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The biological technical term monotypical ( ancient Greek μόνος mónos “alone” and typical ) means that within a group ( taxon ) in the biological systematics only one type occurs. There are thus, for example, monotypical families , genera , sub- genera , etc.

In zoology, a family with a single genus but containing several species is also referred to as monotypic because the genus is the type for a family. In botany, on the other hand, the term monotypical is defined more narrowly, the family is not monotypical here, as it contains several species that are determined by type evidence. In botany one speaks in this case of a monogeneric family. Strictly speaking, this also applies to all subordinate ranks on which only one taxon is recognized (e.g. monospecific genus), but which has different synonyms denoted by types.

The levels of hierarchy in biological taxonomy (e.g. genus or family) are usually introduced to summarize a group of organisms that share a number of common characteristics. Species that have a large number of unique characteristics ( autapomorphies ) compared to their close relatives are often classified in their own genera, families or even higher-ranking taxa. Such a group is then called monotypical.

The highest-ranking monotypic taxon are the Nanoarchaeota , a separate division of the Archaea with the only species Nanoarchaeum equitans . A monotypical strain are the Micrognathozoa with the only species, Limnognathia maerski, discovered in 2000 .

Monotypical groups are also important in terms of species protection . The extinction of a species that has no close relatives is considered a particularly large loss.

The monotypical genera include, for example, the ginkgo , the norn and the platypus . The human being ( Homo sapiens ) is the only recent species of the genus Homo .

Species are monotypic if no subspecies or varieties are distinguished.

Monotypical stock

A species forms a monotypic population in a habitat if it prevents the emergence of other species in an area. This is often the case with invasive species that spread to a new range without the presence of their natural predators or competitors.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ David Storch, Jan Zrzavý, Stanislav Mihulka: Evolution. A reading textbook. Spektrum Akademischer Verlag, Heidelberg 2009, ISBN 978-3-8274-1975-0 , p. 359.
  2. Manfred Eichhorn (Ed.): Langenscheidt specialist dictionary biology. English - German, German - English. = Langenscheidt Dictionary of Biology English. Langenscheidt, Berlin et al. 2005, ISBN 3-86117-228-3 , p. 779.