Family (biology)

The hierarchy of biological classification's eight major taxonomic ranks. An order contains one or more families. Intermediate minor rankings are not shown.

In biological classification, family (Latin: familia, plural familiae) is one of the eight major taxonomic ranks; it is classified between order and genus. A family may be divided into subfamilies, which are intermediate ranks above the rank of genus. In vernacular usage, a family may be named after one of its common members; for example, walnuts and hickory trees belong to the family Juglandaceae, commonly known as the walnut family.

What does or does not belong to a family—or whether a described family should be recognized at all—are proposed and determined by practicing taxonomists. There are no hard rules for describing or recognizing a family, or any taxa. Taxonomists often take different positions about descriptions of taxa, and there may be no broad consensus across the scientific community for some time. Some described taxa are accepted broadly and quickly, but others only rarely, if at all; the publishing of new data and opinion often enables adjustments and consensus over time.


The naming of families is codified by various international codes.

  • In fungal, algal, and botanical nomenclature, the family names of plants, fungi, and algae end with the suffix "-aceae", with the exception of a small number of historic but widely used names including Compositae and Gramineae.[1][2]
  • In zoological nomenclature, the family names of animals end with the suffix "-idae".[3]
Other Languages
Alemannisch: Familie (Biologie)
العربية: فصيلة (تصنيف)
Avañe'ẽ: Juehepehẽ
azərbaycanca: Fəsilə
Bân-lâm-gú: Kho (hun-lūi-ha̍k)
башҡортса: Ғаилә (биология)
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Сямейства (біялёгія)
brezhoneg: Kerentiad
čeština: Čeleď
dolnoserbski: Swójźba (biologija)
한국어: 과 (생물학)
hornjoserbsce: Swójba (biologija)
Bahasa Indonesia: Famili (biologi)
Kapampangan: Familia (biolohia)
қазақша: Тұқымдас
kurdî: Famîle
Кыргызча: Тукум
Lëtzebuergesch: Famill (Biologie)
მარგალური: ფანია (ბიოლოგია)
Bahasa Melayu: Keluarga (biologi)
Baso Minangkabau: Famili
မြန်မာဘာသာ: မျိုးရင်း
Nederlands: Familie (biologie)
日本語: 科 (分類学)
norsk nynorsk: Biologisk familie
oʻzbekcha/ўзбекча: Oila (biologiya)
Plattdüütsch: Familie (Biologie)
Runa Simi: Rikch'aq ayllu
русиньскый: Родина (біолоґія)
русский: Семейство
Simple English: Family (biology)
slovenščina: Družina (biologija)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Porodica (taksonomija)
Basa Sunda: Familia
татарча/tatarça: Гаиләлек (биология)
Türkçe: Familya
українська: Родина (біологія)
Tiếng Việt: Họ (sinh học)
West-Vlams: Familie (biologie)
中文: 科 (生物)