[Taxacom] exuvia - exuviae versus exuvium - exuvia

Carmine COLACINO carmine.colacino at unibas.it
Fri Jun 6 14:23:38 CDT 2008

According to my old Latin dictionary of high school, these are the  

the first one grammatically feminine (f), the second one neuter (n.):

exuviae, -arum, f.  [from the verb exuo (exuere)] (plural)

with has also a singular: exuvia, -ae, f.


exuvium, -ii n. (same meaning, same origin), singular, whose plural,  
If I recall correcly
in the case of this type of neuters, should indeed be exuvia.

Therefore, the correct singular or plural depends on which of those  
two forms  you decide to use,
and on which is more commonly used in entomology (I'm a botanist).

Of course, this refers to classical Latin, rather than Scientific  
Latin (which is a
more recent construct, as we all know).

I hope this helps.


Dr Carmine Colacino
Laboratorio di Briologia
Dip. di Biologia Difesa e Biotecnologie Agro Forestali
Universita' della Basilicata
Viale dell'Ateneo Lucano, 10
85100 Potenza, Italy
Ph. +39-0971-206234; Fax +39-0971-206233
Lab.+39-0971/205346: Mob.+39-329-3178399
Alt. e-mail: colacino at bryology.eu

On 06- Jan-2008, at 20:29, Spies, Martin wrote:

> Doug,
>> Which is the proper singular form of the term "exuviae" - is it
>> exuvia, or exuvium?
> Neither. There is no singular form.
>> Torre-Bueno's glossary of entomology (usually a definitive source)
>> says that the term only exists as a plural
> So far, Torre-Bueno's advice is as "definitve" as usual. Wikipedia and
> the like don't come with enough authority to doubt that.
>> and lists BOTH exuvia and exuvium as "synonyms" of exuviae.
> Incorrect synonyms, may be, if there is such a thing.
>> there is surely a need to HAVE a singular term
> Why? (And I don't mean to start that singular/plural debate that was
> raging a little while ago.)
>> Why can't things be simple?
> They are if we let them. ;-)
> Cheers
> -- 
> Martin Spies
> c/o Zoologische Staatssammlung Muenchen
> Germany
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