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After receiving flak over geographical inaccuracies borne by the new set of peso bills, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) faces new criticism for the incorrect way the scientific names of featured wildlife are written on the new banknotes. For example, on the 200-peso bill, the tarsier’s scientific name was written as Tarsius Syrichta instead of the correct way, Tarsius syrichta. According to scientists, there are two errors: the scientific name was not italicized; and the second word in the name should not begin with a capital letter. Following scientific nomenclature rules, every living species is given a two-part name, with the first part the genus name and the second part the species name or epithet. Other wildlife featured on the bills with wrongly written scientific names: whale shark (butanding), giant trevally (maliputo), palm civet, blue-naped parrot, and south sea pearl. Birders have also pointed out that the Blue-naped Parrot, featured on the 500-peso bill, bears the wrong colors. Experts said the beak should be red and not yellow, while the tail should be yellow and not green. In an interview, BSP spokesperson Fe de la Cruz said some of the inaccuracies in the colors may have been a limitation of the colors in the overall design of the bill.
Dr. Merab Chan, head of the Ateneo de Manila University's biology department, explained the guidelines in writing scientific names:
- The first letter of the genus or generic name should be capitalized. The rest, including the whole of specific epithet, should be written in lower case. There should be a single space between the generic name and the specific epithet. For example: Water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis)
- Use italics for generic name and specific epithet. When handwritten or using a typewriter with no italics, underline the words that should be italicized. For example: Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi or Pithecophaga jefferyi)