Re gender of -opsis

John D. Oswald j-oswald at TAMU.EDU
Thu Aug 15 12:32:05 CDT 2002

      Another small, but critical, point in some cases....
       In zoological nomenclature, authors can specifically state that the
names they propose are not formed or treated as Latin or Greek, even if
they use letter combinations, either as full words or suffixes, that are
the same as classical words or suffixes (see Art. 30.1.4, one of the
"exceptions" listed in Art. 30.1.4). Under such conditions, the rules of
Art. 30.2 [covering non-Latin, non-Greek based genus-group names] (rather
than 30.1, which covers Latin and Greek based names) apply for determining
the gender of genus-group names. Under such conditions, a name ending in
-opsis could have any gender -- masc., fem., or neuter. Thus, in rigorously
determining "nomenclatural gender", there is no getting around going back
to the literature to check for this possibility for each and every
genus-group name. Nor is there any getting around reading all of the
exceptions and special clauses of ICZN Art. 30, which regulates the
application of "nomenclatural gender" to zoological genus-group names.

John Oswald

Dr. John D. Oswald
Associate Professor & Curator
Department of Entomology
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX   77843-2475
E-mail:  j-oswald at
Phone: (979) 862-3507
Fax: (979) 845-6305

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