AskDefine | Define monotypic

Dictionary Definition

monotypic adj : consisting of only one type

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. mycology biology A genus which only contains one species.

Extensive Definition

Monotypic is an adjective that refers to a taxonomic group with only one type:
  • in botany it means that a taxon has only one species; Ginkgo is a monotypic genus, while Ginkgoaceae is a monotypic family. The phrase is not accurate in cases where a species includes more than a single type; some species may include several subspecies (or other infraspecific taxa) each of which will have a type. A more accurate term in those cases is "unispecific".
An example is the genus Darlingtonia, with only one species: Darlingtonia californica.
  • in zoology "monotypic" refers to a taxon that contains only one immediately subordinate taxon. For example, a monotypic genus has only one species. Conversely, one can say that the contained taxon is monotypic within the larger taxon; a genus monotypic within a family.
An example is the genus Tarsius which is monotypic within the Tarsiidae family (which is itself monotypic in Tarsiiformes). An example of a monotypic species is the Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) which, discounting the nominate taxon, does not include any subordinate taxa (in this case subspecies). On the contrary the Mealy Parrot (Amazona farinosa) is not a monotypic species, as it has several subordinate taxa (in this case subspecies).

Cited references

See also

monotypic in Catalan: Monotípic
monotypic in Danish: Monotypisk
monotypic in German: Monotypisch
monotypic in Spanish: Monotípico
monotypic in French: Monotypique
monotypic in Croatian: Monotipičnost
monotypic in Dutch: Monotypisch
monotypic in Norwegian: Monotypisk
monotypic in Russian: Монотипия (биологическая систематика)
monotypic in Swedish: Monotypisk
monotypic in Ukrainian: Монотипія (систематика)
monotypic in Chinese: 單型
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