The scientific naming of living things including moulds follows a binomial (i.e. two name) system proposed by Carl Linnaeus (a Swedish biologist) in 1758. The system overcomes the problem of different scientists calling the same organism by different names depending on their language or country of origin.
Thus each mould has two names a “generic” or “genus (plural genera)” name, and a “specific” or species name. For example, for Cladosporium cladosporioides, “Cladosporium” is the genus name and “cladosporioides” is the species name. There are other moulds with “Cladosporium” as their genus name, e.g., Cladosporium herbarum and Cladosporium sphaerospermum. Genus name, therefore, represents a “group” while the species name represents the “individual” mould. The genus name always starts with a capital letter and the specific name in a lower case. The name is either italicized or underlined. The species name MUST always be used in combination with the genus name to avoid confusion in situations where a species name may be shared by different genera.
If a mould is not identified to “species” level, then the generic (genus) name is followed by the word “species” but usually abbreviated as “sp” e.g., Aspergillus sp for a single species of Aspergillus and Aspergillus spp for many species of Aspergillus.
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