AskDefine | Define superorder

Dictionary Definition

superorder n : (biology) a taxonomic group ranking above an order and below a class or subclass

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A taxonomic category below subclass and above order.


Extensive Definition

In scientific classification used in biology, the order (Latin: ordo, plural ordines) is a taxonomic rank between class and family. The superorder is a rank between class and order. Exact details of formal nomenclature depend on the Nomenclature Code which applies. Most of orders ends up with word -iformes, except for mammals, invertebrates, and amphibians.

History of the concept

The order as a distinctive rank of biological classification having its own distinctive name (and not just called a higher genus (genus summum)) was first introduced by a German botanist, August Bachmann in his classification of plants (of treatises in the 1690s). Carl Linné was the first to apply it consistently to the division of all three kingdoms of Nature (minerals, plants, and animals) in his Systema Naturae (1735, 1st. Ed.).
In French botanical publications, from Michel Adanson's Familles naturelles des plantes (1763) and until the end of the 19th century, the word famille (plural: familles) was used as a French equivalent for this Latin ordo. This equivalence was explicitly stated in the Alphonse De Candolle's Lois de la nomenclature botanique (1868), the precursor of the currently used International Code of Botanical Nomenclature.
In the first international Rules of botanical nomenclature of 1906 the word family (familia) was assigned to the rank indicated by the French "famille", while order (ordo) was reserved for a higher rank, for what in the nineteenth century had often been named a cohors (plural cohortes).


In zoology, the Linnaean orders were used more consistently. That is, the orders in the zoology part of the Systema Naturae refer to natural groups. Some of his ordinal names are still in use (e.g. Lepidoptera for the order of moths and butterflies, or Diptera for the order of flies, mosquitoes, midges, and gnats).
superorder in Afrikaans: Orde (biologie)
superorder in Tosk Albanian: Ordnung (Biologie)
superorder in Aragonese: Orden (biolochía)
superorder in Belarusian: Атрад, біялогія
superorder in Bosnian: Red (biologija)
superorder in Breton: Urzhiad
superorder in Catalan: Ordre
superorder in Czech: Řád (biologie)
superorder in Welsh: Urdd (bioleg)
superorder in Danish: Orden (biologi)
superorder in German: Ordnung (Biologie)
superorder in Estonian: Selts (bioloogia)
superorder in Modern Greek (1453-): Τάξη (βιολογία)
superorder in Spanish: Orden (biología)
superorder in Esperanto: Ordo (biologio)
superorder in Basque: Ordena (biologia)
superorder in French: Ordre (biologie)
superorder in Western Frisian: Skift
superorder in Galician: Orde (bioloxía)
superorder in Korean: 목 (생물학)
superorder in Croatian: Red (taksonomija)
superorder in Indonesian: Ordo (biologi)
superorder in Icelandic: Ættbálkur (flokkunarfræði)
superorder in Italian: Ordine (tassonomia)
superorder in Hebrew: סדרה (טקסונומיה)
superorder in Javanese: Ordo (biologi)
superorder in Latin: Ordo (Taxon)
superorder in Luxembourgish: Uerdnung (Biologie)
superorder in Lithuanian: Būrys
superorder in Hungarian: Rend (rendszertan)
superorder in Maltese: Ordni
superorder in Malay (macrolanguage): Order
superorder in Dutch: Orde (biologie)
superorder in Japanese: 目 (分類学)
superorder in Norwegian: Orden (biologi)
superorder in Norwegian Nynorsk: Biologisk orden
superorder in Occitan (post 1500): Òrdre (biologia)
superorder in Oromo: Order (biology)
superorder in Polish: Rząd (biologia)
superorder in Portuguese: Ordem (biologia)
superorder in Romanian: Ordin (biologie)
superorder in Russian: Отряд
superorder in Sicilian: Òrdini (bioluggìa)
superorder in Simple English: Order (biology)
superorder in Slovak: Rad (taxonómia)
superorder in Slovenian: Red (biologija)
superorder in Swedish: Ordning (biologi)
superorder in Tagalog: Orden (biyolohiya)
superorder in Vietnamese: Bộ (sinh học)
superorder in Turkish: Takım (biyoloji)
superorder in Ukrainian: Ряд (біологія)
superorder in Venetian: Órdene (tasonomìa)
superorder in Vlaams: Orde (biologie)
superorder in Chinese: 目 (生物)
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