[Taxacom] Derivation of word Termitoloemus

Doug Yanega dyanega at ucr.edu
Thu Nov 7 13:11:37 CST 2013

On 11/7/13 9:27 AM, Knut Rognes wrote:
> Can anyone help me with the latin / greek derivation of the word
> Termitoloemus? I have read somewhere that it consist of two elements:
> termito - derived from termite, and loemus - supposedly meaning to eat, but
> I cannot retrieve the source for the interpretation of latter element. The
> species Termitoloemus marshalli attacks termite workers.
Based on Brown, there are two possible derivations:
(1) if correctly formed, "-loemus" would mean something that is a plague 
or pestilent (from Greek "loimos")
(2) if incorrectly formed, the original author might have been thinking 
of "-laemus", which is a very common suffix meaning throat or gullet 
(from Greek "laimos"), and might conceivably be applied in the context 
of gulping or swallowing.

In this case, if the etymology is omitted from the OD, I don't see any 
good reason to think it wasn't intended to mean "a plague upon 
termites". Certainly, something that attacks termite workers could be 
viewed this way. ;-)


Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
phone: (951) 827-4315 (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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