Should taxonomy terms such as Crustacea be capitalized? I think yes, but am unsure.

  • The word Crustacea is a proper noun in English, yes.
    – tchrist
    Nov 29, 2012 at 17:22

1 Answer 1


It depends on which level of taxonomy that term is. For genus and higher, names are capitalized. Species and terms more specific than species (like variety and subspecies) are not capitalized.

Thus, for your example, Crustacea should be capitalized because it is a subphylum.

More details can be found here.

  • 1
    "I don't eat mammals, but poultry." Does "mammals" need to be capitalized? Nov 29, 2012 at 16:53
  • 3
    @Blessed Geek The taxonomic name of the group of mammals is Mammalia. The former is not capitalized, the latter is. Nov 29, 2012 at 16:55
  • 5
    Moreover, genus and species (and subspecies, if any) are to be set in italic, but higher taxa should be set in roman.
    – tchrist
    Nov 29, 2012 at 17:21
  • Upvote for proper plural of taxon by @tchrist. Nov 29, 2012 at 21:49
  • The link in the answer now redirects to a login screen.
    – tubedogg
    Nov 14, 2019 at 22:03

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