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PinkMonkey Online Study Guide-Biology

13.2 Taxa and Categories

(1) Taxa (Singular: Taxon): A taxon is the taxonomic group of any rank in the system of classification (H.J.Lam, 1948). For example, in plant kingdom, each one of the following such as, angiosperms, dicotyledons, polypetalae, Malvaceae, Hibiscus esculentus, etc. represents a taxonomic group i.e. a taxon. A taxon may be a very large group such as a Division (e.g. angiosperms), or it can be a very small group such as a species (e.g. Hibiscus esculentus).

(2) Categories (Singular: Category): In the system of classification, the various taxa are assigned definite ranks or positions according to their taxonomic status. Each such taxonomic rank is called the taxonomic category. The various major categories in the classification of plant kingdom are Kingdom, Division (Phylum), Class, Series, Order, Family, Genus and Species.


The difference between the taxon and the category should be clearly understood. For example, when we say "Division- Angiosperms", 'Division' represents the taxonomic category while 'angiosperms' represents the taxon. Thus, a taxon is a group of organisms (living beings), whereas a category only indicates the rank or status of the taxon in the systematic hierarchy.

Table of Contents

13.0 - Introduction
13.1 Concepts of Species
13.2 Taxa and Categories
13.3 Systematic Hierarchies
13.4 Binomial Nomenclature
13.5 Principles of Classification

Chapter 14





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