Genus and species (and variety, if relevant) should be spelled out in full when an organism is first mentioned in a paper. Thereafter, a shortened form or use of the common name is acceptable.
The pine siskin, Carduelispinus, is common here. This gregarious siskin eats seeds.
The most conservative usage also adds the name of the scientist who first officially described and named the organism in print. This author citation need appear only once in the text, and usually does not appear in the title. Some publications take this concept to the extreme, and also include parts of the higher taxonomic classification of the organism.
For an attractive ornamental plant, consider Prunus australis Beadle.
Spathius impus Matthews (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) is parasitic upon bark beetles.
Musca domestica L. is the common housefly. [The L. is for Linnaeus, one ofthe scientists so widely recognized that a standard abbreviation for his name is allowed.]
Note that the word species retains the s in both singular and plural, and that the plural of genus is genera.
Ixodes scapularis is a species of tick known to transmit Lyme disease; other species of Ixodes may too. This genus is only one of several genera known to be involved.
When an organism has been identified only to the generic level, the abbreviation "sp." is sometimes used as a shorthand for "some unidentified species of." The abbreviation "spp." signifies "several species of." Neither should be underlined or italicized.
Zanthoxylum spp. were abundant, but Drypetes sp. was apparently rare.
After this first mention, the organism may be referred to by its common (vernacular) name if you wish. Unless writing for a publication that prefers otherwise, do not capitalize this common name.
Solenopsis invicta Buren ... S. invicta . . . the red imported fire ant.
The oak, Quercus velutina Lamarck, is found in North America. A relatively large tree, Q. velutina is prized for its wood. Its common name, yellow oak, alludes to the inner bark color.
Any family name can be transformed to a vernacular name by dropping the initial capitalization and the terminal -ae. Any generic name may be used as a vernacular name as well; this practice is common in bacteriology Generic names are neither italicized nor capitalized when used in the vernacular sense.
The family Chironomidae includes biting chironomids.
Salmonella typhosa is a deadly salmonella.
Use foreign words and phrases to inform, not impress
Many words from other languages have been incorporated into the English language. In many cases, this happened so long ago that we no longer even recognize their foreign origin. These words seldom are an issue. The problem comes when words and phrases that are recognizably foreign are used primarily as affectation,
168 7 Attending to grammar, numbers, and other mechanics Table 7.4. Examples of changing acceptance offoreign words and phrases
Still considered "foreign" Becoming "assimilated" enough to drop the italics enough to take italicizing and/or and change its pluralization original pluralization
Singular Plural sine qua non coup de grace per se coup d'etat (coups d'etat) Nonitalicized scientific words from Latin such as mitochondrion (mitochondria), bacillus (bacilli)
Nonitalicized words from Greek such as analysis (analyses)
formula memorandum a priori milieu appendix, index formulae has become formulas memoranda and memorandums are both acceptable none milieux is becoming milieus sera is becoming serums appendices is becoming appendixes, indices is becoming indexes to impress readers rather than to make an idea clearer than its English language equivalent would.
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