Star Trek Discovery - How are species named?

I’m watching the current season and the following question has come up: how are unknown species named? There is a new species causing the phenomenon known as the DMA. The Federation refers to this species as 10-C. Does anyone know why 10-C?

On-the-spot posterior spelunking from the writers.

That’s my personal theory as well. A group discussion has ensued. One of us insists that there is a system.

They could be trying to use something similar to but distinct from the Borg’s species designation numbers. One species, Species 8472, was only ever referred to that way to add mystique, while other species were mostly referred to in order to show the categorization of the Borg. Before that, I don’t think species had numbers.

In universe, of course, giving one such designation means there must be a system. So one will be retroactively added by the writers. But I don’t think we have any details of that system—even to the level of whether or not it categorizes all species or how widespread the system is.

But, think: as far as [the Federation?] knows, why should it be a “species”? It could be one, high-tech, mad scientist with a grudge. Or it could be a galactic invasion fleet softening them up.

Any real numbering system for species would be way past “10-c” in the Star Trek universe. I’d believe “10085-cx92b”. “10-c” is as dumb as how Star Wars handles serial numbers of mass-produced droids.

Maybe they’re called that because they’re arachnoform and very small? You know, 10-C wen-C.

Since we don’t know the system, it’s impossible to say if that’s true. Why is the newest American fighter plane the F-35? They’ve had more than 35 of them, but there was never an F-34, or an F-33. How is F-35 a later plane than F-104 or, even more confusingly, P-51?

There actually is a reason for those things but it would not be immediately obvious to anyone without a great deal of study into bureaucratic details. The “C” could mean almost anything.

The are simply avoiding calling it ‘God’ - or GM-x2.


I was thinking in terms of scientific numbering systems, which are more systematic and ensure a unique label. For instance, Antarctic meteorites. The famous Martian one that has (controversial) evidence of life is ALH84001. This indicates that it was found in the Allan Hills search area in 1984, and is the first meteorite described for that area from that year. Minor planets are given provisional labels based on the year of discovery, followed by a number when the object is officially named. It just does not make sense to have a number that small that many centuries into the Federation with a galaxy that populated. There must be a scientificly maintained catalog of known species in the Federation, the only question is if it is humans or Vulcans that occupy the 0000001 position. “10-c” is just plain stupid.

Which is more or less how the conversation started. Why is the number so small?

Maybe it’s a list, not of all known species, but of species which are causing major problems? Klingons, Romulans, and the Borg are probably on that list, too, but everyone uses the name for them instead of the index number. But I can believe that there might be a list like that that’s only a few hundred species long.

Honestly, it reminds me of the remake of V the television series. In the original miniserieses and series, the “V for victory” symbol was painted on things related to the Space Nazis, but wasn’t actually a name for anything in-universe. But on the remake, the show was V because on the show everyone called the aliens "Vee"s. It was some of the dumbest shit that I ever experienced. I suspect it was used in part because the writers thought that the audience was too stupid for subtlety and in part because the writers were too stupid for subtlety. I suspect “10c” is much the same.

It’s one of those things that isn’t important and will bug me every time it is mentioned. Oh well, it’s a distraction from why Michael was never court martialed.

She has secretly been genetically modified to release sympathy pheromones in her tears. When she cries, she is basically Hypnotoad.

Only luck prevented me from spitting tea on my keyboard.

The species is claimed to be from outside the Milky Way. Maybe they are very few in number.

On reading up a bit on this… I think that they’re called “10-C” because calling them “Panuri’i” would get them in legal trouble.

Steve Rogers: “I get that! I get that reference.”

At least it wasn’t Rojan.