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In biology, a tribe is a taxonomic rank above genus, but below family and subfamily.[2][3] It is sometimes subdivided into subtribes. By convention, all taxonomic ranks above genus are capitalized, including both tribe and subtribe.

In zoology, the standard ending for the name of a zoological tribe is "-ini". Examples include the tribes Caprini (goat-antelopes), Hominini (hominins), Bombini (bumblebees), and Thunnini (tunas). The tribe Hominini is divided into subtribes by some scientists; subtribe Hominina then comprises "humans". The standard ending for the name of a zoological subtribe is "-ina".

In botany, the standard ending for the name of a botanical tribe is "-eae". Examples include the tribes Acalypheae and Hyacintheae. The tribe Hyacintheae is divided into subtribes, including the subtribe Massoniinae. The standard ending for the name of a botanical subtribe is "-inae".

In bacteriology, the form of tribe names is as in botany, e.g., Pseudomonadeae, based on the genus name Pseudomonas.[4]

Rank recognition


An unfamiliar taxonomic rank can not necessarily be identified as a tribe merely by the presence of one of the standard suffixes:[1]

  • zoological -ini uniquely suffixes the animal tribe
  • zoological -ina uniquely suffixes the animal subtribe
  • zoological -inae uniquely suffixes the animal subfamily
  • botanical -eae also suffixes class -phyceae, suborder -ineae, family -aceae, and subfamily -oideae (these additional -eae ranks are present in bacteria, plants, algea, and fungi, but not animals)

Accordingly, working within animals alone, subfamily -inae, tribe -ini, and subtribe -ina are unique suffixes to their specific taxonomic ranks. At the other extreme, working within algae alone, -eae suffixes class -phyceae, suborder -ineae, family -aceae, subfamily -oideae, and tribe -eae. The longer suffixes themselves suffixed with -eae must first be eliminated before recognizing an unfamiliar -eae designation as belonging to rank tribe.

See also


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