[LEPS-L:8027] Re: Help with Geometrid genus name

Don Lafontaine burnbank at sympatico.ca
Wed Nov 29 06:40:25 EST 2000

In earlier years it was not uncommon for an author to "correct" a name that had
been mispelled through a mistake or typographical error and the "corrected" name
was then used. Aspitates was changed to Aspilates by Trietschke and everyone
(most?) followed that for more than 100 years!! The "rules of international
nomenclature" require that all names go back to the original spellings with
three exceptions (at least three immediately come to mind):
1. if there is evidence within the original publication itself that clearly
shows the name is a typo. (e.g. "I name this species oorti after my friend Mr.
Corti"). In fact Kohlers description of Agrotis oorti failed to say that so his
correction to "corti" later on had to be changed back to "oorti."
2. The "rules" of the ICZN (International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature)
require that the ending of a species name be changed to agree in gener with the
genus (e.g., Strymon californica becomes Satyrium californicum). An increasing
number or researchers, especially in butterflies are not applying this "rule"
and only use the original spelling so names don't keep changing in spelling
everytime someone uses a different genus. Also it can be a difficult rule to
apply because the need for the agreement and spelling of the ending depend on
Latin grammatical rules and whether the species name is a noun or an
3. An emended name such as Aspilates can be "preserved" over the older name
Aspitates if an application is made to the ICZN to suppress the older name in
favor of the junior name. This is usually done when an older name (or older
spelling) has not been in use for a very long time and changing it would cause
more confusion that preserving it. No application was presented for Aspitates
and now it has been the commonly used spelling for about 30 years.

Don Lafontaine

Jeff Crolla/Martha Hancock wrote:

> McGuffin (1981, Guide to the Geometridae of Canada II. Subfamily Ennominae.
> 3) uses *Aspilates* (as did McDunnough in his 1938 Checklist) and has the
> following explanation:
> "Treitschke (1825: 431) named this genus for 13 European species. In this
> description the name appears as *Aspitates*, a name Trietschke (1827: 126)
> amended to *Aspilates*."
> The references cited are:
> Treitschke, F. 1825. Die Schmetterlinge von Europa (Fortsetzung des
> Ochsenheimer'schen Werks). Vol. 5 (2): 431.
> and
> Treitschke, F.1827. Die Schmetterlinge von Europa (Fortsetzung des
> Ochsenheimer'schen Werks). Vol 6 (1): 126.
> Of a couple of books I have to hand, the recent Guide Des Papillons Du
> Quebec by Handfield (which I believe has all the up-to-date nomenclatural
> changes) uses *Aspitates*. J.C.E. Riotte in the Annotated List of Ontario
> Lepidoptera uses *Aspilates* in the index but *Aspitates* in the checklist
> itself !
> Maybe the amended name (*Aspilates*) is not valid for some reason?
> hope this helps
> Jeff
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Robert Dana" <robert.dana at dnr.state.mn.us>
> To: <leps-l at lists.yale.edu>
> Sent: Tuesday, November 28, 2000 10:41 AM
> Subject: [LEPS-L:8004] Help with Geometrid genus name
> I am trying to determine the correct spelling of the genus Apilates or
> Aspitates Treitschke. In his 1963 review (Canadian Entomologist 95) Munroe
> used the former spelling, but all references I have seen subsequent to this,
> including ones that cite Munroe's paper, use the latter. Can anyone clarify
> this for me?
> Thanks
> Robert
> *************************************************************
> Robert Dana, Ph.D.
> Natural Heritage and Nongame Research Program
> 500 Lafayette Rd, Box 25
> St. Paul, MN 55155
> 651 297-2367
> Email: robert.dana at dnr.state.mn.us
> *************************************************************
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