Order (biology)

The hierarchy of biological classification's eight major taxonomic ranks. A class contains one or more orders. Intermediate minor rankings are not shown.

In biological classification, the order (Latin: ordo) is

  1. a taxonomic rank used in the classification of organisms and recognized by the nomenclature codes. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, family, genus, and species, with order fitting in between class and family. An immediately higher rank, superorder, may be added directly above order, while suborder would be a lower rank.
  2. a taxonomic unit, a taxon, in that rank. In that case the plural is orders (Latin ordines).
Example: All owls belong to the order Strigiformes

What does and does not belong to each order is determined by a taxonomist, as is whether a particular order should be recognized at all. Often there is no exact agreement, with different taxonomists each taking a different position. There are no hard rules that a taxonomist needs to follow in describing or recognizing an order. Some taxa are accepted almost universally, while others are recognised only rarely.[1]

For some groups of organisms, consistent suffixes are used to denote that the rank is an order. The Latin suffix -(i)formes meaning "having the form of" is used for the scientific name of orders of birds and fishes, but not for those of mammals and invertebrates. The suffix -ales is for the name of orders of plants, fungi, and algae.[2]

Hierarchy of ranks


For some clades covered by the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, a number of additional classifications are sometimes used, although not all of these are officially recognised.

Name Meaning of prefix Example 1 Example 2
Magnorder magnus: large, great, important Boreoeutheria
Superorder super: above Euarchontoglires Parareptilia
Grandorder grand: large Euarchonta
Mirorder mirus: wonderful, strange Primatomorpha
Order Primates Procolophonomorpha
Suborder sub: under Haplorrhini Procolophonia
Infraorder infra: below Simiiformes Hallucicrania
Parvorder parvus: small, unimportant Catarrhini

In their 1997 classification of mammals, McKenna and Bell used two extra levels between superorder and order: "grandorder" and "mirorder".[3] Michael Novacek (1986) inserted them at the same position. Michael Benton (2005) inserted them between superorder and magnorder instead.[4] This position was adopted by Systema Naturae 2000 and others.


In botany, the ranks of subclass and suborder are secondary ranks pre-defined as respectively above and below the rank of order.[5] Any number of further ranks can be used as long as they are clearly defined.[5]

The superorder rank is commonly used, with the ending -anae that was initiated by Armen Takhtajan's publications from 1966 onwards.[6]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Orde (biologie)
Alemannisch: Ordnung (Biologie)
العربية: رتبة (تصنيف)
asturianu: Orde (bioloxía)
Avañe'ẽ: Juehegua hekovety
Bân-lâm-gú: Bo̍k (hun-lūi-ha̍k)
башҡортса: Отряд (биология)
беларуская: Атрад (біялогія)
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Атрад (біялёгія)
български: Разред
bosanski: Red (biologija)
brezhoneg: Urzhad
català: Ordre
čeština: Řád (biologie)
Cymraeg: Urdd (bioleg)
Ελληνικά: Τάξη (βιολογία)
Esperanto: Ordo (biologio)
français: Ordre (biologie)
한국어: 목 (생물학)
հայերեն: Կարգ
hornjoserbsce: Rjad
Bahasa Indonesia: Ordo (biologi)
Basa Jawa: Ordo (biologi)
Kapampangan: Orden (biolohia)
Kreyòl ayisyen: Òd (biyoloji)
Кыргызча: Түркүм
latviešu: Kārta
Lëtzebuergesch: Uerdnung (Biologie)
lietuvių: Būrys
Limburgs: Orde (biologie)
македонски: Ред (биологија)
മലയാളം: നിര
Bahasa Melayu: Order
မြန်မာဘာသာ: မျိုးစဉ်
Nederlands: Orde (biologie)
日本語: 目 (分類学)
norsk nynorsk: Biologisk orden
Plattdüütsch: Ornen (Biologie)
português: Ordem (biologia)
Runa Simi: Rikch'aq ñiqi
русиньскый: Ряд (біолоґія)
Simple English: Order (biology)
سنڌي: طبقو
slovenčina: Rad (taxonómia)
slovenščina: Red (biologija)
српски / srpski: Ред (биологија)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Red (taksonomija)
Basa Sunda: Ordo (Biologi)
татарча/tatarça: Тәртип (биология)
తెలుగు: క్రమము
українська: Ряд (біологія)
اردو: طبقہ
Tiếng Việt: Bộ (sinh học)
West-Vlams: Orde (biologie)
Winaray: Ordo
吴语: 目 (生物)
中文: 目 (生物)