[Taxacom] Terminology of trinomials
andy at pigsonthewing.org.uk
Mon Dec 31 02:50:07 CST 2007
In message <477833C7.2050407 at skynet.be>, Laurent Raty <l.raty at skynet.be>
>> AIUI, the name:
>> Homo sapiens idaltu
>> is a trinomial (aka trinominal ?), consisting, in order, of a genus,
>> specific name (or "specific epithet") and sub-specific name (or
>Based on the terminology of the ICZN, this should be called a "trinomen"
>(pl. "trinomina"), or a "trinominal name" - although simply "trinominal"
>is sometimes encountered as well, and "trinomial" is sometimes used
>instead of "trinominal" in practice. ("Trinomial" simply means "made of
>three parts", while "trinominal" is "made of three names".)
Thank you. Does this apply to other kingdoms also, or do they use
The reason I ask (should anyone not yet be familiar with work on the
species microformat) is that a microformat is a way of marking up
metadata in page content using HTML classes.
and we're currently determining the best "labels" for each rank,
I'll post a full list of proposed labels, as they currently stand,
shortly. One issue is whether to use English names ("kingdom", "class",
"order", etc.) or Latin equivalents ("regnum", "classis", "ordo"). I
currently favour the later, to avoid potential ambiguity if the English
names are already in use in mark-up. Any other thoughts are welcome.
>A trinomen is the combination of a generic name, a specific name (or
>epithet) and a subspecific name (or epithet).
>The whole combination is the scientific name of a subspecies (here an
>extinct subspecies of man).
In this case, I think the best labels might be trinomen, genus, species
& subspecies (in addition to the parent wrapper, denoting the use of the
microformat, which is currently "biota", but likely to become "hbiota",
in keeping with other microformats such as hcalendar):
(There will be parsing rules, so that, provided the span with
class="trinomen" contains exactly three words (two for a binomen), the
lower levels do not need to be specified; thereby reducing bloat in
>> However, the archaic taxonomic name for a Little Ringed Plover 
>> Charadrius dubius curonicus
>> Is this also a "trinomial", or does that form have a different name?
>>If not, how are the two types of name distinguished?
>This name is in no way archaic, and is fully comparable to the other
>one. Charadrius dubius (a binomen, or binominal name, designating a
>species) is the name of LRP, like Homo sapiens is the name of our
>species; Ch. d. curonicus is the name of the subspecies of LRP that
>occurs in Europe.
Oops! I think I pickled a bad example; but so long as that pattern is
what is usually followed, that's not a problem.
Thank you to everyone else who replied, too.
[For anyone requiring additional background, see
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