[Taxacom] Species names

Richard Jensen rjensen at saintmarys.edu
Mon Feb 18 07:27:11 CST 2008

"Species names" are composed of a combination of generic and specific 
epithets (a noun and an adjective) and should be treated as nouns, e.g., 
"Quercus rubra" is the subject of the following sentence and requires, 
in my view, a singular verb:

"Quercus rubra is a species of oak native to North America."

Dick J

Richard Jensen, Professor
Department of Biology
Saint Mary’s College
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Tel: 574-284-4674

Paul van Rijckevorsel wrote:
> From: "Matt Renner" <mren3398 at mail.usyd.edu.au>
>> So species names are not nouns?
>  _______________________________________
>> Matt Renner
>> PhD candidate
> ***
> No, they are not.
> Names of genera and higher taxa are nouns (or are treated as such).
> The name of a species consists of a generic name and a second part
> (a specific name in the ICZN; a specific epithet in the ICBN and ICNB).
> Grammatically this second part can have several forms:
> see Art 11.9 of the ICZN
> http://www.iczn.org/iczn/includes/page.jsp?article=11&nfv=#9,
> Art 23.1 of the ICBN
> http://www.bgbm.fu-berlin.de/iapt/nomenclature/code/SaintLouis/0027Ch3Sec4a023.htm
> and Rule 12c of the ICNB
> http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/bv.fcgi?rid=icnb.section.197
> So, at its simplest, the name of a species consists of two nouns, but there 
> are other possibilities.
> Paul
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