[Taxacom] ICZN - gender of genus-group name ending in -ops

Margaret Thayer mthayer at fieldmuseum.org
Mon May 16 14:12:16 CDT 2016


Well, no one seems to be really defending the more-or-less current usage
treating *Carcinops* as feminine.

Following some off-list discussion with John Oswald, too, it appears quite
clear that *Carcinops *should have been treated as masculine for at least
as long as the modern codes (starting with 1st edition, 1961) have been in
force.

Under the 1st and 2nd editions, Marseul's original treatment of the name as
masculine AND the derivation he cited from *-omega psi* (masculine) rather
than *-omicron psi* (feminine) would make it clearly masculine. In the 3rd
and (current) 4th editions, the distinction between those two origins was
eliminated, and (as I quoted in my original message) all names ending in
-ops are to be treated as masculine.

So although it remains a bit murky why Lewis changed the gender of *Carcinops
*and others followed him, there seems to be no question that *at least *since
1961 it should have been treated as masculine, just as Marseul did
originally.

Doug, thanks for pointing out that none of this has anything to do with
spelling differences in the sense of the Code.

Cheers,
Margaret



Margaret K. Thayer, Ph.D.        mthayer at fieldmuseum.org
Curator Emeritus, Life Sciences, ​Field Museum of Natural History
<http://fieldmuseum.org/>
​Lecturer, Committee on Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago
1400 South Lake Shore Drive
Chicago IL 60605-2496, USA
PHONE: +1-312-665-7741 (direct)    FAX: +1-312-665-7754
FMNH personal web page <http://fieldmuseum.org/users/margaret-thayer>
   Austral
Staphylinidae & Staphyliniformia databases
<http://archive.fieldmuseum.org/peet_staph/>
FMNH Insects collection database
<http://www.fieldmuseum.org/science/research/area/insects-arachnids-and-myriapods>


On Sun, May 15, 2016 at 6:35 PM, Margaret Thayer <mthayer at fieldmuseum.org>
wrote:

>> Dear colleagues,
>
> ​I sent the message below to iczn-list at afriherp.org on 28 April, but it
> apparently never appeared there (is that list still active?), nor did it
> bounce back to me. I decided to try taxacom to see if anyone has comments
> on this situation.
>
>> In discussions with a student researcher who is working on the histerid
> beetle genus *Carcinops*, I found that there have been conflicting
> interpretations of its gender over the decades. *Carcinops* was described
> by Marseul in 1855 as being derived from *καρκίνος*, crabe [*carcinus*,
> crab]; *ὤψ *, figure [*ops*, figure, face, countenance, *ὤψ* being nearly
> always treated as feminine in classical Greek according to Liddell &
> Scott's Greek Lexicon]. Marseul used masculine (or common) gender for his
> adjectival species names in that and subsequent works. Three other authors
> continued that usage and described more species with masculine endings
> until Lewis in 1888 (without comment) switched to treating the generic name
> as feminine. Several additional species have been described since then, and
> all but one of the adjectival names (proposed by three different authors)
> have been treated as feminine.
>
> Article 30.1 of the Code clearly applies, but is potentially a little
> ambiguous. [Code text in black]
> *30.1.* *Gender of names formed from Latin or Greek words.*  Subject to
> the exceptions specified in Article 30.1.4
> <http://www.nhm.ac.uk/hosted-sites/iczn/code/includes/page.jsp?nfv=1.1&article=30#1.4>
> ,
>
> ... 30.1.2. a genus-group name that is or ends in a Greek word
> transliterated into Latin without other changes takes the gender given for
> that word in standard Greek dictionaries;
>
> ... 30.1.4. The following exceptions apply:
>
> ... 30.1.4.3. A compound genus-group name ending in -*ops* is to be
> treated as masculine, regardless of its derivation or of its treatment by
> its author.
>
>
> So 30.1.2 argues for feminine; in fact, this might have been the
> (unstated) principle Lewis was using. But Al Newton and I both interpret
> 30.1's phrasing "Subject to the exceptions ... in ... 30.1.4" to mean that
> any of the conditions listed under 30.1.4 *supersede* the general
> condition in 30.1.2. This would make *Carcinops* masculine instead,
> reversing the nearly universal usage of the last 120+ years. My
> recommendation to the student is that *Carcinops* should indeed be
> treated as masculine, with a brief mention of the history and justification
> for the change in the (nearly-submitted) paper.
>
> Does anyone see a hole in my argument that would mean current usage as
> feminine should be maintained?
>
> Thanks very much,
> Margaret
>
>
> Margaret K. Thayer, Ph.D.        mthayer at fieldmuseum.org
> Curator Emeritus, Life Sciences, ​Field Museum of Natural History
> <http://fieldmuseum.org/>
> ​Lecturer, Committee on Evolutionary Biology, University of Chicago
> 1400 South Lake Shore Drive
> Chicago IL 60605-2496, USA
> PHONE: +1-312-665-7741 (direct)    FAX: +1-312-665-7754
> FMNH personal web page <http://fieldmuseum.org/users/margaret-thayer>     Austral
> Staphylinidae & Staphyliniformia databases
> <http://archive.fieldmuseum.org/peet_staph/>
> FMNH Insects collection database
> <http://www.fieldmuseum.org/science/research/area/insects-arachnids-and-myriapods>
>
>
>



More information about the Taxacom mailing list