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