A branch (or phylum or division), is the second rank of the classification for living beings immediately beneath the kingdom (animal, plant, fungus, protist, bacterium, archeae), and immediately above the class. There are also sub-branches (or sub-phyla or sub-divisions).
Nomenclature of branches
In plants and fungi, the names of the branches have a specific suffix of –phyta and –mycota respectively. The animal branches do not have a specific suffix and are only used from the rank of the superfamilies.
Classification involves a succession of ranks including the branch. © Dosto, Wikimedia, GFDL 1.2