Taxonomy is the science (or some would say art) of classification. It comes
from the Greek words 'taxis' and 'nomos' meaning respectively
arrangement and law. One of the most famous taxonomies is that devised by
the Swedish scientist, Carl Linnaeus.
Even though the word taxonomy is derived from the Greek the actual labelled
divisions that identify one particular species are in Latin e.g. Pipistrellus
pipistrellus, which is the Common Pipistrelle bat. As you will notice
the name is italicised with the first half (the genus) having a capital
letter whereas the second part of the name (the trivium) always begins
with a lowercase letter. The following table shows the taxonomic description
of the Common Pipistrelle.
The K-P-C-O-F-G-S system can be subdivided when required. So, you can
have further divisions such as subclasses, suborders and even subspecies.
The following list shows the taxonomy of all our British bats:
- Chiroptera [order]
- Microchiroptera [suborder]
- Vespertilionidae [family]
- Barbastella [genus]
- Barbastella barbastellus (Barbastelle )
- Eptesicus serotinus (Serotine
- Rhinolophidae [family]