[Taxacom] Advice on genus name

Doug Yanega dyanega at ucr.edu
Fri Jan 30 19:18:51 CST 2009

Bob Mesibov wrote:

>I'm describing a new genus, new species and the animal looks like a
>toothed wheel when curled up. So far I haven't come up with either
>(a) a suitable Greek or Latin noun for 'gear', 'toothed wheel' or even
>an apparatus (waterwheel?) that looks like one, or
>(b) a simple and euphonius combination of Greek or Latin word elements
>which hints even vaguely at 'toothed wheel'.
>I'm therefore tempted to modify English 'gear'. The Code's
>recommendation 11A is that 'an unmodified vernacular word should not be
>used as a scientific name. Appropriate latinization is the preferred
>means of formation of names from vernacular words.'
>Which might inspire 'Gearius'. Any comments or suggestions?

In English, there is another word that refers to a simple toothed 
wheel: a sprocket (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprocket). If you 
feel you must use a vernacular root, then "Sprocketius" (or 
"Sprocketomorpha" or "Sprocketella") has a more playful ring than a 
name based on "gear". I'd certainly think you could still come up 
with some sort of Latin/Greek pseudo-term, though.


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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