gender of -opsis?

Stephen Gaimari SGaimari at CDFA.CA.GOV
Thu Aug 15 07:21:47 CDT 2002

A quicker answer to your initial question is found in the Article that Margaret cited.  Under the examples of Article 30.1.2, they state that generic names ending in -opsis are feminine.

Dr. Stephen D. Gaimari
Plant Pest Diagnostics Lab
California Department of Food and Agriculture
3294 Meadowview Road
Sacramento, CA 95832-1448, USA

916-262-1131 (tel.)
916-262-1190 (fax)
sgaimari at 

>>> Ron Gatrelle <gatrelle at TILS-TTR.ORG> 08/14/02 09:09PM >>>
----- Original Message -----
From: "Doug Yanega" <dyanega at POP.UCR.EDU>
Sent: Wednesday, August 14, 2002 11:41 PM
Subject: Re: gender of -opsis?

> Steve Gaimari wrote:
> >The ending -opsis for a genus is feminine if it is the NOUN "opsis",
> >meaning semblance or appearance, as Barry Roth wrote.  But, if it is
> >adjectival, then it can be masculine, feminine or neuter, depending
> >on gender of the governing noun.
> Based on the citation in the ICZN that Margaret Thayer gave (Article
> 30), I don't see how the above interpretation can possibly come into
> play. The Code says "ending in a Greek or Latin word or ending in a
> Greek or Latin suffix". It does NOT specify any difference based on
> whether the ending is a noun versus an adjective.

All generic names are to be, or treated as, nouns in the nominative singula
(11.8).  Generic names are not adjectival forms.  So the gender may be
masculine, feminine, or neuter words but they must all be employed as
nouns.  So if as a noun opis is always feminine, then all genera ending
with opis are feminine.  Species group names then go with it by the
appropriately applicable code requirements.
Ron Gatrelle

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