Plurals and Possessives in Taxonomic Nomenclature
Okay this is a serious problem, and people need to listen up.
It is very easy:
- A species has one name.
- Only one name.
- That name is not altered in any way.
- The spelling on that name is not open to interpretation.
- It cannot be pluralised. No -s, no -es, no -i, no nothing.
- You do not alter its declension ever for any reason.
- The gender of the specific epithet depends on the gender of the genus (if the specific epithet is a Latinized word). It must change if the species is moved to another genus of different gender, but not for any other reason.
- Genera and species CANNOT be made possessive: Anubias’, Scaphiophryne gottlebei’s, etc. ARE WRONG.
- All taxonomic names can be used as a singular or plural form. Usually singular is preferred.
Here is how you conjugate Anubias, the aquatic plant genus:
- 1 Anubias plant
- 100 Anubias plants
- 1014Anubias plants
- You could equally say 1 Anubias and 100 Anubias, but it would be less clear.
Here is how not to conjugate Anubias:
- An Anubia
- 100 Anubia
- A bajillion Anubiases
Apparently some people like to call a single Betta a Betta splenden. NO.
Betta splendens is always Betta splendens irrespective of how many B. splendens you might be talking about. Taking out the s at the end violates its binomial name and is WRONG.
This rule is true for all genera and species.
Thanks to fishmostly for bringing this up in an ask. I hope this clears it up.