Family (biology)


July 5, 2022

Family (Latin familia) - one of the basic systematic categories used in the systematics of organisms, lower than the order (ordo) and higher than the genus (genus). The codes of biological nomenclature do not define the criteria for distinguishing families, apart from the assignment: a family groups types, a group of families forms a row. In practice, families usually join groups of genera morphologically different from other groups. The auxiliary categories at the family level are the superfamily (superfamily), subfamily (subfamilia) and tribus (tribus) and its auxiliary categories (superfamily and subplemy). The introduction of this category was proposed by Pierre André Latreille in Histoire naturelle générale et particulière des crustacés et insectes (1802–1805).


In the Latin nomenclature, the family gets the ending -ae (usually -aceae in botany, -idae in zoology), and in Polish -ate, e.g. felids, canines, hominids. Polish family names are written in simple letters and lowercase letters. Scientific names for families in zoology are not italicized. In botany and mycology, the scientific name is usually written in italics in accordance with the Codex of Botanical Nomenclature. The family name is built on the name of the genus, usually the earliest described, henceforth called the typical genus of the family. The author of the family name, in accordance with the principle of coordination in biological nomenclature, is the author who first defined it as a supra-generic category.

Taxonomic position

The family includes closely related genera. Its position in the hierarchical system (including auxiliary categories) is as follows: row (and relevant auxiliary categories) superfamily (Latin superfamily, English superfamily) family (Latin familia, English family) subfamily (Latin subfamily, English subfamily) tribe (and relevant auxiliary categories) type (and relevant auxiliary categories)

See also

plant taxonomy animal taxonomy



Józef Razowski: Entomological dictionary. Warsaw: State Scientific Publishers, 1987. ISBN 83-01-07907-X.