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Encyclopedia > Family (biology)
The hierarchy of scientific classification
The hierarchy of scientific classification

In biological classification, family (Latin: familia, plural familiae) is a rank, or a taxon in that rank. Exact details of formal nomenclature depend on the Nomenclature Code which applies. Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... Scientific classification or biological classification is a method by which biologists group and categorize species of organisms. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... A taxon (plural taxa), or taxonomic unit, is a grouping of organisms (named or unnamed). ... The Nomenclature Codes (or the Codes of nomenclature) are the rulebooks that govern biological nomenclature. ...

Example: "Walnuts and Hickories belong to the Walnut family" is a brief way of saying: the Walnuts (genus Juglans) and the Hickories (genus Carya) belong to the Walnut family (family Juglandaceae).

This article is about the walnut tree. ... Species See text Comparison of Carya nuts Ripe hickory nuts ready to fall, Andrews, SC Hickory is a tree of the genus Carya, including 17-19 species of deciduous trees with pinnately compound leaves and large nuts. ... Genera Alfaroa Annamocarya (beaked hickory) Carya (hickory and pecan) Cyclocarya (wheel wingnut) Engelhardia (cheo) Juglans (walnut) Oreomunnia Platycarya Pterocarya (wingnut) The Juglandaceae are a family of dicotyledonous trees in the order Fagales. ...

History of the concept

Family, as a rank intermediate between order and genus, is a relatively recent invention. In scientific classification used in biology, the order (Latin: ordo, plural ordines) is a rank between class and family (termed a taxon at that rank). ... For other uses, see Genus (disambiguation). ...


The term familia was coined by French botanist Pierre Magnol in his Prodromus historiae generalis plantarum, in quo familiae plantarum per tabulas disponuntur (1689) where he called families (familiae) the seventy-six groups of plants he recognised in his tables. The concept of rank at that time was still in statu nascendi, and in the preface to the Prodromus Magnol spoke of uniting his families into larger genera, which is far from how the term is used today. Pierre Magnol (1638 - 1715) was a doctor and botanist who was one of the innovators of the current botanical scheme of classification. ... Events Louis XIV of France passed the Code Noir, allowing the full use of slaves in the French colonies. ...


Carolus Linnaeus used the word familia in his Philosophia botanica (1751) to denote major groups of plants; trees, herbs, ferns, Prodromus of de Candolle and the Genera Plantarum of Bentham & Hooker was used for what now is given the rank of family (see ordo naturalis). Carl Linnaeus, Latinized as Carolus Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement as  , (May 23, 1707[1] – January 10, 1778), was a Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist[2] who laid the foundations for the modern scheme of nomenclature. ... Events Adam Smith is appointed professor of logic at the University of Glasgow March 25 - For the last time, New Years Day is legally on March 25 in England and Wales. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Tree (disambiguation). ... This article is about the plants used in cooking and medicine. ... Ferns could be the plural of fern, a type of plant that reproduces using spores rather than seeds. ... An early taxonomic system, the Bentham & Hooker system for seed plants was published in : G. Bentham & J.D. Hooker (three volumes, 1862–1883). ... In botany, the phrase ordo naturalis, natural order, was once used for what today is a family. ...


In zoology, the family as a rank intermediate between order and genus was introduced by Pierre André Latreille in his Précis des caractères génériques des insectes, disposés dans un ordre naturel (1796). He used families (part of them not named) in some but not in all his orders of "insects" (which then included all arthropods). Pierre André Latreille. ... Year 1796 (MDCCXCVI) was a leap year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Monday of the 11-day slower Julian calendar). ... Subphyla and Classes Subphylum Trilobitomorpha Trilobita - Trilobites (extinct) Subphylum Chelicerata Arachnida - Spiders, Scorpions, etc. ...


Since the beginning of the 20th century, however, the term has been consistently used in its modern sense. Its usage and characteristic ending of the names belonging to this category are defined in the Codes of botanical and zoological nomenclature. The International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN) is the set of rules that governs plant nomenclature, i. ... The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) is a set of rules in zoology that have one fundamental aim: to provide the maximum universality and continuity in classifying all animals according to taxonomic judgment. ...


Almost all families are named for a type genus, adding the ending idae (animals) or aceae (plants) to the stem of the genus name. Exceptions are:

  • Caprifoliaceae, Aquifoliaceae, and Fabaceae, named for their type species Lonicera caprifolium, Ilex aquifolia, and Vicia faba.
  • Theaceae, named for Thea, a synonym of Camellia.
  • Eight families of plants with alternate names. Fabaceae is also called Leguminosae, Poaceae Gramineae, etc.
  • Elapidae. The type genus is Homoroselaps, which was originally named Elaps but was temporarily moved to a different family and the name changed as a result.

Genera See text. ... Genera  Ilex - Holly  Nemopanthus - Mountain holly Aquifoliaceae is a small plant family with two genera, by far the best-known being Ilex, the hollies, a large genus with about 600 species distributed nearly world-wide, absent only from Australasia and western North America. ... Subfamilies Faboideae Caesalpinioideae Mimosoideae References GRIN-CA 2002-09-01 The name Fabaceae belongs to either of two families, depending on viewpoint. ... Genera Apterosperma Camellia Dankia Franklinia Gordonia Laplacea Pyrenaria Schima Stuartia Tutcheria The Theaceae is a family of flowering plants, composed of shrubs and trees recognizable by their serrated, usually glossy leaves. ... Subfamilies There are 7 subfamilies: Subfamily Arundinoideae Subfamily Bambusoideae Subfamily Centothecoideae Subfamily Chloridoideae Subfamily Panicoideae Subfamily Pooideae Subfamily Stipoideae The true grasses are monocotyledonous plants (Class Liliopsida) in the Family Poaceae, also known as Gramineae. ... The Elapidae, or elapids, are a family of highly venomous snakes found in tropical and subtropical regions around the world, including the Indian Ocean and the Pacific. ...

See also

Taxonomic ranks
v  d  e
Domain or Magnorder
Superkingdom Superphylum/Superdivision Superclass Superorder Superfamily Superspecies
Kingdom Phylum/Division Class Order Family Tribe Genus Species
Subkingdom Subphylum Subclass Cohort Suborder Subfamily Subtribe Subgenus Subspecies
Branch Infraphylum Infraclass Legion Infraorder Infraspecies
Microphylum Parvclass Parvorder

  Results from FactBites:
 
Family (biology) - MSN Encarta (0 words)
Family (biology), in biological classification, group of genera with related characteristics.
The names of families in modern classification are usually derived from a genus of the family, called the type genus.
The family names of animals always end in idae, as in Equidae, the horse family; those of plants almost always end in aceae, as in Dipsacaceae, the teasel family.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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