Many gene flow barriers associated with genetic isolation during eukaryotic species divergence, are lacking in prokaryotes. In these organisms the processes associated with horizontal gene transfer (HGT) may provide both the homogenizing force needed for genetic cohesion and the genetic variation essential to speciation. This is because HGT events can broadly be grouped into genetic conversions (where endogenous genetic material are replaced with homologs acquired from external sources) and genetic introductions (where novel genetic material is acquired from external sources). HGT-based genetic conversions therefore causes homogenization, while genetic introductions drive divergence of populations upon fixation of genetic variants. The impact of HGT in different prokaryotic species may vary substantially and can range from very low levels to rampant HGT, producing chimeric groups of isolates. Combined with other evolutionary processes, these varying levels of HGT causes diversity space to be occupied by unique groups that are mostly incomparable in terms of genetic similarity, genomic cohesion and evolutionary age. As a result, the conventional, cut-off based metrics for species delineation are not adequate. Rather, a pluralistic approach to prokaryotic species recognition is required to accommodate the unique evolutionary ages and tendencies, population dynamics, and evolutionary fates of individual prokaryotic species. Following this approach, all prokaryotic species may be regarded as unique and each of their own kind (sui generis). Taxonomic decisions thus require evolutionary information that integrates vertical inheritances with all possible sources of genetic heterogeneity to ultimately produce robust and biologically meaningful classifications.