The mysterious Miss Gillett

Ron Gatrelle gatrelle at
Tue Nov 7 18:26:36 EST 2000

If for the Miss, it would most likely have been gillettae. Of course none of
this will change the definition (name) of the critter from gillettii.
UNLESS, it is absolutely determined (by some Barnes direct statement) that
it was named after a female AND Euphydryas is feminine -- and other rules
are considered...

Now, the common name (street talk) people will throw up their hands once
again here and say, What-tah be dis? Dis aint got no nuttin goin down, man.
Or more articulately, Why are these people wasting all this energy and time
jumping through all these hoops! Because we are legalistic I dotters and T
crossers?Pencil necked taxonomic geeks? We don't have a life? Its fun? No. I
think this is what scientific (pragmatic and factual) minded people do. We
search something out (work) to bring forth the most meaningful thing in all
the universe -- factual truth. There is not one bit of truth in Labrador
Sulphur -- not in ALaska and not even in Labrador, because there are several
other sulphurs in Labrador. Ah, I'm out a chere. Off to the real fun -- the
US election returns. NO TRUTH THERE.
(Please note how much American slang I used, proof I do use common names.)

----- Original Message -----
From: "Kondla, Norbert FOR:EX" <Norbert.Kondla at>
To: <cwcook at>; <leps-l at>
Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 5:19 PM
Subject: RE: The mysterious Miss Gillett

> Another interesting spin. Of course this interpretation is contingent on
> assumption that Barnes understood genitives and such.  One would assume
> Barnes did the naming strictly in accordance with the 'rules' of the day,
> but that too is an assumption.  Anyone know where more info on Barnes
> be found or if any of his papers survive in paper archives somewhere
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Will Cook [mailto:cwcook at]
> Sent: Tuesday, November 07, 2000 10:05 AM
> To: leps-l at
> Subject: Re: The mysterious Miss Gillett
> If I remember my Latin correctly, gillettii is the genitive of
> gillettius, which is a masculine noun.  If Euphydryas gillettii were
> named after Miss Jessie Gillett, her name (I think) would have been
> Latinized to gillettia and formed the genitive gillettiae.  Since
> gillettii is masculine, I suspect the butterfly is named after Mr.
> Gillette.
> "Kondla, Norbert FOR:EX" wrote:
> >
> > This discussion on the english name for Euphydryas gillettii shows the
> > advantages of getting multiple people digging for "the facts".  Ken
> > points out that Miss Jessie D. Gillett of Elkhart, Illinois was a patron
> of
> > Barnes.  It would make far more sense to think that the butterfly was
> named
> > after a patron rather than someone else.  Cliff Ferris provided the
> > following commentary:
> > "Gillette's . . ." was used in the Rocky Mtn. book.  The U. of Okla.
> > editor insisted that common names be included, and I don't recall who
> > up with the name (F. M. Brown or me).  It is also possible that the copy
> > editor "corrected" the spelling "Gillett" to "Gillette."
> >
> > In any case, there seems to be a misconception about for whom the
> latinized
> > name is a patronym (based on the comments that I received from Ken).
> > Clarence P. Gillette [the correct spelling] was an entomologist at what
> > now Colorado State University.  He was an aphid taxonomist, and he
> > established what is now the "C. P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod
> Diversity."
> > I am quite familiar with the Museum and visited it yesterday.
> >
> > I am sure that the b'fly's name is a patronym for Miss Jessie D. Gillett
> of
> > Elkhart, Illinois.  She was the publication patroness of many of the
> issues
> > of the Barnes et al. series:  "Contributions to the Natural History of
> > Lepidoptera of North America."  She is acknowledged at the front of many
> of
> > the issues.
> > Since the TL for the b'fly is Yellowstone N.P. in Wyoming, it's rather
> > doubtful that C. P. Gillette, a Colorado aphid specialist, had any
> > connection with Barnes or the b'fly."
> > So all this leaves me thinking that Gillett's Checkerspot is the correct
> > spelling and that the butterfly was named after Miss Gillett of
> > Tune in next week, who knows what other interesting biohistory may yet
> turn
> > up :-) -- anyone have any further biographical info on Jessie Gillett
> > what interest she may have had in butterflies ??
> >
> > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
> > Norbert Kondla  P.Biol., RPBio.
> > Forest Ecosystem Specialist, Ministry of Environment
> > 845 Columbia Avenue, Castlegar, British Columbia V1N 1H3
> > Phone 250-365-8610
> > Mailto:Norbert.Kondla at
> >
> >


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