Underline or italicize names of the genus species and below

Word-processing programs commonly include italics. However, underlining (which cues the typesetter to use italics) is often preferred in a typescript because it is easier to read.

The genus and species names are italicized because historically italics were always used to indicate foreign words. Because they are in Latin form like the genus and species, infraspecific taxa such as subspecies or varieties are italicized as well. Names of cultivated varieties (cultivars) are not italicized when they are not Latin or Latinized, but are set off with single quotes.

Canis familiaris, family Canidae

Tris tricolor var. hirta

Lilium superbum 'Calico'

Melittobia wasps belong to the order Hymenoptera.

Note that one does not underline or italicize the names of higher taxa such as family or order. (This is one of the more common mistakes in popularized science writing.)

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