A unit used in grouping and naming living organisms; a general term that can refer to any level of a taxonomic classification. Family, genus, and species are all taxa. The term taxa is also often used to refer to the number of distinct forms within a family, or other taxonomic grouping, when there is ambiguity as to whether some of those forms are species or subspecies.
A taxon is usually assigned a rank when it is given its formal, Latin name. The basic ranks are species and genus. When an organism is given a species name it is assigned to a genus, and the genus name is part of the species name. The genus is capitalized, while the species name is lowercase. The combined taxonomic name is then italicized.
Example: Grey wolf- Canis lupus
A subspecies has an additional species name to distinguish it as from the primary species group.
Example: Arctic wolf- Canis lupus arctos
|Main taxonomic ranks|
|phylum||divisio||phylum (in zoology)||division (in botany)|