6. How to handle scientific names of genera,

families, etc.

1. Culex pipiens is the name of a species in the KINGDOM Animalia. Its further classification is:

Culex pipiens 
Culex pipiens pipiens 

2. The scientific names of subspecies through kingdom are all considered to be Latin, not English. The groups (= taxa, singular taxon) of organisms from tribe through kingdom are all considered to be plural: write Culicidae are (not Culicidae is), Diptera are (not Diptera is).

3. The names Animalia, Arthropoda, and Insecta are translated into English as animals, arthropods, and insects. The name Diptera can be translated as dipterans, or as flies. The family name Culicidae can be translated as culicids, or as mosquitoes. It is incorrect to write "a Culicidae": write instead "a culicid." Any family name can be translated into English by the same method (change the initial letter from upper to lower case, and delete the "ae."

4. The scientific name of a genus is a noun in the singular. The scientific name of a species is a binomen (i.e., consists of two words). The scientific name of a subspecies is a trinomen (i.e., consists of three words). The names of genera, species and subspecies are conventionally underlined or placed in italics.

5. The rules for naming animals (vertebrates and invertebrates) are made by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. The rules are published in International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, and they are revised from time to time.

6. The rules for naming plants are published in the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. They are completely independent of those for naming animals, but they have many points in common, including the use of Latin for all scientific names of plants. Because of complete independence, the scientific name of a genus or species of plant may be the same as the name of a genus or species of animal. Names of the higher taxa of plants (tribes, families, orders, etc.) do not have the same endings as those of animals. Plant family names typically end in -aceae (not -idae), plant order names end in -ales (this varies in animal order names).

7. The word "variety" means something less than subspecies, and has no formal standing in zoological nomenclature. However, in botany there are two formal categories below the level of subspecies: they are variety (abbreviated var.) and forma (abbreviated f.).

8. The word "type" has special meaning in biology. The type (i.e., type species) is the species that has been designated in the taxonomic literature as typical of a genus. The type (i.e., holotype) is the specimen that has been designated in the taxonomic literature as typical of a species. See a textbook on taxonomy for more information.

9. The words "variety" and "type" are not used in the same way by non-biologists.