gender of -opsis?

Margaret K. Thayer mthayer at FIELDMUSEUM.ORG
Wed Aug 14 19:37:41 CDT 2002


Why not just look it up...

Article 30.1.2 of the ICZN says "a genus-group name that is or ends in a
Greek word transliterated into Latin without other changes takes the gender
given for that word in standard Greek dictionaries;"  and the examples
under than section include -opsis (from opsis) as one of several that are
feminine.  On the other hand, a "... name ending in -ops is to be treated
as masculine, regardless of its derivation or of its treatment by its
author." Art. 30.1.4.3; this difference may have caused some confusion. See
all of Art. 30 for other examples, a few exceptions, etc.

limbus is a Latin noun mean edge or fringe, so evidently that's what the
author meant.  It would have been helpful for him to mention that it was a
noun, but in the three Latin dictionaries I checked (one of them the size
of a large phone book) I see no indication of there being an adjectival
form.  It thus appears to be a noun in apposition and unchanging.


> >>> Doug Yanega <dyanega at POP.UCR.EDU> 08/14/02 03:15PM >>>
>I'm confused. I was under the impression that the ending -opsis was
>feminine. ...
>He also states that limbus is from the Latin limbus.
>Nothing is stated about it being a
>
>In scanning over other genera with the -opsis ending, I note that
>while most epithets are feminine, certain authors ...consistently
>used masculine endings for all such genera in
>which they named species, ...still used with the masculine endings,
>.... I truly doubt that the authors of the
>genera in question ALL specified in the original generic descriptions
>that they considered the genus name to be neuter, ...
If they had considered it to be neuter, why would they use a masculine
ending?  Maybe this was just a slip of the e-pen.

>or that the authors
>of the epithets ALL specified that they were nouns in apposition.
>Am I correct, then, in changing the endings in my own lists to be
>feminine, pending the drudgery of digging through all the original
>descriptions?
If they're adjectives, yes, they need to agree with the gender of the genus.
See Article 31.2


Margaret K. Thayer              mthayer at fieldmuseum.org
Assistant Curator, Zoology, and Head, Division of Insects
     http://fm1.fmnh.org/aa/staff_page.cgi?staff=thayer
Field Museum of Natural History       http://www.fieldmuseum.org
1400 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago IL 60605-2496, USA
PHONE: +1-312-665-7741 (direct-dial)
FAX: +1-312-665-7754




More information about the Taxacom mailing list