Dictionary > Specific epithet

Specific epithet

Definition
noun, plural: specific epithets
The second part of the binomial name of a particular species
Supplement
In taxonomy, a species is assigned a particular name called binomial (or scientific) name. The binomial name of a species is based on the binomial nomenclature system. It has to have two parts, i.e. the genus name and the specific epithet. For example, in Escherichia coli (the binomial name of a certain bacterial species), the genus name is Escherichia and the specific epithet is the coli.
The genus name and the specific epithet are often based on the species’ distinctive features or descriptions derived from Latin and Greek languages. The specific epithet begins in small letter whereas the genus name starts in a capital letter. Both the genus name and the specific epithet are in italicized form. The genus name may be abbreviated but not the specific epithet. For instance, the scientific name for cat, Felis domesticus, can be abbreviated into F. domesticus.
In botany, the specific epithet also pertains to the second part of the botanical name. For example, in Allium cepa (scientific name for onion), the genus name is Allium and the specific epithet is the cepa.
Synonym(s):

  • specific name (zoology)
  • trivial name (zoology)
  • species epithet (zoology)

See also:


You will also like...

Fossil trilobite imprint in the sediment
Insects

There are more species of insects than any other species combined. This surely illustrates that insects have the selecti..

Lights' Effect on Growth
Lights’ Effect on Growth

This tutorial elaborates on the effect of light on plant growth. It describes how different plants require different amo..

Psychiatry and mental disorders
Psychiatry & Mental Disorders

Different mental disorders are described here. Read this tutorial to get an overview of schizophrenia, affective mood di..

Body temperature regulation by the hypothalamus
Temperature Regulation in Animals

This tutorial elucidates body temperature regulation. Know the details here to learn how the body sets the body temperat..

Control of body movement
Control of Body Movement

Some of the body movements can be controlled at will, others cannot. The body has a motor program, which is the pattern ..

Human Nervous System
The Human Nervous System

The nervous system is essentially a biological information highway. This tutorial gives an overview of the nervous syste..

Related Articles...

No related articles found

See all Related Topics