Scientific classification (Taxonomy)

Karl von Linne was born in Sweden, Latinized in Carolus Linnaeus (1707-1778). His great work, Systema Naturae, published in 1735, developed through 13 editions throughout his life. Linneo is best known for introducing the method used today by modern scientific classification; he, in fact, was the creator of systematic in its present form, and has also introduced the currently used system of naming, the so called binomial nomenclature.

Taxonomy (scientific classification)

Taxonomy is the study of the theories and of the rules of classification, somemtime defined as the science of classification. In the area of natural sciences taxonomy is synonim of systematic. The term taxonomy comes from the french word “taxonomie” (1813), which has been coined irregularly from the greek word ταξις, (taxis-), meaning “order” and νομος, (-nomos), meaning “rule”. It can be translated as the rule of order.


In the list below you can read the eleven taxa (“singular = taxon”) currently used by the scientific community, which refers to each taxa using the official latin nomenclature.
At the bottom of the list you can find the link to the official world wide references and committees, for the different areas of competence.

Mundus,i [lat. II dec. m.; plur. mundi = “sky“, “world“, “star“, “cosmos“, “clean“]

(Biota or Abiota)

Arbor,oris [lat. III dec. f.; plur arbores = “tree“, “trunk“, “vessel“]

(Terrabiota or Exobiota)

  • Clade (Ribosa  i.e. “living being based on RNA or DNA” or Aribosa i.e. “living being not based on RNA nor DNA“)

Imperium,ii [lat. II dec. m.; plur. imperia = “empire“] (Empire)

(Cytota or Acytota)

Regio,onis [lat. III dec. m.; plur regiones = “region”, “district”] (Domain)

(Eukaryota, Prokaryota, Virii, Prions, Cryms)

Regnum,i [lat. II dec. n.; plur. regna = “kingdom“] (Kingdom) 8

(Animalia, Fungi, Plantae, Chromista, Protista, Bacteria,  Virus,  Archea)

Focus from Mundi to Regna

  • Subkingdom
    • Superphylum

Phīlum,i [lat. II dec. n.; plur. phila = “wire” – term derived from the ancient greek word φῦλον which means, tribe, “people”, “folk”) (also called Type in zoology or Division in botany)

  • Subphylum (also called Subtype or Subdivision)
    • Infraphylum
      • Microphylum
        • Nanophylum
          • Superclass

Classis,is [lat. III dec. f. plur. classes = “fleet”, “navy”] (Class)

  • Sublcass
    • Infraclass
      • Parvclass
        • Magnordine
          • Superorder

Ordo,inis [lat. III dec.m.; plur. ordines = “rank”; “array”, “centuria”] (Order)

  • Suborder
    • Infraorder
      • Parvorder
        • Superfamily

Familia,ae [lat. I dec. f.; plur. familiae = “family”, “bondage”, “ancestry”, “stock”, “troop”] (Family)

  • Subfamily
    • Tribe
      • Subtribe
        • Infratribe

Gĕnŭs,eris [lat. III dec. n.; plur. genera = “birth”, “offspring”, “origin”] (Genus)

  • Subgenus

Species,ei [lat. V dec. f.; plur. species = “sight”, “glance”, “show”, “shape”, “figure”, “beauty”, “statue”, “spices”] (Species)

  • Subspecies
    • Form (used in zoology) or Variety (used in botany)

Clades,is [lat. III dec. f.; plur. clades = “storm”, “defeat”, “slaughter”] , Legio,nis [lat. III dec. f.; plur. legiones = “legion”and Cohors,tis [lat. III dec. f.; plur. cohortes“enclosure”, “auxiliary militia”, “stockpile”, “crew”(those have a variable position in the taxa)