Capitalize everything but species and variety

The basic systematic categories (taxa, singular taxon) in all of biology are, in descending order: kingdom, phylum or division, class, order, family, genus, and species. ("King Phillip came over from Germany soused" is one of many easy, if irreverent, mnemonic aids.) The scientific names of all of these taxa and any sub- and supra-divisions are Latin or Latinized forms. All these scientific names but the species name are considered to be proper nouns.

Do not capitalize the name of the species (except for the very rare journal which requires it). Technically, the species name is an adjective or similar modifier of the generic name, rather than a full name in its own right.

For this reason, the species name is never used alone. The same is true of varietal names. For example, you might write of the common house cat as Felis domestica, family Felidae, but would never refer to it as simply domestica. However, after first mentioning the name in full, you can shorten it to F. domestica if the context makes the meaning clear. Note that the shortened form should never be used to begin a sentence.

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