You Gotta Know These Phyla

Taxonomists do not always agree on the usage of even the most common terms. Some textbooks and other publications will use alternate names or spellings to describe taxonomic groups, or will lump or split groups in different ways.

Under NAQT rules, unless the question states otherwise, both Latin names (Mollusca) or Anglicized names (molluscs) are acceptable for a given taxon.

Phyla of plants, algae, fungi, and sometimes bacteria are often referred to as “divisions.”

Estimates of phylal diversity vary. Because many invertebrates are inconspicuous, all estimates are probably low. Unless stated otherwise, numbers represent an estimate of the number of species that have been named.

This article was contributed by former NAQT member Julie K. Stahlhut.

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