Category Archives: Scientific Classification

Scientific classification

I guess the first place for me to start would be the naming or scientific conventions used in entomology, namely the ‘Scientific Classification System’. It’s doesn’t exactly rank high in my interest level, but I guess it’s a foundation to base all my future routes on my entomological journey.

I do remember this at school, but that was some time ago now. I’ll start with Wikipedia, the ‘Scientific Classification’ article seems like the appropriate starting point.

Biological Classification
Biological Classification
[Peter Halasz, Wikipedia]

Right let’s see. We have all encompassing ‘Life’ and then ‘Domain’. These categories are too broad so all I need to worry about is Life and the Animalia domain. The other sub-categories (Kingdom-Phylum-Class-Order-Family-Genus-Species) I need to remember. The Wikipedia article hyperlinks to two other websites (Mnemonic Device and The Free Dictionary), that list mnemonics for the category groups. My favourite, and the one I’m sticking with: Kids Playing Chicken On Freeways Get Smashed.

Mix in a bit of history because you never know someone may ask, or it might turn in a pub quiz in the future. The system is based upon the work of Carolus Linnaeus (1707–1778) in his book Systema Naturae which ran through twelve editions in his lifetime.

For a budding entomologist I guess I am only interested in the Insecta class. However, after further investigation I think I am wrong there. The Wikipedia article, ‘Entomology’ states, “the definition [of entomology] is sometimes widened to include terrestrial animals in other arthropod groups and other phyla, such as arachnids, myriapods, earthworms, and slugs“. Interesting because the Insecta class alone (i.e. without these other species included in entomology) have over a million described species — more than all other animal groups combined [1].

Well, I have years of database experience and ‘over a million’ _ ah that’s nothing. After a bit of ‘googling I found the The Catalogue of Life, which when I last checked has 1,008,965 species listed (half the world’s known species).

[1] Chapman, A. D. (2006); Numbers of living species in Australia and the World; p.60, ISBN 978-0-642-56850-2