Monotypic taxon

"Monotypic" redirects here. For the conservation biology term, see Monotypic habitat. For other uses, see Monotype (disambiguation).
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In biology, a monotypic taxon is a taxonomic group (taxon) that contains only one immediately subordinate taxon.[1] Although the phrase appears to indicate that a taxon has a single type specimen (with no syntypes, lectotypes, or other types) and no heterotypic/junior synonyms, that is not the usage.

A monotypic species is one that does not include subspecies or smaller, infraspecific taxa. In the case of genera, the term "unispecific" is sometimes preferred.

In botanical nomenclature, a monotypic genus also refers to a special case where a genus and a single species are simultaneously described.[2]


Just as the term "monotypic" is used to describe a large taxon including only one subdivision, one can also refer to the contained taxon as monotypic within the larger taxon, e.g. a genus monotypic within a family. Some examples of monotypic groups are listed below.

See also


  1. Mayr E, Ashlock PD. (1991). Principles of Systematic Zoology (2nd ed.). McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-07-041144-1
  2. McNeill, J.; Barrie, F.R.; Buck, W.R.; Demoulin, V.; Greuter, W.; Hawksworth, D.L.; Herendeen, P.S.; Knapp, S.; Marhold, K.; Prado, J.; Reine, W.F.P.h.V.; Smith, G.F.; Wiersema, J.H.; Turland, N.J. (2012). International Code of Nomenclature for algae, fungi, and plants (Melbourne Code) adopted by the Eighteenth International Botanical Congress Melbourne, Australia, July 2011. Regnum Vegetabile 154. A.R.G. Gantner Verlag KG. ISBN 978-3-87429-425-6. articles 38.5 and 38.6
  3. Fraser, T.H. (2014). A new genus of cardinalfish from tropical Australia and southern New Guinea (Percomorpha: Apogonidae). Zootaxa 3852(2): 283–293.
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