Lobiger souverbiei vs L. souverbii

October 7, 2000
From: Cynthia Trowbridge

Dear Bill,

I was wondering if you or any participant could assist me with spelling queries.

• 1. Lobiger souverbiei vs L. souverbii - which is correct and why? Is this a masculine/feminine topic or some other topic?
• 2. Polybranchia viride vs. P. viridis - again, which is correct and why?
• 3. Olea haniseënsis vs. O. haniseensis - - again, which is correct and why? The former was the original name in the species description (Agersborg 1923) but everyone else publishing on the species has used the latter spelling.
[AGERSBORG, H.P.K. 1923. Notes on a new cladohepatic nudibranch from Friday Harbor, Washington. The Nautilus, 36: 133-138.]

I guess the bottom line is to ask where I can look up this type of problem...? Any assistance would be much appreciated and also educational (at least to me).
All the best!


Trowbridge, C., 2000 (Oct 7) Lobiger souverbiei vs L. souverbii. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/3131

Dear Cynthia,
Funny you should ask about L. souverbiei vs L. souverbii. I was just answering a question about this animal and was wondering about the two spellings myself. Fischer (1856) originally named the species Lobiger souverbii in honour of his friend Dr Souverbie. This spelling was used until Engel (1927) changed it to L. souverbiei. I have scanned through his paper but can't find why he changed the spelling. Since then some authors, the Marcuses in particular, have used Engel's spelling, while other authors have stuck with the original spelling. This is not a case of gender matching and is probably quite an unjustified emendation by Engel. Some later editions of the International Code, which of course appeared long after Fischer's day, did have recommendations about what endings should be applied to personal names, but they were never rules, just recommendations. If someone feels differently please let me know, but I can't find any justification for ignoring Fischer's original spelling. Unfortunately, as I have said before, we are biologists, not grammarians and linguists.

Your other two questions are much simpler: •2. Polybranchia viride is vernacular French which has no status in nomenclature. The latinised version Polybranchia viridis is the only valid name. French authors often used to give French names to species, often on the Plates, and the Latin name in the description.

•3. Olea haniseënsis vs. O. haniseensis. Firstly I think the spelling is hansineensis isn't it? The International Rules ban all diacritic marks, accents etc so ë becomes e etc.

If anyone knows of a good book on zoological nomenclature I would like to hear of it. There is the International Code of Zoological Nomenclature but like any code of laws you need to be a specialist or a specialist lawyer, to follow all the nuances, and understand how one clause affects another etc. And that is before you do your training in the grammar of two dead languages. The latest edition (4) of the Code is even less user friendly than earlier editions which use to have pages of recommendations, and tables explaining some grammatical points.

Hope I have answered the specific points you raised, but sorry I can't give much general information.
Best wishes,
Bill Rudman.

Rudman, W.B., 2000 (Oct 7). Comment on Lobiger souverbiei vs L. souverbii by Cynthia Trowbridge. [Message in] Sea Slug Forum. Australian Museum, Sydney. Available from http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/3131


Lobiger souverbii

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