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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 ...
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  • 587
9 votes
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How is the concept of species defined in asexual organisms?

There is no taxonomic category called "asexual organism". It is rather a phenotypic trait of scattered occurrence. However the absence of sexual-reproduction in a group of organisms sometimes causes ...
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8 votes

How many (taxonomic) families are there?

The NCBI Taxonomy statistics page displays the following information: There are currently 73540 genera, 331418 species, and 23127 taxa of higher order. Since the number of taxa decreases with the ...
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  • 9,304
8 votes
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What is the difference between these terms: clade, monophyletic group and taxon?

A taxon (Plur. taxa) is any (monophyletic or not) group of species. For example the group of yellow flowers is a taxon. The group of primates is a taxon. The taxon of aquatic animals is a taxon. A ...
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  • 67.5k
8 votes

Is the tomato a very very close relative of the pepper?

There are different unrelated plants called "pepper" in English. Black pepper (species of the Piper genus), as indicated by Chris, is not related to tomato and doesn't "look alike". I guess the OP ...
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  • 2,889
8 votes
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19th century Latin species description

"Caud." refers to the tail (lat: cauda) and, judging from the description, "poll." seems to be another word for inch. So the translation should be something like: Body length: 8 inches, tail length: ...
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  • 1,244
8 votes
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Insect identification: white spotted beetle

It is a longhorn beetle (Cerambycidae), most certainly from the subfamily Lamiinae (flat-faced longhorns). The overall apparence with a downward-pointing face, partially divided eyes, robust build and ...
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