• Kingdom Animalia
    • Phyllum Insecta
      • Class Insecta
        • Order Hymenoptera
          • Family Formicidae
            • Genus Monomorium
              • Species Monomorium minimum
                • Variety or Cultivar


Listed above is the taxonomic breakdown of the common ant.  You will notice that all the levels of hierarchy are single words except for the species.  We usually refer to an organism by the last two, the genus and the species.  In this case the genus is Monomorium and the species is Monomorium minimum.  Notice that the species name consists of two words.  The first is the genus the second word is called the specific epithet.  The genus is always capitalized and the specific epithet is always lower case unless you are in the Everglades National park where all the specific epithets are capitalized.  This temporarily caused Infamous to think that taxonomy had changed the rules on her, but it turns out the National Park service just messed up a little bit.  But I digress, the two word description of organisms was developed by some other people and brought to world wide attention by the Swedish botanist, Carl Linneaus.  It is called binomial nomenclature.  After he reorganized the plants in the Netherlands into modern day families, genuses and species, the systematic naming of organisms took off worldwide.  He changed taxonomy forever by grouping species into ever more general groupings as you go up the taxonomic ladder.


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