Taxonomy is the classification of organisms into categories based on shared characteristics. It is closely tied to nomenclature, the practice of naming things. Scientific names for plants and fungi follow the rules of the International Code of Botanical Nomenclature. For animals, the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature is used. There is also the International Code of Nomenclature of Bacteria. When a new species or organism is discovered, it is named based upon the rules of these codes. Because these two sets of rules are independent there are occasionally the same names used for both animals and plants or fungi. For example, Lactarius is a genus of milk mushrooms, but Lactarius is also an economically important milkfish in the Indian Ocean.
Citation: The vPlants Project. vPlants: A Virtual Herbarium of the Chicago Region. http://www.vplants.org
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