In this article we will discuss about the Codes and Rules of Nomenclature.
There are five codes of nomenclature:
(i) International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN),
(ii) International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN),
(iii) International Code of Bacteriological Nomenclature (IC Вас N),
(iv) International Code of Viral Nomenclature (ICVN) and
(v) International Code of Nomenclature for Cultivated Plants (ICNCP).
International conferences are held from time to time to update the codes and resolve the controversies, if any.
The rules of nomenclature framed under these codes as well as the rules set by Linnaeus are as follows:
1. Each organism is given only one name consisting of two words, generic and specific.
2. Though the codes are separate for plants, animals, bacteria, etc. and the same generic name can be given to different organisms belonging to these domains, it should be avoided. However the same specific name can be given to organisms belonging to different genera. Two species belonging to the same genus cannot have similar specific names.
3. The generic name is written first. It is followed by specific name and then the name of the discoverer in full or in abbreviation.
4. The specific name can be single or compound. Usually it begins with a small letter.
5. The scientific name is printed in italics. It is underlined in handwritten description. An exception is made when the biological name is written as title of paragraph.
6. The name of the author is kept in Roman script.
7. The original names were taken from Latin and Greek languages. New names are now derived either from Latin language or are Latinized. This is because Latin language is dead and, therefore, it will not change in form or spellings with the passage of time.
8. Barring obvious error or misprint, a scientific name retains its original spellings.
9. No names are recognised prior to those used by Linnaeus in 1753 for plants in “Species Plantarum” and in 1758 for animals in the 10th edition of “Systema Naturae”.
10. The names of families and subfamilies should be based on name of type genus.
11. The names of subfamilies, families and other categories are not printed in italics. They can, however, be written in bold letters.
12. When a species is transferred or revised the name of the original worker is retained but in parenthesis, e.g., Syzygium cumini (L) Skeels.
13. In publishing a new name the type specimen of the material is kept.
14. A new scientific name is thought of on the basis of its characteristic, a personality or place. The selected name is such that it has no resemblance with any previously published name.