Source: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, 2013, "The Youth Guide to Biodiversity" 1st Edition (Annex B) Youth and United Nations Global Alliance. Reproduced with permission. Verbatim.
mosquito on red petal.
In addition to one or more common names, every internationally recognised species has a unique scientific name. It consists of two names, usually Latin or Greek words, that are always italicised (or underlined if the name is written by hand). The first name is the genus (generic name), and begins with a capital letter; the second is the species (specific name), and is written in lower-case.
Scientific names are given according to a taxonomic classification system called ‘binomial nomenclature’. The system was first introduced in the eighteenth century by a Swedish botanist named Carl von Linné (sometimes called Carolus Linneaus).
The binomial nomenclature system has several benefits:
• it’s simple (only two names)
• it’s clear (a single species could have many common names in several languages, but it only has one scientific name)
• it’s stable over time (with some exceptions)
• it’s used extensively around the world.
The common and scientific names of the species described in this publication are listed in the following table.