[Taxacom] exuvia versus exuvium

Doug Yanega dyanega at ucr.edu
Fri Jun 6 12:29:11 CDT 2008

Hi, all. I seem to be embroiled in an argument, and having trouble 
getting a definitive answer. Which is the proper singular form of the 
term "exuviae" - is it exuvia, or exuvium? I learned it as the 
latter, and some sources back this up, but other sources (including 
but not limited to Wikipedia) insist it is the former.

The confusing thing is that Torre-Bueno's glossary of entomology 
(usually a definitive source) says that the term only exists as a 
plural, and lists BOTH exuvia and exuvium as "synonyms" of exuviae. 
In other words, neither (according to T-B) is technically correct - 
which, if true, is still quite unsatisfactory, given that there is 
surely a need to HAVE a singular term to refer to a cast exoskeleton. 
Maybe someone after Torre-Bueno made a decisive statement to settle 
the issue?

If it is definitively NOT "exuvia," I need to change the Wikipedia 
entry accordingly, but this requires a genuinely authoritative source 
that can be cited, to prevent well-meaning folks from trying to 
revert it back. Torre-Bueno's approach (recognizing only the plural 
form) will clearly not work there.

Why can't things be simple? ;-)

Doug Yanega        Dept. of Entomology         Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314        skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (standard disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82

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