Within the classifications of the ten cloud types, there are an additional fifteen different species of clouds that further helps describe the cloud that you’re looking at. Cirrus uncinus describes cirrus clouds that have a mares’ tails or comma shape commonly associated with cirrus clouds. Altocumulus lenticularis describes altocumulus clouds that are lens-shaped, often times resembling a UFO. Cumulus fractus describes a cumulus cloud that’s ragged and broken up.
Several cloud types have five associated cloud species (stratocumulus, altocumulus, and cirrus), where altostratus and nimbostratus clouds don’t have any associated cloud species. Additionally, cloud species can be applied to different cloud types. For example, the cloud species ‘castellanus’ can be applied across four cloud types (cirrus, cirrocumulus, altocumulus, and stratocumulus).
Illustrated below are the fifteen cloud species. Each illustration includes the cloud type (abbr.) that the species is associated with. Clicking on the cloud illustrations below will lead you to a page that will provide you with a description, photograph examples, and illustrations of each cloud species. The orange dot under the cloud type abbreviation indicates the specific cloud type that’s portrayed in the illustration. When applying a species of cloud to a cloud type that you’re identifying, choose up to one cloud species that best describes the cloud you’re observing. ⛅