International Code of Zoological Nomenclature

International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature provides and regulates a uniform system of zoological nomenclature ensuring that every animal has a unique and universally accepted scientific name. The maintenance of international standards in animal nomenclature is the unique role of the Commission. The Commission was founded in 1895 and currently comprises 28 members from 20 countries. The work of the Commission is supported by a small Secretariat based at the Natural History Museum in London.

The Commission operates in two main ways:

• ICZN publishes the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature containing the rules universally accepted as governing the application of scientific names to all organisms which are treated as animals.

• ICZN provides rulings on individual nomenclatural problems brought to its attention, in order to achieve internationally acceptable solutions and stability.

The Commission has a useful website at which includes an online copy of the International Rules.

Authorship details
Rudman, W.B., 2007 (January 18) International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. [In] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from

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